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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Takes On Gun Issues at the Opening-Night of ‘Newtown’

The film, directed by Kim A. Snyder, is produced by the governor’s sister Maria Cuomo Cole.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Newton

Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Newtown” explores the aftermath of the tragic 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and touches on the salient issue of gun access in the U.S. The documentary had a special opening-night screening on Friday at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema in New York, where Governor Andrew M. Cuomo attended and delivered remarks about the film and gun-control issues.

The documentary is directed by Kim A. Snyder and produced by the governor’s sister, Maria Cuomo Cole. Taking the stage, Governor Cuomo congratulated his sister and the “Newtown” team for their hard work, then delved into the changes that need to be made in this country regarding gun violence. 

“Just a couple of words, because this film is so powerful and the film is going to say better than any message I could convey to you,” he said. “The gun issue is still one that truly confounds me and the insanity of it, frankly, confounds me.”

READ MORE: ‘Newtown’ Parents Say Documentary Is a ‘Tool’ to Combat Gun Violence

“No one is trying to outlaw guns. This is not about the Second Amendment. This is about principles that everyone would agree with,” he continued. “That is what the SAFE Act is: criminals shouldn’t have guns. That’s right. Mentally ill people shouldn’t have guns. That’s right. Well then, we need a background system to check before someone buys a gun to make sure they’re not criminals or mentally ill.”

The governor also touched on gun-show loopholes, the selling and buying of assault weapons, how changes take time, and the importance of spreading the word.

“When you work on an issue like this day in and day out, I’m sure it gets frustrating,” he added. “I’m sure the insanity of it gets frustrating and I’m sure to see the politics overwhelm any intelligent discussion gets frustrating. But you have to remember that change takes time, but change comes … the more we get out this message, the more powerful it will be. And we will make this change as a nation. The only question is when. And from our point of view, as soon as possible because literally every day counts the number of lives.”

READ MORE: Sundance Review: Kim A. Snyder’s Emotionally Devastating Documentary ‘Newtown’

“Newtown” is currently screening in New York at the Lincoln Plaza and Landmark Sunshine Cinemas. Fathom Events and Abramorama will present a special screening in over 300 theaters nationwide on November 2.

Watch Governor Andrew Cuomo’s entire speech below:

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