As flags flew at half-mast in commemoration of those killed in the shooting massacre at a music concert in Las Vegas last week, local politicians mobilized quickly to take their stands on the ongoing issue of gun control in America.
The common thread: “Enough is enough.”
A statement from Democratic Caucus of the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) revisited the controversial gun show held at the County Center in White Plains.
Calling for an override of County Executive Rob Astorino’s veto on legislation banning gun shows on county property, the statement from the caucus echoed sentiments heard across the country: “Enough is enough. (Last) Sunday night, our nation again saw the horrific events that can occur in a country were the sale of military style weapons is just business as usual. We are heartbroken for the victims – but heartbroken is not enough anymore. We must take action. We must ban the practice of using taxpayer-funded facilities in Westchester County to assist the proliferation of guns in our communities.”
Calling out Astorino for negotiating a backroom deal to bring a gun show back to the County Center without the input of legislators and residents, the statement calls for an Oct. 16 vote of the BOL to override Astorino’s veto.
Then, following news that hate-group recruitment flyers were found at Westchester Community College the link between gun sales and hate groups in Westchester County was made. BOL Majority Whip Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh) commented, “It is no surprise to me that in a county where symbols of hate are sold beside weapons on the floor of a taxpayer funded facility, that organizations whose sole purpose is to further divide us feel empowered to come here. The flyers, which were accompanied on social media with the hashtag ‘Operation Siege’, are a sign that those with hate in their heart intend to use Westchester County as a place to stake their claim.”
Williams called on Legislator Ben Boykin (D-White Plains), to bring the Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission into his Committee on Public Safety & Social Services to discuss the incident.
“Westchester Community College is under our purview – and we only learned of these flyers through the media. Again, this is unacceptable,” Williams said.
“In a country where our President says there are ‘many sides’ to a neo-Nazi rally, in a county where Confederate Flags and Nazi paraphernalia are sold alongside guns and are described as merely ‘historical’ – we must take a stand against the spread of hate.”
Responding more specifically to the Las Vegas tragedy, New York State Assemblyman David Buchwald issued a statement on Tannerite developments in Las Vegas and Manhattan, and asked for a review of a bill already put before the NYS Legislature for regulation of the explosive compound.
“Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo reported that Tannerite, an explosive compound, was found at the Mesquite, Nevada home of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock. Tannerite was used in the Chelsea, Manhattan bombing in September 2016, for which the defendant Ahmad Khan Rahimi went on trial (last week),” Buchwald said.
“There is no solace in learning the Las Vegas shooter had not only had an arsenal of weapons in his home, but also the explosive binary compound Tannerite. I continue to worry that anyone can buy Tannerite in New York State and throughout much of the United States. Since 2014, I have proposed that New York State regulate Tannerite and similar compounds that the FBI has said can be used in improvised explosive devices. In 2016 and 2017, both before and after the Chelsea neighborhood bombing in Manhattan, the New York State Assembly overwhelmingly passed legislation on this topic, but the State Senate did not. As we grieve the loss of life in Las Vegas, it is time for the New York State Senate to pass this bill so that domestic terrorists do not have such easy access to these dangerous compounds,” Buchwald concluded.
In Washington, DC, Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Harrison) joined Gun Violence Prevention Task Force colleagues in a letter to President Trump requesting that he meet with the task force to discuss commonsense gun reform.
In a prepared statement presented on the steps of the Capitol building Lowey said, “I’m pleased to stand here today to say enough is enough. I am tired of moments of silence. For the thousands of young men and women who were the victims of guns, we’ve got to do something now. There are too many members of Congress who are rushing to cash the NRA checks. We have to work together, Democrats and Republicans, form a select committee, see if we can put together legislation that will stop some of the murders, the pain, the suffering that is going on as a result of actions not taken. I can hardly believe that legislation is being proposed, and there’s going to be a vote, on expanding concealed carry. How, in this day and age, when there are murders every day, are we going to allow more people to conceal guns? We have got to strengthen our laws, get together, and find an answer to it.”