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Colorado Shooting Tragedy Shifts Focus on NYS Gun Control

LongIsland.com

The shooting deaths of 12 movie theater patrons in Aurora Colorado on Friday morning have renewed calls from NYS politicians for tougher gun restrictions.

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The tragic events at a suburban Colorado movie theater early Friday morning have energized the both sides of the gun control debate in New York.  Politicians from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to Long Island Democrat, Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel have expressed their disappointment with both presidential candidates on this issue, and have emphasized the needs for stricter gun control laws.
 
At a midnight showing of the latest Batman flick, The Dark Knight Rises, at Century 16 Theater in Aurora, Co., 24-year-old neuroscience student James Holmes opened fire in a packed theater.  According to reports, Holmes had an AR-15 rifle, a 12-guage shotgun and at least one .40-caliber handgun.  Holmes killed at least 12 people and wounded 58 others.  
 
Investigators were also surprised to discover that Holmes’ apartment was rigged with booby traps.  Months of “calculation and deliberation” went into the rigging of his apartment, intended to kill whoever entered.  Over 100 agents responded to this scene, and as of late Saturday, were still removing explosives from the premises.  Authorities believe that Holmes received deliveries of materials used to create the explosives over a period of several months.  
 
Holmes was arrested and is currently held in police custody.  Investigators are confident that Holmes acted alone in planning and executing this attack.
 
The magnitude of Holmes’ violent and unpredictable attack is resonating here in New York State.  U.S. Representative Carolyn McCarthy, representing Long Island’s 4th Congressional District, joined Mayor Bloomberg and Assemblywoman Schimel in calling for tougher gun laws.  McCarthy’s husband was killed in a Long Island shooting incident in 1993, and she was elected shortly thereafter on a tough gun-control platform.  Assemblywoman Schimel has been pushing legislation for the past several years that would require handguns to stamp cartridges with a unique identification number that wouldn trace them to an individual weapon.  Critics call the measure impractical, and while it passed the assembly, it failed in the Senate.  Schimel has said that she believes the daily violence associated with guns has risen to an “epidemic” level.  
 
While critics of the President and gun rights advocates have warned that he will impose tougher regulations on guns, he has yet to propose any policies related to gun control.  Both President Obama and Gov. Romney have offered condolences to the families of the victims, and both removed with campaign ads from Colorado channels.  
 
On the other side of the debate, gun rights advocates, such as Tom King, president of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, say the media ought to blame the person pulling the trigger, not the gun itself.  King also cautioned from debating the issue so close to a tragic event.  “The time for debate can come in two weeks, three weeks,” he said.
 
 
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