Amber Lewis, founder of Greater NYC Families for Syria, and Pratima Vijayakumar, donations leader, stand by a stuffed mini-van. (Photo by Maya Rader)
By Maya Rader
To a casual observer, two parked mini-vans on First Avenue on Saturday morning might have appeared to be owned by a hoarder, considering they were jam packed with bags of clothing, piled high against windows and ceilings.
The clothes, however, were all donated items and on Saturday, they were sent to the nonprofit NuDay Syria, which ships it into Syria and Beirut for Syrian refugees.
The donations (three van-loads in total) were collected, mostly from Stuyvesant Town families, as a partnership between Greater NYC Families for Syria and Stuy Town children’s clothing store Ibiza Kidz. Greater NYC Families for Syria is a group of mostly parents that collects clothing donations for Syrian refugees.
Most of the death and destruction that was visited on Paris last week by terrorists was committed with the same deadly assault weapons that have been used right here by mass killers in movie theaters, malls and even elementary schools. James Holmes murdered twelve people in a Colorado movie theater not long ago. If there had been three of him, like at the Bataclan Concert Hall in Paris, the death toll would have been in the scores. And if there had been a team of killers at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown Connecticut or the church in Charleston, South Carolina, the carnage would have been even worse.
The guns used in Paris and here in American cities, towns and villages are protected and fiercely defended by the National Rifle Association. In turn our representatives in Congress have done absolutely nothing to keep those weapons out of the hands of, well, almost anyone. Their silence is deafening. These guns are designed for the battlefield to kill as many enemy combatants as quickly as possible, and they do. Can you imagine the hue and cry by our politicians if those slaughters had been committed by someone named Mustafa with a Muslim background and jihad as his motivation? Candidates for President would be falling over each other with proposals to keep such weapons out of the hands of “those people.”