NEWBURGH – Following the two mass murders in El Paso and Dayton this past weekend, the issue of gun control was a last minute, but hot topic at a forum in Newburgh on Tuesday conducted by Cornerstone Family Healthcare.
“Gun control is a political and controversial issue,” said Orange County Mental Health and Social Services Commissioner Darcie Miller. “It’s time to look at more gun control. Elected officials don’t deal with it.”
County Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman said the issue is “polarizing.”
Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said traumatic issues facing children can fester into hate. “We have to address the “people problem,” specifically mental health issues, he said.
Cornerstone President Linda Muller said the Second Amendment needs to be reassessed given the differences between when it was drafted and the climate and type of weapons available today.
“They were about a long gun that you put one bullet in and you put a flash point to it and that shot, if it shot, didn’t shoot well,” Muller said. “It was about a pistol that put one bullet in it and if it shot and hit its target, you were lucky. Tell me why in this day and age, we need an assault weapon like an AK-47. If you have to have one of those guns to shoot a duck or a deer, perhaps you should find a new sport.”
The panel, moderated by Michele McKeon, chief operating officer of RECAP, discussed medically assisted treatment for opioid abuse. Hoovler noted substance abuse crosses all socio-economic and geographic boundaries. “They are everyday people,” he said.
With medical marijuana legal in New York, the issue of recreational marijuana was discussed with Muller saying pot and alcohol are gateway drugs and she said she is totally against it. She believes discussion of legalization in New York is all about the money.
Gelman said she has yet to see viable studies demonstrating the analgesic benefits of medical marijuana.
Hoovler said he is opposed to recreational pot. “In New York, pass it and see what happens.”