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Bessent: Rep. McCarthy's poignant departure

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, at her home in Mineola,

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, at her home in Mineola, announces she will not be seeking re-election. (Jan. 8, 2014) (Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s poignant decision not to seek reelection marks the end of her determined 18-year congressional crusade to reduce gun violence.

The issue catapulted McCarthy, from Mineola,  into Congress after a deranged gunman opened fire inside a Long Island Rail Road train in 1993, killing her husband, Dennis, and five other commuters, and wounding her son.

In announcing her decision to retire, McCarthy, who is on leave from Congress battling lung cancer, said there are now many other activists to champion her signature issue — people such as former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who was shot outside Tucson in 2011, and relatives of the 20 children and 6 adults gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

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Sadly, there’s been no shortage of such tragedies, and shamefully little action in Congress to reduce the violence.

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