Carolyn McCarthy: Gun Control NOW

Today IS the day to have a debate about gun control, says Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), whose husband was shot dead in a 1993 massacre on the Long Island Rail Road.

carolyn-mccarthyBy Carolyn McCarthy/ FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, December 15, 2012

It was insult to injury.

On Friday I had spent the morning crying, mostly in between interviews but sometimes during them, for the innocent young victims of the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Their parents, I know, would be going home to presents in the closet that they’ll never be able to give on Christmas Day or Chanukah.

Then I heard White House press secretary Jay Carney say something I’ve heard over and over again from the gun lobby.

“Today is not the day,” he said, to have a conversation about specific measures to reduce gun violence in America.

First I was shocked. And then I got angry. If not today, then when?

I wasn’t alone. The comment sparked a mass reaction on social media and even a spontaneous protest in front of the White House.

“Today is the day,” the public chanted.

They were speaking for the great majority of Americans who believe that there are measures you can take to reduce gun violence, especially when it comes to keeping the most dangerous people from getting access to the most dangerous weapons.

I hope that President Obama was listening to the cries outside his window.

Certainly he understands how terrible this situation is for anyone with kids or who loves kids. I don’t doubt the sincerity of his tears when he addressed the nation that same day.

I feel encouraged by his words that we should “take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”

But if we don’t turn those words into a real discussion and real results, we’ll all have failed our kids.

For starters, congressional leaders should schedule public hearings and votes on legislation that’s already sitting in the House and Senate and could save lives immediately.

On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said “Today is not the day” to talk about gun control. He’s right … that day was long before the massacres in Newtown, Aurora and Virginia Tech.

We should also look at our mental health and juvenile justice practices to see if there’s anything we can do better there — too many of our young people are snapping and resorting to violence in the worst ways.

We also need direct and meaningful leadership from the White House on this — the President must put the weight of his office behind efforts to reduce gun violence. He needs to follow up on that “meaningful action.”

We all agree that the Second Amendment is the law of the land — it’s an American right to own a gun — and the Supreme Court has settled this issue.

But we must also agree that it’s our responsibility to protect public health and enact reasonable safety measures, like we do with cars, or food, or medicine. That’s also the American way, to protect the innocent.

Whenever there’s a mass shooting, a lot of people in Washington like to say what Mr. Carney said Friday, that today is not the day to talk about how gun safety laws can save lives in America. We hear it all the time from the gun lobby, and over-cautious politicians from both sides of the aisle.

I agree, today is not the day to talk about gun laws.

The day for that conversation was long before all those kids in Connecticut died on Friday.

And before the mall shooting in Oregon. And before the temple shooting in Wisconsin. And before the movie theater shooting in Colorado. And before Tucson, and before Binghamton, and before Virginia Tech, and before Columbine, and before my husband was killed on the Long Island Rail Road in 1993, and long before that, too.

Too many innocent Americans have been murdered in cold blood for no reason.

It’s never too late to try to save a life. Today is the day for action, to start working to reduce these senseless killings in our nation.

Let’s come together and get this right, for our children’s sake.

86 thoughts on “Carolyn McCarthy: Gun Control NOW”

  1. Craig,
    Thanks for the very moving piece by Representative McCarthy. I’ve passed it on to like-minded souls.

  2. as the hon ms mccarthy said

    we must also agree that it’s our responsibility to protect public health and enact reasonable safety measures, like we do with cars, or food, or medicine.

    but we must also do a better job of repecting and enforcing the regulations and laws we have already agreed upon both in gun safety and all the above public protections she mentioned. the lousy way we have gone about saving the citizenry from bad air, toxic food and water tho’ does not portend much success in saving them from shooting each other.

  3. interesting what xr brought to our attention that almost all (99.99% probably) the mass shootings have been by young males.
    yet only the possible commonalities of mental illness, home schooling, addictions, abuse, privation, etc are targetted to be studied. could we not begin a conversation on what is happening to our boys, our brothers?

  4. an essay with charts that refocuses back on the basics

    See the statistically significant correlation between homicide by firearms and ownership of firearms? See the massive difference between the United States and other developed countries?

    Now, since yesterday, we have heard a whole bunch of rationalizations as to why this has nothing to do with guns. So, let me unpack some of these rationalizations.

  5. when you look at the statistics of highway deaths (homicide by car)and tobacco caused deaths (homicide by cigarette companies) and deaths due to obesity as well as homicide by guns, we sure do a shitty job of protecting the public health and safety. taking away or severely restricting the use of cars, cigarettes, twinkies and guns would be a step in the right direction of saving lives but not likely to pass legislative bodies.
    nor would such laws be abided by the general populace.

  6. Ages ago when one of my people would be injured during a softball game or a similar organized recreational sport I would get a notice from the Base safety office asking what I was going to do to prevent a recurrence of such an injury.

    Nine times out of ten there was nothing I could do.

    My reply in those cases would be, “No action will be taken as any action that would prevent recurrence of the type of injury that occurred would compromise the integrity of the sport.”

    That works for softball; it doesn’t work for firearms.

    In the case of the Bushmaster rifle, by Federal law, restrict their ownership to ATF licensed firearms ranges. Allow their use at those ranges by certified, licensed users under the direct supervision of the range operators. Medical certification should rival that required by the FAA.

    Like rules should be adopted for exotic handguns and automatic shotguns.

    If adopted, that will address the ‘outrageous weaponry’ portion of the problem while allowing me to keep my registered shotgun under my bed.

  7. Watching all this coverage of the shooting and observing all of the security measures now prevalent in most schools, just makes me very very sad. Back in 1959 in one of my many, many moves among relatives, I attended Fremont High School in Los Angeles for a short while. What you need to know about Fremont was that what in the 1930s had been a working class white neighborhood had following WW II become almost totally black area watched over by the very racist LAPD. For a clear idea go see “Devil in A Blue Dress”.

    At the time I described it as 99% black 1% Hispanic and what was left over was me. Even in the midst of one of the best school systems in the US, the classes were overcrowded, the books were outdated, and the facilities while clean were already aging badly.

    What I remember about it: Totally open come and go campus, dedicated teachers, friendly students (there may have been some gang activity but not at school ditto for drugs), excellent drama department, great music, and really really fun noon dances other than one idiot teacher who quietly asked if I should dance with a young black man (damn right I did, he was a great dancer).

    There were ugly aspects to the surrounding areas that eventually blew up in the Watts Riots … at time time, I said I was surprised it hadn’t happened sooner. What you didn’t see was the omnipresence of guns, or kids scared to go to school.

  8. Gun rights advocates appeared reluctant to make their case against tougher gun laws while Connecticut families and the nation were still in the earliest stages of grieving. David Gregory, the host of “Meet the Press,” said NBC invited all 31 “pro-gun” senators to appear on Sunday’s show, and all 31 declined. All eight Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee were unavailable or unwilling to appear on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” host Bob Schieffer said.

  9. What should American gun safety legislation look like?

    I think more regulations of the sellers – particularly mail order sales.

    If people are shooting for sport – why do they need their guns at home?

    If it is for home protection – how many guns can you shoot at one time?

    One house — one gun and the rest at the shooting range or gun club.

    I live near a gun club and lots of people shoot there who don’t even own their own guns.

    I think we can do this but we have to convince the people who think an armed population is the only way to combat violence that they are wrong

    Someone needs to come up with a convincing ad campaign – that the first stop to ending gun violence is getting rid of the excessive ownership of guns

    The ad campaign should create an atmosphere where is it considered stupid to have excessive fire power.

  10. Actually
    we have done something about highway deaths using the legislative process and it has worked.

    We have done it and are continuing to do it with smoking and I think as people move forward there will be legislation protecting us from paying for the impact of bad food.

    We can do it with guns. A lot of it has to do with public education.

    Gun manufacturers pay for liars to represent them and they have to be called out — I think the media has done its usual shitty job. They don’t report on the accuracy of any statements — just that there are two sides another pile of journalistic poop

  11. Whskyjack,
    Your 1:07PM post says it all. We have a dilemma between $ and morals.
    Here’s where the media is important. Eventually the pro-gun Reps will talk. Even if only at Fox, their remarks will be on record.
    Interesting to see who gets that this crime is the straw that broke the camel’s back. How will they spin the slaughter of innocents?
    I mean this: any pro-gun Republican or Democrat who sincerely works to enact any meaningful legislation to prevent further tragedies will get my support. I know I am not alone. We will support you. Do not fear any Big $ Gun Lobby. You will have the respect of your fellow Americans. History will remember you kindly. Thank You.

  12. horrendous as this and recent mass shootings have been and as imperative is the need for viable national gun safety laws regulating and restricting use of weaponary, please do not turn away from the importance of better legislation and enforcement of traffic and health laws or discount the vast numbers of preventable deaths on our highways and in our homes and hospitals.

    from cdc:

    Cigarette smoking causes about 1 of every 5 deaths in the United States each year.•443,000 deaths annually (including deaths from secondhand smoke)

    cdc also says obesity is fast approaching tobacco as the top cause of deaths

    from nhtsa: 32,367 traffic fatalities in 2011

    cdc figures all firearm fatalities at 31,347 with 11,493 listed as firearm homicides.

  13. patd
    I don’t think people are turning away from the issues of highway safety and chronic health conditions caused by poor nutrition/eating habits. In fact, just the opposite.

    The recent high profile shooting cases all highlighted the lack of public discussion about this issue — and it never came up in the presidential campaign.

    Isn’t not discussing it and not doing anything simply giving in to the gun selling industry

  14. patd:
    I was obese as a child. Back in 1979(Carter Administration!) I was a teen and tired of being bullied, called names and well, being fat. I took the responsibility of changing my life myself. I lost half my weight through exercise and sensible food choices.
    This was my choice. And even if I had done nothing and remained fat, I probably would still be alive. Victims of gun violence have no say in that matter. I believe that tackling the gun issue supersedes other issues mentioned. It is a matter of immediate death.
    Smoking, obesity, car fatalities are all important issues. But none of the 20 kids slaughtered died because they smoked too much, ate too much or drove like an idiot. Their deaths were crimes. They are not statistics.

  15. my diatribe is not to chastise victims but to shine light on and hold responsible those profiteers with blood on their hands who knowingly manufacture, sell and promote products and activities that injure masses of people without their knowledge.

  16. In any’s all about the money-

    In Richmond California childhood obesity is at epidemic rates and there was a study showing gun violence (no safe places to play outside) and soda were the culprits.

    The City Council put a soda tax on the ballot the proponents spent around $100k and the beverage industry spent 2and1/2 million against. And they lied in their ads. NY State has had a soda tax for years and no one has died

  17. Jamie,
    That’s quite a school you went to. I have no doubt it was made more special because of you!

    I wonder why they didn’t name it Frémont High; the general didn’t pronounce his name as if it was spelled freemont. He went with the French pronunciation.

    When we first moved to Las Vegas, there were sporadic moves to change the spelling/pronunciation of Fremont Street for the same reason. He was a really interesting character.

  18. The other day a gunman with an AR15 filled with hollowpoints put 11 shots into a slender 6yr old body. Yesterday, the parents went down and identified the remains. After being shot 11 times that little body had to look more like a package of ground meat than the child that they knew.
    So right now I don’t really give a damn about someone setting in McDonalds shoving big macs down their throat until they go unto a diabetic coma.

    Just a sayin’


  19. Meanwhile , on the other side of the world :

    The main power plant for Samoa was destroyed, and it is expected that power will be out to almost all of Samoa for at least ten more days.

    The storm surge on Samoa was 14 feet and the TRMM satellite saw 3 inch per hour rainfall, for hours and hours.

    This was done by Cyclone Evan , which is battering Fiji as I type at just below Cat 4 power. The JTWC says Evan is bound for the North Island of New Zealand.

    A thread with more about this :

    Dr. Masters says Evan has ‘deep warm ocean temps to draw on’ . The TRMM satellite is seeing “hot towers” reaching over 10 miles high :

    ” TRMM data revealed several “hot towers” or towering thunderstorms reaching heights of greater than 16.5 km (10.25 miles) within Evan’s eye wall. A “hot tower” is a tall cumulonimbus cloud that reaches at least to the top of the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere which extends approximately nine miles (14.5 km) high in the tropics. These towers are called “hot” because they rise to such altitude due to the large amount of latent heat. Water vapor releases this latent heat as it condenses into liquid. NASA research shows that a tropical cyclone with a hot tower in its eyewall was twice as likely to intensify within six or more hours, than a cyclone that lacked a hot tower.”

  20. patd…I believe you are skirting very close to an important piece of why we have an increase in alienated young people. We have, indeed, allowed some dangerous things to be done to the human animal. Our world is filled with legal chemicals, endocrine disruptors, that are giving us increasing numbers of children with neurological insults. I don’t think it’s coincidence that some of these young people, who are also exposed to all the societal ills we complain about, but do nothing about, eventually act out in antisocial ways. I don’t know that any of this has anything to do with current events, but then, I don’t that it doesn’t, either.

    Most of you know that I am intimately acquainted with autism. I have spent the past 25 years trying to heal my son and, thanks to groups who are committed to leaving no stone unturned in the search for answers, have made more progress with him than anyone (other than myself, perhaps) would have ever believed. I believe that the answers are there…we just have to ask the right questions. And denying the reality that the quest for the almighty dollar has led us as a society to make some really, really stupid decisions stands in the way of discovering and asking those questions.

    That said, I also agree with Craig that the first thing we need to tackle has to do with guns and ammunition. Other elements dilute and confuse the issue. However, we must make sure the day comes when we address the six degrees of separation that will lead us to connect a lot of dots.

  21. I am wondering if women don’t really stand-up now. He shot 6 women, and 12…….. 6 year old girls.

    That’s war on women alright.

    Speaking as an old white male, who doesn’t believe for a second we are a “Center Right Nation”.
    We are a patchwork of lunatics with tons of ammo in our closets. We nearly shot 50 million buffalo, one bullet at a time in just 10 years.
    That happened after we shot 700,000 people, using the same system.
    Yesterday morning in the hangover, AMC was running movies where people solve problems with guns. And the Discovery Channel has moved on this in a big way . They got perky girls in tank tops , riding high in helicopters carrying gold bars, to sell “Bush Masters”.

    Yes , American has invented Gun Porn . So we can sell beer & motorcycles next door.

  22. Twinkies, potato chips, and Whoppers aren’t designed to kill people. Cigarettes and assault weapons are, and that is a huge difference.

  23. I have also thought about “Moses” , aka Mr. Heston ……. Holding the that Kentucky long rife over his head , and talking about his cold dead hands.

    Here’s hoping the photo shoppers place a “Bush Master” in his hands.

    Nobody is shooting up shopping malls , theaters , and 1st grade with a Kentucky long rife .

  24. I have a answer to this whole problem .
    If one is strict in the founding documents , and believes that they cannot change , fine.

    You can have all the guns you want , but everyone is a smooth bore flint lock weapon.
    You can carry 5 pistols , and 2 rifles , but you load them one at a time, by hand. This makes you consider killing someone, before you do it.

    And it gives one’s target a sporting chance to get out of the way.

  25. XR,

    Sgt York rounded-up all those Germans, earning a Medal of Honor in the process, armed with a bolt action Enfield rifle and a .45 pistol. Their machine guns were no match for him.

  26. Let’s review this Fall …..

    Billionaires , the NRA, and Carl Rove aren’t proving their theory works anymore. In fact, their whole lab has just exploded .

  27. XR Quibble Alert

    Kentucky rifles were not muskets, not smooth bores, and by the time of the writing of the Constitution, had pretty much replaced muskets.

    That said, the Kentucky rifle was a single shot weapon, loaded with powder, ball, and wadding, each put in seperately, and then tamped. Finally a little powder was placed in the flash pan, and the striker was dropped into place. Only then did the shooter cock, aim, and fire.

    Typically professional European soldiers could arm and fire such a weapon in 20 seconds. The AR-15 fires 120 to 140 times faster than that.

  28. The re-elect of Obama is bigger than we can see, or sense .

    Can you imagine Mitt Runmoney speaking Friday as the President elect ?

  29. XR Quibble Alert –

    Picky, picky, picky.

    I yield to the “Blue-Eyed Texan”.

  30. Speaking of “Blue-Eyed Texans”.

    Where is Al Franken ? Now that we really need him ?

  31. And those machine guns were spitting fire and cutting down the undergrowth all around me something awful. And the Germans were yelling orders. You never heard such a racket in all of your life. I didn’t have time to dodge behind a tree or dive into the brush… As soon as the machine guns opened fire on me, I began to exchange shots with them. There were over thirty of them in continuous action, and all I could do was touch the Germans off just as fast as I could. I was sharp shooting… All the time I kept yelling at them to come down. I didn’t want to kill any more than I had to. But it was they or I. And I was giving them the best I had.

    From the Wikipedia article on Mr York

  32. Of course, the Kentucky fired a half inch ball, whereas the AR-15 fires a bullet only 223/1000 inches across. However, the speed of the bullet is roughly 3 times the speed of the ball.
    Force = Mass X Speed Squared.

  33. Craig,
    Write Chris Hayes a note , as Jamie said, his shows are the best TV in decades.

  34. xr,

    remembering about the care of black powder rifles after a few shots the barrel would become fouled enough that the shooter would need to stop and clean the weapon.


  35. The rip up lican elite dodged the Sunday talk shows, as did the nra, bushmaster, et al.

    So where are the all the alleged pro-lifers ?

  36. Jack –
    The German Army in the trenches , is not 12 six year-old girls in the 1st grade in Conn.

  37. it seems that the father of the Aurora Batman shooter and the father of the Newtown shooter both scheduled to testify before the senate concerning LIBOR. London interbank offered rate.

    according to some website i just looked at.

  38. Jack –
    A Texas rep has stepped up to comment, …… the principal should had have an Army 45. on her garter belt.

    Dam teachers. To go lightly armed.

  39. Jack,

    Good point. A fellow would have to stop his massacre after several shots to push a rag into the barrel to scour the soot out. It would be even more important to make sure that the spark hole didn’t get clogged. The shooter would have to shove a wire or tiny brush into the hole beside the flash pan to reem it out. How many shots could be fired between cleanings varied depending on the formula of the black powder used. If the Sandy Hook shooter had used a muzzle loading flintlock, he’d have been wise to stop and clean two or three times. Calculating at a rate of 3 shots per victim, I figure that the Sandy Hook shooter could have assassinated 4 people using a Kentucky rifle before the police arrived. By that time some teacher would already have brained him with a pointer or broom.

  40. We are a patch work of lunatics , with thousands of rounds in our bunkers.

    The good news , sea water will flood your fucking bunker, and ruin all your ammo.

  41. Bitter Irony Alert

    If you want to penetrate light armor, consider the Saab Bofors CBJ-MS, which fires armor piercing 9mm tungsten bullets surrounded by plastic sabots. It only fires 700 rounds per minute, but the 2,700 ft per second muzzle velocity more than makes up for the ‘slow’ feed. You can get this beautiful Saab with 100 round magazines. The beauty of it is that you can fire through doors, metal coat lockers, brick walls, etc. You don’t even need to enter the Post Office, McDonalds, or kindergarten to get big jobs done – just fire through the walls.

    End Of Bitter Irony Alert

  42. CBob,
    Great point: can you imagine President Romney making a statement last Friday instead of President Obama. Though I would not doubt Romney’s personal sincerity, his political cred on the subject would be squat.

  43. This election, the NRA , did just what Carl Rove did. They backed 8 senators , they lost 7 seats.

    The house races sucked even more.

  44. If the blood of these children and teachers has done one thing , it has stopped the idea that I should be able to buy a RPG and it’s launcher at WalMart.

    Under the second amendment.

  45. Hey Antonin Gregory Scalia , you fat, bald headed Wop, under the second amendment ?

    As real Texan ? Do I live right to buy RPG’s at WalMart ?

    Better answer, the way I want or I will secede .
    Speaking of seceding , I need an answer to that equally stupid idea was well.

  46. an interesting article

    After adjustment, individuals in possession of a gun were 4.46 (P < .05) times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not in possession. Among gun assaults where the victim had at least some chance to resist, this adjusted odds ratio increased to 5.45 (P < .05).

    Conclusions. On average, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault. Although successful defensive gun uses occur each year, the probability of success may be low for civilian gun users in urban areas. Such users should reconsider their possession of guns or, at least, understand that regular possession necessitates careful safety countermeasures.

  47. That’s right , your VP , shot his friend in the face. In the middle of all these mass killings.

    Gun safety at the VP level failed. Clearly.

    In the history of the Republic, no Democrat VP, has ever shot his friend in the face, with #10 bird shot.

  48. It would be wonderful if dummy roberts, scalito, clarence, and scaley would go deer hunting with cheney, his liter of Glenlivet 18, his case of Coors, and his Herstal P 90. I’d rejoice.

  49. There was Arron Burr although Hamilton was no longer a friend and it was a dueling pistol and a ball instead of shot.

    But he was a Democrat.


  50. Why not toss in charlton heston, the koch and walton families, and the House ‘leadership’ : boehner, eric the cantor, jabba the hensarling, tommy gun price, kevlar mccarthy, and cathy mcmorris rogers. There’s a 50 round magazine for the P 90 so dick will have about 3 for everyone.

    Just not the bachmanniac ! The ripups need a real visionary now that babybush is in the dog house. They really need another leader who’s seeing things.

  51. Too bad about Hamilton. He should have chosen from Lincoln’s dueling weapons : fence rails against small men, and cow pies at 10 paces against large targets.

    Hindsight is 20/20, and Hamilton didn’t have any.

  52. What has “Gun Porn” wrought ?

    Vice Presidents shooting their friends in the face.
    And if you fail at everything , you can still open a gun store.

  53. Very good posts today. Even though some of us may disagree, always interesting to know the other person’s viewpoint.
    CBob, Whskyjack, xrepublican: the three of you understand history, not just “know” it. Fascinating stuff.

  54. CNN: Administration officials say the president has put a lot of thought into these remarks, which he’s largely written himself with help from speechwriter Cody Keenan. Those who know the president well say the shooting has affected him deeply as a father; they say he’s been as moved by this event as much as any in his political life.

  55. In the first year that Obama was president, I said we were all poodles biting at his heels.

    And that one day he would step up.

    No president has ever given a speech like this one tonight.

  56. Obama: “If there’s even one step we can take to save another child or another parent or another town… Surely we have an obligation to try”

  57. Obama: “We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them we must change… Surely we can do better than this”

  58. nah, CBob, I don’t like that at all. This was an uplifting moment, a new Declaration of Independence, this time from the right wing lunacy that has gripped our nation far too long.

    The culture war is over, and our side won.

  59. Craig,

    Just logged on, been out of the loop all day. Can you post it in it’s entirety?


  60. “The culture war is over, and our side won.”

    And real patriots everywhere should stand tall.

  61. I was very proud of our President tonight.

    To the community of Newtown, they were our children too and we feel your pain and meeting you all has been an inspiration to me!

    I have been moved by the lack of anger and hostility and by the love that that community has shown for one another.

    Yes, even during the darkest of times, we can all learn something.

  62. No Craig –
    It’s the ‘Black Christmas’, anyway you cut it.

    This minnie ball , has pierced the American heart.

  63. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if America was finally going to focus on the real issue driving incidents like this, mental health care. Where the emotionally driven argument goes wrong is linking stricter gun control to the issue. Misdirecting attention away from the cause of violence and toward guns is irresponsible. Lets finally DO SOMETHING America. And the most constructive thing we can do is not misdirect focus to implements of violence but rather FOCUS ON THE DETERIORATING RESPECT FOR LIFE AND MENTAL ILLNESS EPIDEMIC. Lets stop attacking the 2nd Amendment of the constitution and focus all this energy at solving the mentally ill / violent behavior problem. Why divert attention away from those who commit violence and toward implements? This wacko could just as easily blown up the classrooms with 5gal gas-can bombs. Lets take meaningful action by focusing on the real problem America!

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