U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, who represents Rockland and Westchester counties, hosted a roundtable forum on gun violence and prevention with students and local city and law enforcement officials.
Joining Congresswoman Lowey, D-Harrison, at the roundtable were Frank Williams, executive director of the City of White Plains Youth Bureau; Det. Gilberto Lopez, School Resource Officer for the White Plains Police Department; Det. Morgan Cole-Hatchard from the Pleasantville Police Department; New Castle’s Community Resource Officer Michelle Mazzocchi; and more than a dozen high school students.
Lowey invited students to participate in the roundtable after several reached out to her expressing their fear of gun violence in their communities, particularly in their schools, as well as their frustration with congressional inaction on gun violence.
“The bottom line is that students have a right to go to school free from fear, not having to worry about anything other than expanding their horizons and minds,” Lowey said. “These mass shootings, including the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, continue to shake all of us to the core, and students are left fearful for their safety. That’s unacceptable, and congressional Republicans must join Democrats in commonsense reforms to reduce gun violence, keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, and improve public safety. The students I spoke with today demand action, and it’s past time that the Republican-controlled Congress take meaningful steps to end this nation’s gun crisis.”
According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on average 96 Americans, including seven children and teens, are killed with guns every day, while nearly 13,000 are the victims of gun homicides every year. According to The American Journal of Medicine, among high-income nations, 91 percent of children 14 and under who were killed by a firearm lived in the United States. The U.S. has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world as well as a significantly higher gun homicide rate than other advanced countries.
“Violence has once again visited our community,” said Williams of the City of White Plains Youth Bureau.
(A related letter co-signed by Lowey and other congressmen to House Speaker Paul Ryan is attached below.)See Attachment
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