March 11, 2014 at 10:54 AM
FANWOOD, NJ - Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr joined hundreds of supporters in Morristown, the only New Jersey stop for the Sandy Hook Team 26 bicyclists who are riding 400 miles from Newtown, Conn. to Washington, D.C. in an effort to draw attention to “common sense” gun reform. The 26 represent the 26 lives lost in Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings on Dec. 14, 2012.
The event was organized with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a gun control advocacy group.
“Even in New Jersey, where we have the strictest rules, it doesn’t matter because of all the illegal trafficking that goes on from Pennsylvania through our state to other places,” Mahr said.
“I support the Second Amendment rights, but common sense needs to prevail when it comes to background checks, especially if mental health issues are involved,” Mahr added. “We should stop guns from getting into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. The way to address this is to have uniform, common sense federal laws.”
Among the speakers at the Morristown event was Maura Sherlach Schwartz, a music teacher from Gloucester County, whose mother, Mary Sherlach, was among the 26 people killed by a crazed gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012.
"My mom would not want me to be sitting alone in a room awash in sadness and grief. She would simply ask me: 'Well, what can we do about it,'" said Maura Schwartz, whose mother was the school psychologist at Sandy Hook.
Moms Demand Action was founded by stay-at-home mom Shannon Watts on Dec. 15, 2012, in response to the devastating shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The organization has grown into a leading force for gun violence prevention with chapters in all 50 states. In December 2013, Moms Demand Action partnered with Mayors Against Illegal Guns to in an effort to end the epidemic of gun violence.
“This issue is not resolved. More than 4,000 people have died from shootings since Sandy Hook,” Mayor Mahr said in a phone interview with The Alternative Press of Scotch Plains-Fanwood.