By Robert Pelaez
“How many more moments of silence?” Glen Cove Mayor Tim Tenke rhetorically asked a crowd of Glen Cove residents denouncing the recent, deadly nationwide shootings at Robert M. Finley Middle School last Thursday. The mayor said that it’s time for his colleagues in government to force an end to this ongoing epidemic.
While close to 100 fluorescent lights illuminated the North Shore’s darkening sky in honor of those killed in the recent Dayton and El Paso shootings, it was the fiery words and call to action of the local politician that truly shed light on the issue that’s plagued the nation 278 times this year alone.
That grisly statistic only makes up part of the bigger picture at hand according to the mayor; for Tenke and his city’s active residents, it has become apparent that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Make America Safe Pledge,” could be a needed ingredient for national gun violence cure.
“How many more candlelight vigils? How many more tears? How many more mass shootings until we as a community say that enough is enough?” Tenke asked about his nation that’s suffered 278 mass shootings since the start of 2019.
Cuomo’s pledge was publicly outlined a day prior to the Glen Cove vigil, containing four main points for policy: extensive background checks, red flag legislation, the outlaw of assault weapons, and a mental health database must be implemented.
“Kids, no older than these three right here…,” Tenke said, gesturing towards adolescent Boy Scouts from local Troop 6, “their lives taken with no remorse.”
“How many more lives like theirs have to be taken? Their presence on this earth is vital for how our future turns out,” the adamant mayor continued.
Mourners let out a raucous cry supporting the legislation that Tenke was endorsing, many of whom agree that preventing mass shootings is something that should become bipartisan.
This is now a public safety issue,” said Rabbi Irwin Huberman of the Congregation Tifereth Israel at 40 Hill Street in Glen Cove,
“The divide in this nation is not between religions, or race, or sexual orientation, it is between the morally sound versus the morally corrupt-we must continue the conversation and learn from each other,” he continued saying to the crowd.
Huberman then joined Tenke and members other local clergy members in reciting all 31 names of the combined shootings that occurred on Saturday. August 4th. Each time was followed by a powerful, echoing ring from Boy Scout Troop 6’s commemorative bell.
This issue is frightening to more than just community leaders, though. The harrowing fear of being in the crossfire of an unpredictable mass shooting is one on the minds of residents young and old as well.
“I saw this statistic,” said Glen Cove resident Tyler Tine, “there’s a 1-2,500 chance of falling victim to any sort of crime in ‘Town A,’ as opposed to a 1-439 chance in that state,” he continued to explain at the vigil.
Although, that ‘Town A’ was Newtown, Connecticut.