Longtime New York Post columnist Fred Dicker called the Newtown school shooting, in which 20 children died, “a little convenient massacre” for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to pass new gun legislation.
Families of Sandy Hook victims are calling for an apology from the gun enthusiast, but he defends his statement.
On his WGDJ radio show Monday, Dicker told political satirist Randy Credico that the school shooting allow Cuomo to finally pass a gun control measure.
“That was his anti-gun legislation, which he had promised not to do, but then he had a little convenient massacre that went on in Newtown, Conn., and all of a sudden there was an opportunity for him,” Dicker said.
“For a professional journalist, I think it was irresponsible and unprofessional for him to say that,” said James Wiltsie, whose cousin Victoria Soto, 27, was one of six adults to die in the shooting. “There’s nothing ‘convenient’ about 26 lives being gunned down in an elementary school.”
“It’s basically putting salt in the wound,” Wiltsie said.
The group New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV) has demanded an apology from Dicker.
“For Fred Dicker to call such an event ‘convenient’ is shocking,” said NYAGV’s executive director Leah Gunn Barrett.
Dicker says his statement is being willfully misconstrued.
“This group clearly doesn’t understand, or doesn’t want to understand, my point, which is a sarcastic reference to the governor latching on to an horrendous out-of-state mass killing to advance a political agenda that had nothing to do with the problem of gun-related crime in New York,” Dicker said.
“I wasn’t minimizing the horror at all, just the opposite,” he added. “I used the word ‘massacre’ intentionally because it refers, by definition, to a horrendous large-scale killing, which of course the Newtown horror was.”
Dicker is a fierce gun advocated who keeps a great deal of ammunition in his Albany office, New York Daily News reported.