Cuomo on gun violence: 'It has been enough'
January 9th, 2013
04:06 PM ET
1 year ago

Cuomo on gun violence: 'It has been enough'

(CNN) – Ban assault weapons. It's a call that's been trumpeted on the airwaves, in protests and in some TV ads.

But now it's coming from a high-profile governor, signaling what could be a major move in the renewed push for tighter gun laws after the Connecticut elementary school shooting last month–a massacre that capped a year marked by other high-profile shootings.

Speaking to a crowd of elected officials, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Wednesday the state must enact "the toughest assault weapons ban in the nation, period."

"Gun violence has been on a rampage as we know first hand and we know painfully. We must stop the madness, my friends," he said in his annual State of the State address. "It has been enough."

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence ranks New York as fourth in its list of states with the strongest gun laws, and the Empire State already has a ban on some types of assault weapons. But the Democratic governor, whose job approval ratings top 70%, argued more needs to be done.

His other proposals included closing a loophole that allows gun purchasers to sidestep background checks during a private transaction. Cuomo also wants to ban high capacity magazines, devices with 10 or more rounds of ammunition that can be attached to guns.

He urged the audience, which included state lawmakers and members of law enforcement, to enact "tougher penalties" for illegal gun use and pushed for stricter regulation on the sale of ammunition.

Cuomo stressed a need to "keep guns from people who are mentally ill."

"We need a gun policy in this state that is reasonable, that is balanced, that is measured," he said.

Cuomo, who's considered a potential 2016 presidential candidate, took heat from gun rights groups when he said in a December radio interview that "confiscation could be an option" in terms of reducing the number of assault weapons in New York. He has not made similar remarks since.

Opponents, however, were quick to pounce, arguing that Cuomo's radio comment represents the future of Second Amendment rights if gun owners don't fight to keep laws as they stand. Other critics argue that violence tends to increase in places that have tighter gun restrictions. The National Rifle Association, for example, says the solution to school shootings entails equipping every school in the country with an armed guard.

A petition to the White House asks "that Gov. Cuomo's attempts to violate our rights be stopped immediately." With more than 8,000 signatures, the White House requires at least 25,000 before it issues a response.

Cuomo, however, said "this is not (about) taking away peoples' guns."

"I own a gun. I own a Remington shotgun," he continued. "That's not what this is about. It's about ending the unnecessary risk of high capacity assault rifles."

Cuomo's comments come during a week of big-name efforts involving gun regulations. Vice President Joe Biden is holding meetings–including a sit-down with the NRA–at the White House to find recommendations for the president. And former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head two years ago this week, and her husband Mark Kelly launched a website Tuesday aimed at finding solutions.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an outspoken advocate for gun control, said in a statement after Cuomo's remarks that he "was particularly struck by [Cuomo's] passionate leadership on gun violence.

"New York State has led the nation with strong, common-sense gun laws, and the governor's new proposals will build on that tradition," Bloomberg wrote. "They will help law enforcement keep guns out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous people and save lives. We strongly support his proposals to close loopholes and strengthen existing laws, and we look forward to working with him and the state legislature to adopt them."

In his address, Cuomo cited the state's Sullivan Act, the first-in-the-nation gun control law enacted in 1911, which required a permit for the possession of a handgun.

"New York led the way then," he said. "'Let's pass safe and fair legislation and lead the way once again in saving lives."


Filed under: Andrew Cuomo • Gun rights • New York
soundoff (172 Responses)
  1. ProudDem

    I'm so tired of this. Whenever we have another mass shooting, we start the endless conversation over gun rights and Obama's going to take away your guns, etc. There are many who claim the NRA is too powerful so let's just stay with the status quo and hope for the best. Gun advocates say let's arm everyone. There has to a sensible middle ground position. Look at slavery and women's right to vote for guidance. Pro slavery advocates believed that their right to own slaves was ingrained in scripture. Men who did not believe women should vote thought that a woman was already represented by her husband. I can't imagine all that the advocates for abolition and women's sufferage went through while trying to be heard but we know for certain that they kept up the fight until they were heard. Yes it's going to be really hard but we have to do it. Nothing less can be acceptable in a civilized society.

    January 10, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Matt wrote:

    @Rudy NYC

    Funny how liberals can only "prove a point" by removing actual text. You're correct: writing the statement that way means that forming a militia cannot be infringed.

    If you knew how to read you would see that I already stated that. The second part about individuals having the right to keep and bear arms. So, yes, it is a blanket statement that I can buy what I want, when I want. That's why it is LEGAL to own fully automatic weapons, Gatling guns, flame throwers and hand grenades.
    ----------------
    You missed the whole point. I simply imitated what someone else did to flip the coin the other way. It was a word game, nothing more.

    It's okay to ignore one clause but not the other? Is that it? The NRA always ignores the militia clause. It is what comes first in the sentence. My summary actually included the right to bear arms. Citizens have the right to join the militia. The national militia shall not be some posse of cronies with a hidden agenda. It will be comprised of citizens who have a right to own and bear arms for that purpose.

    According to every rule of English grammer that I know, everything that comes later applies to what comes before it. That's how commas and punctuation work. You can remove what is between the commas but the result is a sentence with less clarification and not as specific.

    January 10, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  3. Larry L

    @Fair is Fair

    @ Larry L -

    "So if a law-abiding citizen wants to purchase a drone armed with 500 pound bombs you're okay with that? How about IEDs? Claymore mines? Those are "arms" and represent the type of weaponry military forces might use."
    -––
    Come on, Larry, stop with the hyperbole. Your counter arguement is inane. You're better than this.
    =============================================================================================
    Remember the old joke where the man's conversation with the lady ended with "we've decided what you are... we're just haggling over the price now"... Same thing...

    Sometimes the absurd is good to make a point. Since the debate centers around the capability and capacity of weapons, and since the 2nd Amendment was written before these weapons existed, some definition and clarification is required. My definition of "common sense" may be quite dissimilar from that of a "doomsday prepper".

    The other really important "elephant in the room" is the belief the 2nd Amendment was written to enable individuals to overthrow the federal government when they felt it had become "oppressive" – a sort of sedition escape clause. Again, this needs to be openly debated and clarification given by the Court. Do we really want to live in a country where the KKK, or some other radical "militia" is given authority to decide when our democracy has become "oppressive"?

    January 10, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. Anonymous

    "While I hope I never have to, I will be dang sure that I am prepared if I do need to."

    Well, in using your argument of if the POLICE can't shoot straight or protect citizens...how am I (or anyone else) to feel more confident that you in your over inflated opinion of your own shooting proweress are better able to protect me, the innocent bystander, from mindless slaughter from you?

    January 10, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. Samuel Adams

    It's sad when 26 people get shot by a mentally deranged idiot, even sadder when there are children involved but I hear no one getting upset when an organization kills 333,000 people a year subsidized with US taxpayer's money.

    January 10, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. mlblogssargeanton

    When will the feds butt out of our lives? The founding fathers must be puking in their graves. Enough is enough?! You said it! I am sick to death of all the cancellations of our rights as citizens. The democrats started it under Wilson nearly a hundred years ago, FDR ramped it up, and Obama won't be satisfied until we are a 100% socialist nation: People of the government, by the government, and for the government.

    January 10, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. Fair is Fair

    You know, McVeigh killed 168 and didn't fire a single shot. In fact, if I recall, he used common fertilizer and diesel fuel. Why haven't those been banned?

    January 10, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  8. bignevermo

    "grand ole Patsy"...read this:""Miller stands only for the proposition that the Second Amendment right, whatever its nature, extends only to certain types of weapons. It is particularly wrongheaded to read Miller for more than what it said, because the case did not even purport to be a thorough examination of the Second Amendment."

    January 10, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. dreamer96

    The sad thing is gun in the wrong hands is the problem...the number of bullets in a clip is just part of the problem..Remember the DC sniper terrorized for how long and killed and wounded how many..and did not need a 30 round clip to do that....The case of Charles Whitman a single man with a sniper rifle in a bell tower in Texas rained down terror without a 30 round clip....Of course in both of these cases the number killed was small compared Colorado Theater shooting and the Connecticut school shooting....We need to approach this problem from many different direction..controlling access to guns with back ground checks, for all gun sales, controlling ammunition sales, and limiting the type of guns and the size of the clips...

    January 10, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. Sniffit

    "– compated to the 5.56/.223 it is a big bulky and heavy round – and the more ammo the soldiers had the heavy it was."

    There were certainly other reasons than those I cited, but the ones I cited still existed. Yes, it's lighter and they can carry more of them. Does that really argue in favor of making them widely and easily available to the public with minimal monitoring?

    Other reasons included that a smaller round fired at higher velocity could do just as much damage as a larger round, be more accurate and cause more casualties in combat.

    The fact is, soldiers in Vietnam reported and photos showed that the .223 was leaving massive wounds due to fragmentation and the US gov't even kept the photos classified into the 1980s because of how brutal they were. The Advanced Research Projects Agency recommended adoption of the AR-15 (as oppsed to the M-16) for that among other reasons.

    January 10, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  11. True Republican

    @NRA is the best protector of the USA

    From what I am seeing if someone owns a gun then they are in the wrong, they are bad, they are evil, there is no reason to whatever type gun, etc.
    -----------------------------
    Wow...really? Thats what you see here?...I see a debate about gun control laws. But I guess you're a good example of people only seeing what they want to see.

    January 10, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. Sniffit

    "You know, McVeigh killed 168 and didn't fire a single shot. In fact, if I recall, he used common fertilizer and diesel fuel. Why haven't those been banned?"

    Please run out and buy 3 tons of fertilizer and see where that gets you.

    On the other hand, Lanza ran out and bought almost SEVEN THOUSAND rounds prior to running amok in a movie theater and because of our systemic and societal failures it set off zero alarm bells.

    January 10, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. blake

    Look at Chicago you far left fool. Guess you also want the highest gun violence stats for the 50 states.

    January 10, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  14. Sniffit

    ""That is what the 2nd Amendment says. It is not a blanket permission for anybody and everybody to go to your local general store and outfit yourself like a special ops team member."
    ---
    The Supreme Court disagrees with your opinion, and has time and time again."
    ====

    Wrong. Please start reading at Section III, page 54 of the DC v. Heller decision.

    January 10, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    Fair is Fair

    You know, McVeigh killed 168 and didn't fire a single shot. In fact, if I recall, he used common fertilizer and diesel fuel. Why haven't those been banned?
    ********************************
    You sound full of pride at his mass slaughter. How frequently has it been used since then in this country? That should give you an answer.

    January 10, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. jim

    the picture tells all.another new york person like bloomberg ,who stand up with hand and f inger in air telling others what they should or should not do.this is typical of these two people.they are mostly familiar with money,concrete,crowded people.there overqall knowledge of the people and the country outside big cities is close to zero.therefore their feelings on any subject are just their feelings .they have little right to speak or lecture others outside new york.the news services insult most americans by quoting them so much.

    January 10, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. jim

    the picture tells all.another new york person like bloomberg ,who stand up with hand and f inger in air telling others what they should or should not do.this is typical of these two people.they are mostly familiar with money,concrete,crowded people.their overall knowledge of the people and the country outside big cities is close to zero.therefore their feelings on any subject are just their feelings .they have little right to speak or lecture others outside new york.the news services insult most americans by quoting them so much.

    January 10, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. badcyclist

    Good to see that at least some of the NRA gun-worshipping nuts can type with their knuckles.

    January 10, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  19. NRA Member

    Cuomo is a raving lunatic. Clinton called for cops in scools.

    January 10, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. Squigman

    Too many reactionary responses to make heads or tails of whats right to do, or what will turn out to be failure. There's more than enough evidence for action, but what action. There will never be a time when access to arms will be taken from the populace, but does this mean there's a need for military grade weapons in the home? What if there was as much attention paid to ammunition, as there is to the weapon itself? What if every piece of ammunition were to skyrocket in price? What if weapons were not available at large box stores, but could be attained through smaller easier regulated outlets? What about greater emphasis on back round checks? What happens if there's more emphasis on liability on the shoulders of the gun owners. to ensure proper storage of weapons? What if? what if? Nothing worth having, is easily attained. This is worth pursuing, but pursued pragmatically, not emotionally.

    January 10, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. j

    The 2nd Amendment wasn't crafted so I'm allowed to go duck hunting with my 6 shot remington pump shotgun. It was put in place so that the people (us), can protect themselves against a tyrannical government (them) if the need arises. Please stop letting the libs define the argument and when they say "but we aren't against you having a gun for hunting", it is pure bs!

    January 10, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. Fair is Fair

    The Real Tom Paine

    Fair is Fair

    You know, McVeigh killed 168 and didn't fire a single shot. In fact, if I recall, he used common fertilizer and diesel fuel. Why haven't those been banned?
    ********************************
    You sound full of pride at his mass slaughter. How frequently has it been used since then in this country? That should give you an answer.
    -----–
    I take pride in Oklahoma City????? Your statement goes WAY beyond civil debate. The point I was trying to make (and I have to assume MOST readers understood) is that if a lone nut job is intent on mass murder, said lone nut job will inevitably commit mass murder. You really should be ashamed of yourself for saying such a thing. Why so nasty?

    January 10, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  23. Larry L

    @Sniffit

    ""That is what the 2nd Amendment says. It is not a blanket permission for anybody and everybody to go to your local general store and outfit yourself like a special ops team member."
    -
    The Supreme Court disagrees with your opinion, and has time and time again."
    ====

    Wrong. Please start reading at Section III, page 54 of the DC v. Heller decision.
    ===============================================================================================
    Messing with Sniffit is almost always a bad idea!

    January 10, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. True Republican

    mlblogssargeanton

    When will the feds butt out of our lives? The founding fathers must be puking in their graves. Enough is enough?! You said it! I am sick to death of all the cancellations of our rights as citizens. The democrats started it under Wilson nearly a hundred years ago, FDR ramped it up, and Obama won't be satisfied until we are a 100% socialist nation: People of the government, by the government, and for the government

    --------------------–
    yea...those crappy democrats...we need more like Bush and his "Pratriot" Act..lol....

    January 10, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Gem

    ProudDem - Nicely written! There needs to be change!
    I'm so tired of this. Whenever we have another mass shooting, we start the endless conversation over gun rights and Obama's going to take away your guns, etc. There are many who claim the NRA is too powerful so let's just stay with the status quo and hope for the best. Gun advocates say let's arm everyone. There has to a sensible middle ground position. Look at slavery and women's right to vote for guidance. Pro slavery advocates believed that their right to own slaves was ingrained in scripture. Men who did not believe women should vote thought that a woman was already represented by her husband. I can't imagine all that the advocates for abolition and women's sufferage went through while trying to be heard but we know for certain that they kept up the fight until they were heard. Yes it's going to be really hard but we have to do it. Nothing less can be acceptable in a civilized society.

    January 10, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
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