Less than two weeks to the day her son was killed in a mass shooting two years ago, Roslyn area-raised Linda Beigel Schulman accompanied U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) to the State of the Union address in Washington, D.C.
Beigel Schulman’s son, Scott J. Beigel, taught geography and coached the cross country team at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and was among the 17 people killed when a shooter equipped with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle entered the school and pulled the fire alarm on Feb. 14, 2018.
Since Scott’s death, Beigel Schulman, who lives in Dix Hills but grew up in the Roslyn area, has worked as an advocate for gun safety and assisted in the passage of the Red Flag law, which prevents individuals who show signs of being a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing any kind of firearm, in New York state in August.
Following an appearance with Suozzi at Temple Beth Sholom in East Hills, Beigel Schulman appeared as the congressman’s guest at the address, held in the Capitol on Tuesday.
Suozzi and Beigel Schulman also spoke at a press event on Wednesday and met with representatives from gun violence prevention advocates like Everytown for Gun Safety, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Brady: United Against Gun Violence, and Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence, the congressman’s office says.
The congressman, who holds an F rating from the National Rifle Association, was a co-sponsor on HR-8, a bill that supports universal background checks on all gun sales, and HR-1112, a federal version of New York’s red flag law. Both resolutions passed in the House of Representatives last February, but have not seen any action in the Senate since first being read.
In the speech itself, President Donald Trump only once mentioned anything related to guns, referring to the Second Amendment as “another constitutional right that is under siege all across our country.”
“So long as I am president, I will always protect your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms,” Trump said, eliciting applause from those gathered.
Suozzi and Beigel Schulman both decried the address’ lack of any mention of gun violence prevention.
“More than 100,000 people in America have been killed by gun violence since President Trump took office. Yet the president mentioned nothing about addressing the gun violence health epidemic that is plaguing our country in his State of the Union address,” Suozzi said. “The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan background check bill almost one year ago, but [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell has refused to put it up for a vote. Hearing Linda speak about these issues continues to inspire me to fight each and every day for gun violence prevention legislation. Lives depend on it.”
“I was shocked that the President said nothing about gun violence prevention at the State of the Union and instead doubled down on the Second Amendment, which has nothing to do with gun safety,” Beigel Schulman said. “Our movement does not seek to infringe upon anyone’s rights, but we do want to make our communities safer and ensure that no one has to endure losing a loved one to gun violence as I did.”
Beigel Schulman also thanked Suozzi for inviting her to the Capitol.
“Tom totally gets that this is not a partisan issue, but an issue where we need to find common ground,” Beigel Schulman said. “We all have the right to be safe.”
Efforts to reach Beigel Schulman for comment were unavailing.