Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and lawmakers agreed on Monday to a broad package of changes to gun laws that would expand the state’s ban on assault weapons and would include new measures to keep guns away from the mentally ill.
The state Senate, controlled by a coalition of Republicans and a handful of Democrats, approved the legislative package just after 11 p.m. by a lopsided vote of 43 to 18. The Assembly, where Democrats who have been strongly supportive of gun control have an overwhelming majority, planned to vote on the measure Tuesday.
Approval of the legislation would make New York the first state to act in response to the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., last month.
Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, had pressed lawmakers to move quickly in response to Newtown, saying, “the people of this state are crying out for help.” And the Legislature proceeded with unusual haste: Monday was the first full day of this year’s legislative session.
A proposal to name a school after a teacher killed in the Newtown, Conn., school shootings is set to go before a town council.
Stratford Mayor John Harkins is recommending naming a new elementary school named after Victoria Soto, a 27-year-old Stratford resident who died trying to shield her students from the gunman inside Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter killed 20 children and six women at the school on Dec. 14 before committing suicide.
This is what happens when you give the GOP control of your state.
Days after setting off a national uproar by barring unions from collecting mandatory dues, Republican legislators here moved on to another controversy: A series of bills loosening gun regulations, including one to allow concealed weapons in schools, day-care centers and other “gun-free zones.”
The last measure was well on its way to becoming law until a singular event intervened: The slaughter of 20 children and six adults Friday at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who had suggested he would support the bill, changed his mind after the killings and decided to veto it, though, he still signed two other measures making it easier to purchase firearms.
The Michigan proposals — as well as another gun-related bill signed into law Thursday by Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) — serve as the latest reminder that tea party conservatives remain a vigorous force in statehouses across the country, even as they lost seats and influence in Washington following the November elections.
Funerals Become Sad Routine for Anguished Newtown as Mourners Set to Bury 2 More Teachers, 4 Children
Less than a week before Christmas, the grief-stricken community of Newtown, Conn., continued the heartbreaking process of burying the 20 children and six adults slain in an elementary school by a 20-year-old gunman wielding a military-style assault rifle last week.
At least nine funerals and wakes were held Wednesday for those who died when Adam Lanza broke into Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday and opened fire. Lanza killed his mother at her home before the attack and killed himself at the school as police closed in.
On Thursday, four more children will be laid to rest: 6-year-old Catherine Violet Hubbard, who will always be remembered for her smile; Benjamin Andrew Wheeler, a spirited and energetic 6-year-old boy who loved soccer and played the piano; 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, who enjoyed hot chocolate with his favorite sausage, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich; and Allison Wyatt, a 6-year-old girl who loved gardening and couldn’t wait to spend time outdoors in the summer.
There’s a triple entendre in this headline: guns recoil, people pull away from horrors, and both gun lobbies and snakes regroup and recoil when threatened. Militia groups with their Gadsden flags are most certainly in a defensive frame of mind after the Newtown massacre.
The U.S. gun industry faced a new set of challenges to its financial and political power Tuesday as more of its Washington allies called for gun control and a major investor sought to get out of the firearms business entirely.
In Washington, a trio of new senators — all elected with National Rifle Association backing — said they were willing to discuss tightening gun laws. The White House gave a stronger signal of President Obama’s support for reinstating a ban on assault weapons.
A new law, if it should come, is still far off. In the business world, however, there was action Tuesday. Cerberus Capital Management, a huge investor in the gun industry, said it would sell its marquee gun company. Also, Dick’s Sporting Goods promised to stop selling “modern sporting rifles,” at least temporarily.
All of that would have seemed impossible a week ago, before a man with a semiautomatic rifle killed 20 students and six adults Friday at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
Suddenly, the debate over guns took on more ferocity. Now, even some allies of the gun industry say that weapons like those of the Connecticut shooter were looking a little less necessary.
“I don’t need a 25-round clip for effective home defense, and I sure don’t need one for hunting,” Rep. Martin Heinrich (D), a newly elected senator from New Mexico who had “A” ratings from the NRA, told a local newspaper. “That’s just too much killing power. It defies common sense.”
The NRA, which had been silent since the tragedy, released a statement Tuesday saying it had refrained from commenting out of respect for the Newtown families but is “prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.” The organization said it will hold a news conference Friday in Washington.
A northern Indiana man who allegedly threatened to “kill as many people as he could” at an elementary school near his home was arrested by officers who later found 47 guns and ammunition hidden throughout his home.
Von. I. Meyer, 60, of Cedar Lake, was arrested Saturday after prosecutors filed formal charges of felony intimidation, domestic battery and resisting law enforcement against him. He was being held Sunday without bond at the Lake County Jail, pending an initial hearing on the charges, police said in a statement.
Cedar Lake Police officers were called to Meyer’s home early Friday after he allegedly threatened to set his wife on fire once she fell asleep, the statement said.
Meyer also threatened to enter nearby Jane Ball Elementary School “and kill as many people as he could before police could stop him,” the statement said. Meyer’s home is less than 1,000 feet from the school and linked to it by trails and paths through a wooded area, police said.
Police said in the statement that they notified school officials and boosted security at all area schools Friday — the same day 26 people, including 20 students, were shot and killed at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
Friday’s school shooting in Connecticut appeared to prompt a renewed effort by lawmakers to curb gun rights, as a top Democrat vowed Sunday to introduce new legislation on the first day of the new Congress next year.
The massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. — which left 28 dead, including 20 students, seven adults and the suspected shooter — has led proponents of gun control to redouble their efforts to seek new regulations. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an outspoken advocate of gun control, said the issue should now be atop President Barack Obama’s second term agenda.
To that end, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D, said she intended to introduce a gun control bill on the first day of the next Congress. Paired with a twin version in the House, Feinstein’s law would take aim at limiting the sale, transfer and possession of assault weapons, along with the capacity of high-capacity magazines.
“It can be done,” she said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” The senator, a proponent of gun control, said she expected Obama to offer his public support for the law.
A federal ban on assault weapons, first passed in 1994 and signed by President Bill Clinton, expired in 2004. And while Obama has said he favors its reinstatement, the administration has hardly thrown its weight behind such a proposal during his first term.
The especially grisly shooting in Connecticut — which follows several other high-profile shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. or outside a Sikh temple in Wisconsin — might now serve as a catalyzing moment in that dormant gun debate.
Lanza was a shy and unusually intelligent student, two former classmates recall.
In Newtown High School, he dressed more formally than other students, often wearing khaki pants, button-down shirts and at times, a pocket protector, said Tim Arnone who first met Lanza at Sandy Hook.
The two of them joined the high school’s audio-visual club, also known as a tech club, and spent free periods playing video games at the school’s television station studio.
“It was definitely the nerdiest club in the school. We called it the tech club. We had our own little section in the room,” Arnone, 20, told Reuters.
He said Lanza was “driven hard” to succeed academically by his parents, particularly his mother. “She pushed him really hard to be smarter and work harder in school,” Arnone said.
Nancy Lanza and her husband, Peter Lanza, divorced in 2008, according to public records. Peter Lanza could not immediately be reached for comment.
Dan Holmes, owner of a landscaping firm, described Nancy Lanza as an avid gun collector who once showed him a “high-end rifle” that she had purchased.
“She said she would often go target shooting with her kids,” he said.
In another conservative experiment with tax dollars there are vouchers going to some highly questionable religious schools, and a lot of Catholic Schools. 8 years later it’s time for the Feds to stop bailing out religious schools and instead invest more in public schools.
When Congress created the nation’s only federally funded school voucher program, advocates said the plan would improve the education of some of the poorest urban youths.
Eight years later, it seems clear that things haven’t gone as planned.
A lengthy investigation of the Washington, D.C., voucher program by The Washington Post showed that many parents use the voucher money to send their children to schools that are unaccredited and unaccountable.
In addition, the program has become a type of bailout for Catholic schools. More than half of 1,584 students who receive vouchers use them to attend Catholic institutions.
Some of the schools examined, which include a K-12 school operating out of a storefront, a Nation of Islam school based in a converted house, and a school built on the teachings of an obscure Bulgarian psychotherapist, could not survive without federal funds, The Post said. In some cases, more than 90 percent of a school’s students pay with federal vouchers.
Congress allocated $20 million for the D.C. voucher program for this year, The Post reported, and since 2004 the federal government has set aside $133 million for the program. Students who meet the household income requirements can receive about $8,000 per year for elementary school and around $12,000 per year for high school.
And yet, the schools are not accountable to the taxpayers who are forced to fund them. No government official has say over the curriculum, academic quality or management of the schools.
In fact, the only requirements for D.C. schools that accept voucher students are that the institutions must have a certificate of occupancy and employ teachers who are college graduates. One requirement that is glaringly absent from that list is accreditation. D.C. private schools aren’t required to be accredited in order to enroll voucher students, and The Post found that at least eight of the 52 schools that accept vouchers lack accreditation.
A youth volunteer at the Evangelical Free Church of Yucca Valley and elementary school teacher, Caleb Douglas Hesse has confessed to sexually abusing minors since the early 1980s.
An anti-gay activist and donor to California’s Proposition 8, 52-year-old Hesse was a teacher at the Morongo Unified School District who was recently teaching first grade at the Friendly Hills Elementary School.
This predator has been at work, and the whole time he’s been raging against gay people. He’s a sick, twisted being who enjoys preying on children, and he spent his free time denying rights to adults who want to marry other adults. What a terrible human being.