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EDITORIAL: Now what? Meeting on gun violence is good step, but more action needed

Posted 11/30/22

We commend local elected officials and members of the state and local law enforcement community for gathering on Monday in Utica to talk about tactics and resources to help address gun violence …

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EDITORIAL: Now what? Meeting on gun violence is good step, but more action needed

Posted

We commend local elected officials and members of the state and local law enforcement community for gathering on Monday in Utica to talk about tactics and resources to help address gun violence across the state and region.

The meeting — convened by State Sen. Joe Griffo, R-47, Rome; and included Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-119, Marcy; Rome Mayor Jacqueline Izzo; Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri; Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr.; Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol; Steven A. Nigrelli, acting superintendent for the New York State Police; representatives from the Utica and Rome police departments; state Division of Criminal Justice Services representatives; New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services representatives — is a needed step in the process, but it is only that, one step with more required to stem the violence which impacts our communities.

Readers familiar with this page will note the Sentinel’s long, and proud, advocacy for the Second Amendment — and that support has not changed. But, adherence to this fundamental constitutional right does not preclude support to reduce gun violence. Rather, there is much middle ground we can, and should, agree on to work together to make our streets safer and reduce the bloodshed while also not weakening the rights of law-abiding, gun-owning citizens.

As the acting State Police superintendent aptly said, “The same problems are affecting Utica, as Long Island, the Adirondacks and Buffalo. And it’s guns. The amount of illegal guns in our society, it’s problematic. And it’s causing quality of life issues here in Utica. We’re working together to eradicate those guns from our society.”

Griffo said that the conversation expanded from gun violence to other issues that the county is facing, like illegal cannabis use. Nigrelli, like Griffo and Buttenschon, emphasized the importance of collaboration between state and local law enforcement. 

While the group made no mention of mental health officials in attendance at the meeting, their inclusion in the process is essential if we are to fully wrap our minds and arms around the process. Likewise, as the dialogue on gun violence in our communities continues — as we expect it should — others in the community, from leaders in business and industry to grassroots community organizations — must be brought into the process.

One area seemingly intentionally kept out of the process, and refreshingly so, is partisanship — as those in attendance not only span both sides of the aisle but eschewed political ideology in their commentary, focusing instead on finding areas of common ground to address this critical issue. We look forward to their continued dialogue and willingness to work together on gun violence and safer neighborhoods for us all.

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  • jpage

    The only "progress" I see in the "gun violence" effort from the state of New York is directed at legal gun owners and putting huge restrictions on them. Current law makes it virtually illegal to carry a gun legally anywhere other than in your home. Until the state moves against criminals as opposed the current targeting of legal gun owners, nothing will reduce "gun violence." Reinstitute the previous bail system; stop putting criminals back out on the street; stop harassing legal gun owners; repeal the obviously unconstitutional horrendous gun laws passed to snub the Supreme Court's rulings on the NY gun laws.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2022 Report this