FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 4, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES GUN CONTROL IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, December 4, 2005
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"On Tuesday, Officer Dillon Stewart, who was gunned down in the line of duty by a murderous thug last week, will be laid to rest. It will not be easy to say good-bye to one of New York's Finest. It never is. But in honoring him for making the ultimate sacrifice to protect us, we owe him two deeds.
"The first is to help look after his family. His wife, along with his two young daughters - one who is six years old and one who is just four months - are suffering terribly. They need our support. If you would like to make a donation to the New York Police and Fire Widow's and Children's Benefit Fund, call 3-1-1 to learn how.
"The second thing we owe Officer Stewart is to continue making every effort to take illegal guns off our streets. Our Administration has created special Gun Courts that have increased jail sentences for possession of illegal guns, and during my re-election campaign, I pledged to push for an increase in mandatory minimum sentences to 3 ½ years - and to at least 5 years for those with prior convictions. In addition, we will work to push the State Legislature to pass legislation that closes the loophole in the state's illegal gun sale law.
"But even as we expand our efforts to take illegal guns, and those who carry them, off our streets, guns are flooding into the City from states like Pennsylvania and Virginia, where people can buy guns easily and then sell them in cities like New York to those who cannot legally acquire them, including drug dealers and other dangerous criminals. Does anyone actually believe this is what the Second Amendment was designed to protect?
"New York and other cities have filed lawsuits that would require the gun industry to act responsibly by weeding out the small number of rogue dealers who sell the majority of guns that end up being used in crimes. And there is reason for hope: recently, a federal judge found that gun manufacturers and distributors could follow simple, economical measures that would reduce the number of illegal guns sold in major cities like New York, and that these measures would in no way restrict the rights of lawful gun owners.
"We will continue our legal fight to hold unscrupulous dealers accountable for their actions, but the fact remains that we need national legislation to stop the insanity of illegal guns on our streets. I wish every Member of Congress had sat with the Stewart family for four hours at Kings County Hospital, as I did. I wish they had looked into Officer Stewart's wife's eyes, and saw what I saw. You can't walk away from that experience and not feel a powerful obligation to do everything possible to prevent it from occurring again. But until Congress gets serious about shutting down the flow of illegal guns, it is only a matter of time before another tragedy occurs.
"Officer Dillon Stewart, who came here from Jamaica when he was a boy, gave us his life. He was heroic until the end. We will forever honor his memory - and we must never forget the debt we owe the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to keep New York the safest big city in the nation.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Edward Skyler (212) 788-2958