By Reba Putorti
Standing in front of Great Neck South Middle School on Oct. 16, Congressman Steve Israel, Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas, and Superintendent of Great Neck Schools Teresa Prendergast, came together, in support, to speak about new federal gun legislation. Janina Bandi, chapter leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel also spoke about the issues our nation faces today.
On Oct. 16, 2014, one year ago, every television station in America was playing something Ebola related. “Two people died, yet the entire United States Congress demanded immediate action; action, as there should have been, to save lives against a threat that took two lives,” Congressman Israel pointed out. “In the one year since, 30,000 Americans have lost lives to guns; and in the year since, there has not been one hearing in Congress, not one committee, not one bill, not one finger lifted, to deal with gun violence in this country, and I’m sick and tired of it.”
A nonpartisan, common sense law is being proposed to close gun show loopholes and require federal background checks on those trying to purchase guns. Nine out of ten Americans agree on this issue. Republican Peter King and democrat Mike Thompson are also both in agreement on these reforms. Thompson is even an NRA member who wears his NRA pin on his lapel.
There are currently 183 cosponsors for the bill. Congress needs 218 votes to pass the bill. But Congressman Israel said, “Really we only need one, and that’s the Speaker of the House to bring it to the floor for a vote. I guarantee that if this bill gets to the floor for a vote, I guarantee it’s going to pass. Give your members the courtesy to just vote on this bill.”
Acting DA Madeline Singas took to the podium to say, “I see it on the frontline every day as a prosecutor. I see the victims of gun violence; I hold the hands of mothers and fathers, and sisters and brothers, who lose their family members every single day to gun violence, and it needs to stop.” Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel agreed saying, “Our so-called safest places, our churches, our schools, our movie theaters, our restaurants, do I always have to wonder, am I next?”
Living in fear is no way to live. Janina Bandi, chapter leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, explained that 32 states do not do background checks on their gun sales. Getting guns from another state and bringing them back here is easy and it happens.
Superintendent of Great Neck Public Schools Teresa Prendgergast stated that $1.8 million of the Great Neck School District budget goes to security. “My primary responsibility is to provide a safe and secure learning environment that is conducive not only for my students, but for my faculty as well.”
Congressman Israel closed by saying, “My dad had a pistol permit; he had a pistol locked up in our house. I understand the hobby, I understand the sport; nobody believes that by passing legislation to close the gun show loop hole, and insisting on background checks, that we’re repealing the second amendment. It’s an absurd argument. I support the second amendment; I will not allow the government to take guns away from law-abiding Americans. I do want my government to stop criminals and terrorists and people who have mental illness from being able to get a gun as easy as it is to buy a Slurpee at a 7-Eleven.”