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. UDidntBuildThat

    1)SCOTUS has already defined that citizens can have a weapom as interpreted so let's just move along. Whane Cumo, Rahm, & Obama's armed protected bodyguards get rid of their large magazine clips then come talk to us about getting rid or ours.
    2) RudyNYC-A police officer undercover in schools are allowed to carry concealed weapons in the school. Parents who are police dropping their kids off to school also can and do. Having a police offcier at the school does nothing to increase insurance, liability etc again pls stop guessing and making up stuff. You again would be better serve to investiage what is going on in your own city. There are many police officers that are posted at many of the public schools in NYC already.

    January 10, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. NRA Member

    As an NRA member, I feel we should all go out and purchase as many guns as we can before Obama takes them away from us. Obama has a master plan to take over the world and make us all s muslim socalist. The NRA (and Rush) are the only ones watching out for us. All of you anti guns folks should do what we NRA members do. That is, stop thinking for yourself and let the NRA do your thinking for you. Clearly the answer to gun violence is more guns...

    January 10, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. sean

    We know that the sheep live in denial; that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids’ schools. But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid’s school. Our children are dozens of times more likely to be killed, and thousands of times more likely to be seriously injured, by school violence than by school fires, but the sheep’s only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their children is just too hard, so they choose the path of denial.

    The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

    Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn’t tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, “Baa.”

    Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.”

    January 10, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. Tony

    Anybody hear about the woman in Atlanata (I believe) that shot a "burglar" 5 times after he broke into their house and hunted her and her kid down to where they were hiding? They would probably noit be alive today if they didn't have a gun and know how to use it. Of course, the LSM NEVER widely publicizes these cases. Itr just does not fit with their political agenda.

    January 10, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. davecu

    I'm wondering how that's working out in Chicago.

    I would further suggest focusing on mental health issues would do more the control people's anger or illness.
    For too long mental health treatment have been getting short shrift from the public and especially from insurance companies who want to pay 50% of the costs. I would suggest that their short sightedness have largely contributed to domestic terrorism.
    Major whatever his name was NOT vetted before he carried a weapon and shot Gabbie amongst other innocents?
    Had bystanders had weapons couldn't they have responded quicker then the first responder who had to travel to the sight and THEN respond? Perhaps saving lives?

    Wish I KNEW the answer!

    January 10, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  6. ghostriter

    Oakspar77777, funny thing.....the recent mass shootings have been done in suburban neighborhoods by Caucasians. So did the "hood" go out and make that happen? Maybe they were influenced by rap music.

    January 10, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "it is not the anti-gun crowd putting weapons into the hands of criminals."

    There is no "anti-gun" crowd really for the most part. Just a "gun safety" crowd. Most people just want to see more common sense from the gov't in terms of effectively and efficiently regulating, monitoring, licensing, getting rid of loopholes, etc. The straw-man demagoguery form the gun lobby and its parishioners, who love to claim that people are trying to "take all your guns away" and use nonsensical "slippery slope" arguments...that's all just a weapon of mass distraction used by the gun lobby, manufacturers, retailers, et al., to stir up fear and anger and poison the entire conversation with irrationality.

    January 10, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. Tom

    Less than 1% of all murders are committed with assault rifles.
    32,310 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2011 – That would be more than 32,000 more than assault rifles. The easy answer would be to mark speed limits to 15 mph – it would lessen the chance an accident killed somebody. BUT NO, it's not PC.

    January 10, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. UDidntBuildThat

    @Tony

    Anybody hear about the woman in Atlanata (I believe) that shot a "burglar" 5 times after he broke into their house and hunted her and her kid down to where they were hiding? They would probably noit be alive today if they didn't have a gun and know how to use it. Of course, the LSM NEVER widely publicizes these cases. Itr just does not fit with their political agenda
    --------------------

    Thanks Tony, no I didn't her about that....Hey did anybody hear about the 26 kids who were gun down by a mentally ill kid who's mom keep guns in her house that he had easy access to. And them he was able to fire over 200 times within about 30 seconds...I think it was in CT.

    January 10, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. ghostriter

    UDidn't, seems to me that the SC ruled on abortion as well. Yet, that doesn't seem to stop conservatives from fighting it tooth and nail. Of course, that is not a right. We can talk about voting rights that conservatives sought to take away last Nov. I'm guessing you think that you should only be upset when your own rights are in danger.

    120,000 schools in the US. Security guards are paid round $50,000/yr. That's $6 billion. When can we expect your check?

    January 10, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. ghostriter

    davecu, SC removed gun ban in Chicago in 2010. Violent crimes increased afterwards.

    January 10, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. Bill

    Fine – take away the law abiding citizens weapons so the criminals the advantage. Recommend for every homicide committed with a weapon, one of those who support gun control be taken out and shot. One for one, starting at the very top. With proper training and teaching responsibility a weapon is a tool. The problem is with the liberal media, parents are too busy with their lives and the kids growing up without the understanding of a social community, there will be more of the same no matter how many laws are enacted and it will always a way to obtain a gun.

    January 10, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. UDidntBuildThat

    ghostriter

    Oakspar77777, funny thing.....the recent mass shootings have been done in suburban neighborhoods by Caucasians. So did the "hood" go out and make that happen? Maybe they were influenced by rap music.
    _________________________
    Good point! The last we heard this guy was a big gamer that played a lot of violent games and had mental problems. But no talk about the entertainment industry and their pushing of violent movies and games to make a quick buck.Why well who do these industries contribute to the most? Hmmmmmm ? Do we hear any talk about getting proper help for people with mental illnesses. Nope, it is all because of guns. Just get rid of them, then all will be well. (fairy dust, fairy dust)

    January 10, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    "I would further suggest focusing on mental health issues would do more the control people's anger or illness."

    Agreed. Shall we start with mandatory mental health screening for each and every gun owner including all members living within a gun owners residence(s).

    "Major whatever his name was NOT vetted before he carried a weapon and shot Gabbie amongst other innocents?
    Had bystanders had weapons couldn't they have responded quicker then the first responder who had to travel to the sight and THEN respond? Perhaps saving lives?"

    There was a conceal and carry gun owner who was present during the Gabby Gifford shooting melee. In that he has fully admitted he wasn't able to get a clear shot at the perceived gunman he chose not to shoot haphazardly at the crowd.

    January 10, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. Jed

    rs

    Political nonsense-
    If you can't discern the difference between automobiles (a transportation tool), and guns (things used to kill), you have no reason to be in this discussion.
    --
    Tell that to the parents of children who have been killed in automobile accidents.

    January 10, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "32,310 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2011"

    We also regulate the hell out of motor vehicles and their drivers. Every single one of them has to be registered in order to be on the road and every single transaction transferring title to one has to be recorded in a public database. The list goes on and on. If your argument is that we should engage in this somewhat inaccurate analogy in the first place, you lose pretty quickly in terms of all the comparisons it highlights that suggest what we should be doing, but aren't currently doing, to regulate gun ownership, use and transactions.

    January 10, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  17. just sayin

    ghostriter
    davecu, SC removed gun ban in Chicago in 2010. Violent crimes increased afterwards.
    ======
    a total lie. the gun ban only banned guns from the citizenry, not the criminals, that were alreayd armed to the teeth. so you are saying all of the people that got firearms legally suddenly turned into crimiinals? totally ludicrous.

    January 10, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Fine – take away the law abiding citizens weapons so the criminals the advantage."

    Fine – take away all common sense and rationality from the discussion by throwing up a straw man argument that mischaracterizes what everyone is saying.

    FIFY

    psssst: nobody is trying to take all guns away...the small groups that might argue for such a draconic solution are very much int he minority

    January 10, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. ZL

    Muslim, Socialist, Marxist, Kenyan, 'Liberal Media'....all of this garbage has been debunked time and time again, yet it is a conspiracy and only 'the rabid right has the truth'. You read this nonsense about standing up to a tyrannical government...Only problem with that is, most right wingers today consider the government to be tyrannical now because of Obama being elected. (if you don't believe it, just read the comments on the web). So once again, majority of Americans support the decision, but that doesn't matter in their eyes. I live in a southern state and have watched weapons flying off the shelves and listened to the comments of people in the stores, and truth is..I don't fear a tyrannical government, I fear a tyrannical right wing agenda that is driven by fear, propaganda, and a complete disregard for actual facts. This is why we need sanity in our gun laws.

    January 10, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "Agreed. Shall we start with mandatory mental health screening for each and every gun owner including all members living within a gun owners residence(s)."

    Yes. You should have to have a doctor sign off on your fitness to own and carry a weapon. You should also be subject to periodic recurring examination....even randomly, as long as it doesn't occur more than 1 every X months.

    "Tell that to the parents of children who have been killed in automobile accidents."

    Find me one whose kid was killed with 20 others by a mentally ill individual who drove the car into a school and repeatedly ran them over.

    "But no talk about the entertainment industry and their pushing of violent movies and games to make a quick buck"

    Actually, Biden and others have repeatedly stated over the past week that violent entertainment should be considered and Biden will be meeting with leaders in the entertainment and video game industries. PAY ATTENTION.

    January 10, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. Jed

    Tom

    Less than 1% of all murders are committed with assault rifles.
    32,310 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2011 – That would be more than 32,000 more than assault rifles. The easy answer would be to mark speed limits to 15 mph – it would lessen the chance an accident killed somebody. BUT NO, it's not PC.

    -

    But Tom, that doesn't fit the liberal agenda. Did you account for suicide related deaths? The numbers I have seen are about 17000 of the 30000 gun related deaths are suicides. Again, not fitting their agenda, but more representative to this discussion.

    January 10, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "SC removed gun ban in Chicago in 2010. Violent crimes increased afterwards.
    ======
    a total lie. the gun ban only banned guns from the citizenry, not the criminals, that were alreayd armed to the teeth. so you are saying all of the people that got firearms legally suddenly turned into crimiinals? totally ludicrous."

    Ummm, no, it's a fact. The ban was lifted in 2010 and vilent crime increased afterward. Fact is, local bans aren't terribly effective because you can just drive to some other state full of gun nut nincompoops and buy one at a gun show, avoid background checks and have no real registration system to deal with, then drive right back to your locality and shoot peopel...but having to do that still hampers the ease with which it is all done. This problem calls for a national, not local solutions. OOOOOOH, I know, I know, that makes your head explode...national anything...but it's coming. OPEN WIDE.

    January 10, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. ronvan

    GEEZE, There are some real STUPID comments on here! WHY is it that we continually make "excuse's" about what should or should not happen? Gun control is only part of a big problem! Hunters use the "excuse" that the weapons we are talking about, "assault type weapons", are hunting rifles!? YEP, I consider it a real sport when you can miss with your first shot and then put 60 more downrange within seconds! YET, lets not get tunnel vision. Semi auto pistols with extended, hi capacity magazines are also a problem! The NRA makes "excuse's" but, their real goal is to make MONEY!! WE make "excuse's in that WE need weapons to protect ourselves and even THINK that we can kill another human being without question! And where does it stop? I will say again, why, can I not own & buy and old M79 grenade launcher? A SINGLE SHOT, 40mm, available with HE, Buckshot, Smoke, Gas rounds! A great little home protection weapon! BUT, with todays thinking, I should just go with the HE rounds. That way I would eliminate my threat and part of my house! And do not even try to compare this subject with the woman in GA! SHE protected herself & her children, IN HER HOME! The only problem I have with that story is she shot 6 times, hitting the guy who broke into her home 5 times, but didn't put him down! That is why I love my old M1911 .45 cal with a standard magazine! As with "assault type rifles", the old .45 was designed to STOP & KILL other people! IF I cannot put someone down with 9 rounds I don't deserve to own it!

    January 10, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. UDidntBuildThat

    Tom

    Less than 1% of all murders are committed with assault rifles.

    --------------------------–

    Wow...really! Then the heck with it...lets just let those kids in CT die in vain then...

    January 10, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. UDidntBuildThat

    @davecu

    I'm wondering how that's working out in Chicago.
    --------------------
    Not very well, see the ban was reversed...and gun violence is back up.

    Any other questions

    January 10, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7