(The Hill) — Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo weighed in on gun control in the wake of a mass shooting in Nashville where three children and three adults were killed at an elementary school, arguing that assault-style weapons aren’t needed for self defense and should be banned.
Even the National Rifle Association (NRA) supported the country’s 1930s move to outlaw machine guns, Cuomo said in an interview with John Catsimatidis, “because we as a society said, ‘It’s too dangerous to take the risk. Maybe somebody who is mentally ill could get a machine gun and could be on the corner and could kill 100 people before anyone could do anything.’”
“So, we outlawed machine guns. Why can’t we bring that same intelligent, rational thought today? A machine gun and an assault weapon are basically the same issue … Why run the risk of having weapons that are so dangerous? You don’t hunt with an assault weapon. You don’t need it for self-defense,” Cuomo said.
A 28-year-old shooter killed three nine-year-olds and three adults in their 60s at The Covenant School in Nashville on Monday, shooting through the school’s locked doors and wielding two “assault-style” weapons and a handgun.
Police have said the shooter legally purchased seven guns at five different local gun shops and hid them at home ahead of the attack. The massacre adds to the growing list of deadly school shootings in the U.S. and has again stoked contentious talk over gun control.
Audrey Hale, who was killed by officers on scene, had been under a “doctor’s care for an emotional disorder,” police said, and is believed to have been a former student at the school. Evidence indicates Hale surveilled and drew maps of the building in preparation for the attack. The motive is unknown.
“The opposition will say, well, it’s the person who pulled the trigger. And that’s the problem, mental health, etc. Yeah, it’s a mental health problem — and an assault weapon, right? Is not a mental health problem and a stone. It’s not a mental health problem and a bow and arrow. It’s a mental health problem and an assault weapon that has a magazine capacity of 20 or 30 bullets,” Cuomo said.
The former New York governor pushed for a federal ban because state bans are limited: “You can drive to another state, buy a gun, put it in your trunk and drive.”