The Gun Lobby Can Stop the Shooting

Assemblywoman Schimel calls on state gun lobby to help stop shootings.

Assemblyman Karim Camara and I were joined Friday by state lawmakers, family members who lost loved ones to gun violence, and community leaders in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, to shed light on the gun lobby’s undue influence in New York State and called on it to help stop the shooting that is plaguing New York’s communities.

“We are in a state of emergency in every community in urban America, where many of our citizens are being held hostage by the highly influential gun lobby,” Assemblyman Camara, Chairman of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus, said.

“This lobby has consistently thwarted any attempt at common sense gun legislation including microstamping, which will help Law Enforcement track shell casings, reducing the size of magazine clips and semi automatic weapons bans. These measures would save lives and keep our communities safer. However, due to the gun lobbies powerful influence these bills languish in the Senate, with little hope of being passed to the detriment of our youth.”

Speaking at the Gun Violence Prevention Mural, “Piece Out/Peace In,” located outside of Brower Park, a notorious location for gang activity and gun crimes, lawmakers like myself and family survivors have called on State Senator George Maziarz to withdraw his “Stand Your Ground” legislation (S.281). Senator Maziarz’s bill is very similar to the Florida law which has faced significant scrutiny in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting.

Gun Violence has been a litmus test for the legislature in Albany, just ask the gun lobby. Today, members of the Assembly are bringing the issue back to the streets because that is where lives are being cut down by bullets every day in New York. I am worried that a “Stand Your Ground Law” can become a reality in New York State, the gun lobby is that strong.

“The “stand your ground” legislation (S.281), twice introduced by Senator Maziarz (Rep), is a provocatively and thinly-veiled biased piece of legislation. The very act of introducing this legislation underlines insensitivity to the many victims of this legislation, including recent victim Trayvon Martin,” said State Senator Eric Adams, Co-Chair of the New York Chapter of State Legislators Against Illegal Guns.

Debbie Griffin Daza knows firsthand the devastating impact of gun violence. Her cousin, Damon Allen, a 33 year old Brooklyn sanitation worker, who received a Citation of Valor from the City of New York for rescuing a 4 year old girl from a burning building, was shot and killed while leaving a party in Crown Heights on Sept. 4, 2006.

Several reports from that evening indicate that Allen was struck in the head as he pushed two young women to the ground to shield them from the crossfire. He left behind two young daughters. Unfortunately, right near St. Marks Avenue which is named in his honor, Damon S. Allen Way, shootings continue to occur.

“We need stronger gun legislation and control of the guns being bought and sold that are coming into the streets of New York City and into the hand of criminals. The murderer of my cousin Damon, was out on bail for a previous shooting in the community and had been involved in five other shootings. It is perpetrators like him whose hands the guns are reaching. Now if we had stronger gun laws prior to this my cousin and others would still be alive and able to contribute positively to our community as they did when they were alive,” said Debbie Griffin Daza, the cousin of Damon Allen.

A New York Daily News investigation earlier this month revealed that the National Rifle Association (NRA) donated more money to elected officials and political committees in New York State than any other state in the nation. Close to half of the donations were given in 2010 after the legislative defeat of my microstamping bill.

The gun lobby’s influence in New York State has in the State Legislature. Year after year the State Assembly passes public safety measures like and 5 year renewable gun permits only for the legislation to be blocked in the State Senate. Friday, members of the New York State Assembly took the fight to the streets, to the people, who are affected by gun violence on a daily basis.

Michelle Schimel is the New York State Assembly representative for the 16th Assembly District. She was first elected in a Special Election held on March 27, 2007.

Joe Nojunas April 29, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Laws only apply to good people, criminals don't follow them. Why is it so tough for so many in politics to understand that?
Cypher April 29, 2012 at 02:29 PM
People People. Schimel and McCarthy only wants what's good for you. If your love ones are forced to be totally defenseless sheeps, they will be easier to be gunned down by the folks who don't bother with legality. This way, you too can get a sob story together and start on an exiting new life in politics.
Dov Neidish April 29, 2012 at 02:36 PM
When these so called defenders of the people begin to tell the truth, perhaps others will be willing to hear what they have to say. I am sick and tired of hearing how microstamping will help solve crime. The State just defunded CoBIS (Combined Ballistic Identification System) after 10 years because it did not help to solve any crimes, and cost the taxpayers millions. Microstamping is another useless system that looks good on paper only. Even the Suffolk County Crime Lab, studying the technology, has concluded that it will not work. Stop punishing law abiding citizens and start telling the truth to your constituents. If you want to do something about gun crime, punish criminals who use guns with mandatory (no plea bargaining) jail sentences starting at a minimum of 5 years. Go after the people who are committing the crimes instead of putting more insane and useless restrictions on the law abiding.
Vincent April 29, 2012 at 03:41 PM
I was going to comment but now I find no need to. The previous posters did it for me.
pat April 29, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Do away with Parole and early release programs. There will no longer be a gun violence problem.
CommonSense April 29, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Ms. Schimel, Please go away, your "common sense" gun laws are a fantasy. They don't even exist, please go see how effective California's microstamping law is. It's been in effect since 2007. I'll sum it up for you since I know you are not interested in the facts, they have not produced ONE handgun that has the microstamping capabilities. Why? Because Nanotech will NOT release the patents. So stop pretending it's about safety and for once in your life TELL THE TRUTH. The only thing that will prevent m ore gun violence is to put the offenders away for life not 6 years for a homicide. Secondly LET THE POLICE DO THIER JOB. Thank you for your time
James Cadden April 29, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Agreed, the tired and worn out argument for "Sensible Gun Laws" is pathetic. It doesnt work, and people are tired of seeing so called "reporters" beating that worn out drum. There are over 30k gun control laws on the books and it is as easy today as it was at anytime for a criminal to get a gun. You know ho long it takes to get a carry permit for a law abiding citizen in NYC? Takes on average about one entire year. And that's if your lucky, because most get turned down. Only if your rich or connected or one of Bloombergs friends do you get a permit.
James Cadden April 29, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Jacob Rieper, I was there myself. Most of those people sitting down, were staff members or employees who we asked to sit down.
Ron Liebman April 29, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Such baloney!!!
Ron Liebman April 29, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Tammany Hall's Sullivan Laws are alive & well in NYC. You gotta' be nuts to live there.
Olaf April 29, 2012 at 06:37 PM
The only people actually reading the nonsense Schimel posts are 2nd Amendment supporters lol.
Norm Winne April 29, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I agree Vincent!!!
Norm Winne April 29, 2012 at 06:42 PM
You are right pat... they are just putting them right back on the street and then saying... why is there so much shooting and murder???
James Cadden April 29, 2012 at 07:21 PM
There was almost nobody sitting down at first, most of the people sitting in that photo were staff members and such, standing on the side isles. Then someone realized how bad it looked and asked the staffers to sit down (i am a witness!, 2nd row on the right, brown jacket) This entire event was well published and pathetic, as nobody showed up. Not one crime stopped, not one death adverted. Just cheap and pathetic politics to make it look like they are doing something.
DPM April 29, 2012 at 07:27 PM
All I can say is thank goodness for the NRA. Largely in part due to people like Michelle Schimel, I just renewed my membership for another 5 years. And, thank you to Senator Maziarz for introducing "stand your ground" in NY. Shame on people like Eric Adams for using the Trayvon Martin case to leave law abiding citizens defenseless and culpable in the event they.need to protect themselves or their families from imminent danger to their lives.
Herman Munster April 29, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Guns dont kill people. Dangerous minorities do.
Charlie Taxpayer April 29, 2012 at 08:09 PM
The gun lobby is pro citizens rights. Gun control politicians are criminals in my opinion. They swear to uphold the law and citizens rights. If they are working against the 2nd Amendment they should be thrown out of office. Criminals are the problem and no amount of gun laws will stop them. Assemblyman Camara, Chairman of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus should look in the mirror to see who is responsible for gun crime. It's the adults and children of these communities that cause crime and gun violence. No law will correct this problem, liberals don't have a clue on how to solve any problem. Ten years in a Federal prison for any use of a firearm to commit a crime and the death penalty if someone is injured or killed. THATS HOW YOU SOLVE GUN VIOLENCE. (leave honest citizens alone) When liberals decided to change our crime and punishment system into a correctional and education system the deterrent to criminal behavior ended. Thats how we ended up with the problems we face today.
Herman Munster April 29, 2012 at 08:48 PM
You hit the nail on the head, Sir..
Herman Munster April 29, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Why is it that gods pets are always at the forefront of gun confiscation?
james castiglione April 30, 2012 at 12:43 PM
No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.          ---Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution, 1776.
BHirsh April 30, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Question: Gun control? Answer: NO. Rights are not subject to the democratic process. They are inalienable. You peole need to get that through your heads, and just STOP IT.
William Ewart April 30, 2012 at 05:48 PM
It should also be noted that firearms rights have been expanded over last several years, and more citizens are now free to carry firearms in more places. Yet, homicides, including homicides with firearms, as well as all other violent crime have been decreasing since 2006. Moreover, after a dramatic increase in firearms sales and ownership after the last Presidential election including an increase in first time firearms purchases and an increase in firearms carry permits, gun ban groups and zealot predicted that there would be a corresponding increase in murders. However, the U.S. homicide rate decreased from 5.0 per 100,000 in 2009 to 4.8 per 100,000 in 2010. Preliminary data from 2011 shows Murder is down by 5.7%, Rape down 5.1%, Robbery down 7.7%, and Aggravated Assault down 5.9% http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl08.xls http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl01.xls http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl01a.xls By contrast, The United Kingdom enacted extreme firearms bans years ago, and gun crime in the U.K. has double in a decade. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/6438601/Gun-crime-doubles-in-a-decade.html
William Ewart April 30, 2012 at 05:48 PM
It is no wonder that a Gallup Poll of October 26, 2011 found that 60% of those surveyed supported enforcing current gun laws more strictly and NOT pass any new laws while only 35% responded to enforce current gun laws more strictly and pass new gun control laws. http://www.gallup.com/poll/150341/Record-Low-Favor-Handgun-Ban.aspx
B Mullins April 30, 2012 at 06:20 PM
William Ewart stupidly opined "It should also be noted that firearms rights have been expanded over last several years, and more citizens are now free to carry firearms in more places." BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!! WRONG ANSWER!!!!! Firearms rights have NOT "been expanded" in the last few years. Divinely endowed, unalienable rights cannot be either expanded or reduced by government - ANY government! Governments do not bestow rights, Creator God does. According to the founders, it is inarguable (self-evident and thus needing no argument in support) that governments exist NOT to bestow rights but to SAFEGUARD them. What has happened of late is a reduction of INFRINGEMENT of our firearms rights - enumerated in the 2nd Amendment.
Jim Scott May 01, 2012 at 02:11 PM
What this woman doesn't address and, like many of her ilk, continue do nothing about is even mentioned in her article, "The murderer of my cousin Damon, was out on bail for a previous shooting in the community and had been involved in five other shootings." OUT ON BAIL. Clearly the legislature needs to get off it's butt and address the REAL reason for the violence. Put the violent criminals AWAY. They don't respect the rules of the society that are there, take them out of our society. There are ENOUGH laws now, ENFORCE THEM don't just add more laws that the district attornies can bargain away. Put these animals in the cages they belong in and quit grabbing at my rights.
The Truth May 01, 2012 at 03:52 PM
This comment is absolutely ridiculous. What is your defintion of minorities? Re-think your logic, and know that "minorities" can be of a specific group, whether Black, White, Asian, Indian. Stupid idiot.
The Truth May 01, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Why are you on your way to hell?
Dave M May 03, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Here, here! If the gentleman who had been involved in 5 shootings had been left to rot in jail rather than released, Damon Allen would still be alive. The revolving door for violent criminals is the problem, not the so-called gun lobby.
John Q Smith July 01, 2012 at 02:38 PM
This article is BS! Quit being super super super soft on thugs and criminals and that will reduce your crime, Not bad mouthing or hindering me because I am a PROUD PAY *AND* DONATING MEMBER OF THE NRA! While you are trying to take away my rights calling it "common sense" they are looking out for me and my best interest, and FIGHTING FOR ME. ***AGAINST YOU!!!*** CAMARA
Charlie Taxpayer July 01, 2012 at 03:25 PM
It's time we pass a Law in New York that states any elected official that is working against our Second Amendment rights is guilty of treason. They should be arrested and jailed for 5 years min. with no plea bargains. Criminals are responsible for crime not honest citizens. All honest citizens should be armed and trained to carry firearms anywhere in NY state, including the city. No one has the right to limit or infringe on our freedoms.


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