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October 6, 2017—New York, New York – Michael J. McNamara, President of the New York County Lawyers Association, issued this statement today on behalf of the Association:
“We join the nation in our shock and sadness over the Las Vegas mass shooting. We send our heartfelt condolences to those whose loved ones were senselessly murdered, and our best wishes for a speedy and full recovery to all those injured in this horrific attack.”
Sadly, the carnage in Las Vegas represents only the most recent episode in a long line of devastation caused by mass shootings in our country. We believe it is essential for us as a nation to examine our gun policies in an effort to prevent further tragedies like the one in Las Vegas.
In March 2013, in the wake of the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School, NYCLA’s Board of Directors issued a comprehensive Report on Proposed Federal Gun Control Legislation. This Report can be accessed here.
In words that are chillingly apt this week, the Introduction to the Report began as follows:
Mass shootings are horrifying for the victims, their families and friends. But they also leave in their wake a footprint of trauma impacting the nation as a whole. The venues for many mass shootings – schools, movie theaters, malls, churches, temples, courthouses – sit at the center of community life. In a very real sense, an attack on a single school represents an attack on all schools. An attack in a single church disturbs America’s expectation of safety in all places of worship. When there are multiple shootings in such venues, the threat becomes even more real. This broader impact is especially profound in an era where mass media ensures pervasive and repetitive coverage of the violence….Thus, while mass shootings constitute a small portion of the tens of thousands of firearms deaths in the United States, their outsize impact on the fabric of our society and how we are ultimately viewed and judged on the world stage, justifies policy solutions targeted at limiting this specific breed of violence.
In the 4½ years since NYCLA’s Report was issued we have witnessed as a nation numerous additional mass shootings in venues “at the center of community life”, including in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, a social center in San Bernardino, California, a nightclub in Orlando, Florida and now at an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada.
We call on Congress and the Trump Administration to give this issue the serious consideration it deserves immediately.
About the New York County Lawyers Association
The New York County Lawyers Association (www.nycla.org) was founded in 1908 as one of the first major bar associations in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or gender. Since its inception, it has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence and has continuously played an active role in legal developments and public policy.
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