Newtown Tragedy Evokes Calls for Gun Control from Local Politicians

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In the immediate aftermath of the devastating and deadly elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., New York City elected officials lamented the deaths of so many young children and pointed to the tragedy in a cry for increased gun control legislation at the national level. Last Friday, a lone gunman, identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, shot and killed his mother in her home, took her legally purchased firearms and proceeded to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he had once been a student. Lanza forced his way into the school and shot and killed six adults who worked at the school and 20 children, all ages 6 and 7, before committing suicide on the scene. Later that day, Congressman Jerry Nadler issued a statement condemning the attacks and asserting that such unthinkable violence merits swift action on gun control laws. "I am absolutely horrified by news of the cold-blooded shooting of dozens of children in Newtown. Yet another unstable person has gotten access to firearms and committed an unspeakable crime against innocent children," Nadler said in the statement. "We cannot simply accept this as a routine product of modern American life. If now is not the time to have a serious discussion about gun control and the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our society, I don't know when is. How many more Columbines and Newtowns must we live through? I am challenging President Obama, the Congress and the American public to act on our outrage and, finally, do something about this." Fellow New York Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who represents the Upper East Side and parts of Queens and Brooklyn, echoed Nadler's call for action. "Our first thoughts must be with the families of those killed and injured today. But we can no longer allow tragedies-like Columbine, and Virginia Tech, and Tucson, and Aurora, and Newtown-to occur over and over without finally taking meaningful action to prevent them from happening again," Maloney said in a statement. "Together as Americans, we must engage each other in a civil discourse about ways to deter would-be mass killers who are currently able to legally purchase guns and ammunition more easily than they could register an automobile." Mayor Bloomberg also spoke forcefully in support of stricter gun control laws, and on Monday announced the release of a series of videos produced by the Mayor's Alliance Against Illegal Guns. The 34 videos (the same number of Americans who die every day due to guns), which can be viewed on, all feature stories from people around the country who have been personally affected by gun violence. "Gun violence is a national epidemic-and a national tragedy-that demands more than words. We are the only industrialized country that has this problem," Bloomberg said at a press conference at City Hall. "That's why we need immediate national action, from the president and from Congress. It should be at the top of their agenda because what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School was, sadly, no aberration."

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