The New York State Bar Association joins the nation in mourning the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting early Sunday morning.
“We offer our deepest condolences to the victims and the families affected by this terrible tragedy. We deplore this attack, which appears to have singled out a particular group of Americans. But no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are as Americans,” said NYSBA President Claire P. Gutekunst.
“And because we are Americans, our instinct is to help in any way we can. We have reached out to our colleagues at the Florida Bar Association and Orange County Bar Association to explore how we, as New York lawyers, might be of service. We are discussing the possibility of providing pro bono assistance to victims and family members with New York-related legal issues.”
“All Americans hope that this type of tragedy can be averted in the future, but we will not accomplish this goal without information about gun violence,” she added.
Since 1996, federal law has effectively prevented the federal government from collecting data on gun violence.
The New York State Bar Association has argued that without impartial, statistical data about the causes and impact of gun violence, the nation cannot make informed policy decisions that protect the rights of gun owners while keeping Americans safer.
“For our country, we reinforce our commitment to support bi-partisan federal legislation to allow the Centers for Disease Control to study the intersection of such violent behavior and guns, to identify evidence-based strategies for keeping guns out of the hands of violent people, so Orlando does not happen again,” said David Tennant, co-chair of the Association’s Task Force on Gun Violence.
The task force, created in early 2013 in the wake of several mass shootings in the nation, included members with a variety of views on the issue. However, they all agreed on the need for the government to collect statistical data on gun violence.
The 74,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.
Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen
Director, Media Services and Public Affairs