After aide shot, Cuomo pushes for national gun controls

New York is home to some of the toughest gun laws in the country. But after an aide was shot Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling for a nationwide policy to prevent guns from 'coming in from other states.'

(Andrew Kelly/Reuters/File)
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo addressing the media before participating as an honorary grand marshall in the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn, New York in September. Carey Gabay, Cuomo's first deputy counsel at Empire State Development, the state's chief economic development agency, was shot in the head and critically injured by a stray bullet during a spate of violence that erupted on Monday before the West Indian Day parade in Brooklyn, police said.

“It was just another act of pure randomness.”

That was the emphatic declaration of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as he spoke to the media a day after the shooting of a member of his administration Monday, calling the tragedy an example of the need for greater gun control nationwide.

The violence unfolded at a party celebrating the West Indian Day parade, police say. Carey Gabay, a 43-year-old lawyer at the Empire State Development Corp., was making his way to the parade with his brother when he was caught in the crossfire of two gangs fighting in Brooklyn, reports The Associated Press.

Mr. Gabay was rushed to Kings County Hospital, where he remains in “very, very critical condition,” said Gov. Cuomo to CNN, adding that he had “nothing good” to report after speaking with Gabay's family.

While New York is home to some of the toughest gun laws in the country, the latest shooting has renewed questions over what more can be done, said Cuomo.

“The guns are coming in from other states,” said Gov. Cuomo. “The only way to deal with this is a national gun policy. It does me no good if we have the right laws in place in New York, but the guns are coming in from New Jersey, or from Virginia, or from Mississippi, or from any state down south. We need a national gun control policy.”

Cuomo, a Democrat, became responsible for passing some of the nation’s most comprehensive gun regulations in the wake of the 2013 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, from adding background checks to the private sale of guns to requiring the registration of assault-style weapons, reported The Christian Science Monitor.

Though he has promised to “enact the toughest assault-weapon ban in the nation,” the governor emphasized on Tuesday he is “not anti-gun.”

“I own a gun,” he said to CNN. “But criminals should not have guns.”

Violence before the West Indian Day parade has come to be a wearily familiar part of the events, according to The Associated Press. A man was shot dead and several wounded last year when a former convict opened fire into the crowd. The year before, a 1-year-old boy was killed sitting in his stroller.

This year was no different. A man was fatally stabbed by Grand Army Plaza near the parade, reports the AP.

And the crossfire that could cost Gabay his life involved almost 30 shots that came from as many as three guns, the police said.

Although no arrests have yet been made in either of Monday’s tragedies, the New York Police Commissioner told the AP investigators have narrowed the shooting suspects to two gangs.

“I'm very confident that we will solve that crime,” said Commissioner William Bratton. 

“How many incidents do we have to have, how many weeks do we have to have with the same story over and over and over about the insanity that this country is allowing to continue with violence and loss of life of innocent people because we have people who have no business having guns, having guns,” said Cuomo to CNN. “This nation has to have the political courage to step up and the elected officials have to have the political courage to step up.”

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