Hoylman: Republicans blocking LGBT, gun legislation

State Senator Brad Hoylman (Photo courtesy of Senator Hoylman)

State Senator Brad Hoylman (Photo courtesy of Senator Hoylman)

By Sabina Mollot

Meet the New York State Senate’s most frustrated member.
It’s the end of another legislative term, and yet, even the recent massacre at an Orlando gay club, the deadliest mass shooting in American history, has not been enough of an event to lead to gun reforms. Nor has it motivated Albany to pass protections for the LGBT population.
So noted Senator Brad Hoylman in an interview with Town & Village last week. For example, one bill Hoylman’s pushing that went nowhere would have banned anyone from the federal no-fly list from buying guns. This is separate from similar federal legislation.
For this, the Democrat senator laid the blame on the usual culprits for blocking any bills he authors or supports — the Republican majority.

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Opinion: Slaughter in Orlando

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

American-born Omar Mateen, an avowed ISIS sympathizer now heads the list of infamy… the roll call of U.S. citizens who have committed mass murder against their fellow citizens.

This time the city was Orlando and the target was a well-known nightclub spot where gays congregated. At least 49 persons were slaughtered with an assault weapon legally purchased in Florida.

Previously it was a shooting on the campus of Virginia Tech which killed 32 in 2007 that topped the list. More recently 26 toddlers and teachers were gunned down at an elementary school in Newton, Connecticut in 2012, and a dozen theater goers were shot to death in Colorado in 2013. The shooting at a Charleston South Carolina bible study class left nine dead.  And of course Columbine High School will be forever synonymous with senseless mass murder after two of its students methodically murdered 13 of their fellow classmates.

Each incident, and dozens more, have its own unique and horrific characteristics. Shooters who held grudges, or were driven by some irrational ideological or religious madness. There is no particular rhyme or reason. Murder and mayhem have existed since biblical times and before. In some respects the human impulse towards unspeakable violence has not changed in thousands of years either on a national scale or individually. Once upon a time, they were called Barbarians, or Huns or Crusaders or Nazis or ISIS.

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