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Remarks by Speaker Sheldon Silver

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Press Conference

ESP, Well of the L.O.B.
Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Thank you, Andy (Pelosi).

First, let me express my gratitude to the New Yorkers Against Gun Violence and all of its supporters for establishing Sensible Gun Legislation Day and for taking the time to be here and to stand up for all of the New Yorkers who share our mission but cannot be here today.

Seeing the 96 silhouettes, the banners, the shoes of gun violence victims, I am compelled to ask the Governor and the State Senate Majority the one question I know all of you are asking:

How many more?

How many more, Governor?

How many more, Senate Majority Leader?

How many more silhouettes do you need?

How many more empty shoes must you see?

How many more children, how many more New Yorkers must be gunned down before this government takes all of the sensible steps to reduce and prevent gun violence?

We're not asking the Governor or the Senate Majority to lead.

The Assembly Majority has already provided the leadership.

We've already done the work.

We have a comprehensive package of gun legislation.

We've passed The Children's Weapon Accident Prevention Act with the leadership of Assembly Member Harvey Weisenberg.

We've passed legislation expanding the New York's ballistic DNA system, with the leadership of Assembly Member David Koon.

We've passed legislation establishing stricter standards for gun dealers and increasing penalties for gun traffickers, with the leadership of Assembly Member Amy Paulin.

We've passed legislation banning .50 caliber weapons - the terrorist's weapon of choice - with the leadership of Assembly Member Pat Eddington.

All you have to do, Senator Bruno, is let these bills pass in the Senate.

All you have to do, Governor Pataki, is sign them into law.

It's just that easy.

The pen can indeed be mightier than the sword if you have the sensibility to sign on with us.

My friends, each time I take part in Sensible Gun Legislation Day, I remember the words of New York City Police Detective Steven McDonald; himself, a victim of gun violence.

During an Assembly Majority press conference on gun legislation he said and I quote: "I have always considered New York State a lighthouse in a foggy world."

Ladies and Gentlemen, you are the keepers of that lighthouse. Today, you must pierce the fog that appears to be blinding some in this government when it comes to gun violence.

Make the need for sensible gun legislation clear.

Lead the citizens of this State to a safer harbor.

Good luck today. Keep up the good fight.

We're with you now and always.

May G-d bless all of you.

New York State Assembly
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