Yetta has been a longtime advocate for gun control and has worked on this issue for decades. When Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Arizona in 2011, Yetta organized New York City’s vigil, and called for a national response – as she had at too many such tragedies in the past. Like all of us, Yetta Kurland was horrified by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School late last year and has worked with organizations like New Yorkers Against Gun Violence to address the issue of illegal guns and gun safety.
Below is the four point plan Yetta has been working on:
1. Full ban on all assault weapons. -- Period. Without exception. We must call on our legislators from President Obama to Governor Cuomo, and others, to renew the call and commit to a full national ban on all assault weapons bill, and support efforts to get this law passed quickly. We should also support and advocate for microstamping.
2. Stricter and unified national gun laws. -- New York City has some of the strictest gun laws. The problem is, when our neighbors do not, we are all vulnerable. We need to replicate the gun laws of New York City to all jurisdictions so there is a unified processes in place that restricts gun licensure and ensures that someone cannot transport a gun from a state without any such process in place. We can start with background checks for everyone.
3. Commitment to Pre-Emptive Measures and Early Warning Signs. -- This has got to be a wake up call for us about better ways to predict and prevent violent behavior in our society. It is a taboo subject that people do not prioritize. If we can turn this around, and come up with way of identifying warning signs, and committing to preventative efforts, we can go a long way in stopping the violence and overall harm reduction.
4. Emergency Preparedness and Public Safety Plans for Public Facilities. -- We need to encourage schools and other public facilities, to work to develop effective public safety plans. This is an individual process that entails individual schools working not just with local law enforcement but with their teachers, parents and students to devise a community based plan that is empowering to that community, and that reduces guns, and gun violence, and increases emergency preparedness. Then those strategies should be shared amongst communities to help come up with best practices for our nation.