The Remarks Of Speaker Sheldon Silver

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence

Well Of The Legislative Office Building, Albany, NY
Wednesday, April 25, 2012

[As Prepared for Delivery]

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Speaker Sheldon Silver welcomes the New Yorkers Against Gun Violence group to the state capital and encourages the future generation to be leaders regarding this important issue.

Thank you, Jackie [Hilly] for your kind words, but more important, we thank you for your care, for your perseverance and for your tireless leadership in the campaign for sensible gun control.

I am delighted to once again welcome the New Yorkers Against Gun Violence to our state capital.

I and my Assembly Majority colleagues greatly admire and respect you, and we are proud to work with you to fashion strong, intelligent gun legislation for our state.

You have met with some of my colleagues already and some are here: Assembly Members Michelle Schimel, Amy Paulin, Brian Kavanagh, Rhoda Jacobs, and Steve Englebright to name but a few.

On behalf of my colleagues, let me offer a special welcome:

I know that some of you have lost loved ones to gun violence.

That you are here today to advocate for simple, common-sense measures intended to curb gun crime so that no parent has to endure what you are enduring, is humanity at its finest.

You are an inspiration to all of us.

Speaking for myself and for my own family, I thank you for your compassion and for your leadership in putting an end to this senseless violence.

As Jackie Hilly can attest, I am with you. The Assembly Majority is with you.

Earlier this year, we passed a number of gun bills as part of our efforts to address domestic violence in the State of New York.

We will pass more before this legislative session is through, including the bills requiring the microstamping of ammunition and the establishment of five-year renewable gun permits.

I have addressed the New Yorkers Against Gun Violence many times over my years in the Legislature.

Year after year, it seems that we always come back to the same questions.

What is it going to take?

How many innocent men, women and children will have to die for government to enact and enforce sensible gun control?

It took the killing of Trayvon Martin to silence the supporters of "Stand Your Ground," and the right-to-carry.

We know it will take courage and leadership in Washington to shut down the flow of illegal guns into our state from Florida and Georgia, the Carolinas, Pennsylvania and Virginia, guns which are then sold to criminals and used against our police officers.

The fact that gun violence continues reveals a hard truth.

For whatever reason, this generation is not getting it done.

The solution to gun violence, we know, lies in the hearts and minds of the next generation and of future generations.

To the students who are here today, I ask you to think about this.

Someday, you will lead our government. You will be the assembly members, the senators, the governors and the members of congress, maybe even the president of the United States.

You will be able to look back on all of this senseless killing, all of the sorrow, all of the loss, all of the excuses and you will have the power to say NO MORE!

We pray that you will.

You have outstanding leaders right here from whom to learn. Listen to them. Take advantage of what they have to offer.

Become the leaders we know that you can be and help us close the shameful book on gun violence once and for all.

As you can tell by now, you have strong supporters in me and in my Assembly Majority colleagues.

We are grateful that you are here with us today.

Thank you for your leadership. Thank you for your perseverance.

I know that I speak for a great number of New Yorkers when I say, we hope that you are very successful in your lobbying efforts today.

I know the New Yorkers Against Gun Violence will never give up.

I promise you, neither will we.

Good luck and thanks for coming to Albany.