WESTFIELD, NJ — About 20 gun control advocates of all ages participated in a protest in front of Congressman Leonard Lance’s Westfield office Wednesday morning.
Supporters of the NJ Million Moms March Chapters, partnering with the Unitarian Church in Summit and unaffiliated supporters were encouraged to attend as part of a larger campaign Wednesday by MMM and Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence Chapters to demonstrate at Republican Congressional district offices across the country.
In a letter to supporters encouraging them to attend, NJ Million Mom March Chapters President Carole Stiller explained, “We are demanding that lawmakers allow a vote on legislation to expand Brady background checks to all gun sales and close the Terror Gap which allows persons on the NO FLY list of suspected terrorists to continue to purchase guns. On Tuesday, the House was scheduled to vote on a Terror Gap bill that was almost useless, one developed by two Congressmen on the NRA’s A-List. At the end of the day, there was NO vote. The pressure we are putting on Congress to do the RIGHT thing is working. We are continuing our efforts in NJ with the following event!”
Soon after protesters gathered on North Avenue, (coincidentally, next to union workers rallying outside of State Senator Tom Kean Jr.’s office), Stiller told the group, “We’re just here for a peaceful demonstration today. I hope to keep it that way.”
Most of the protesters, including Republican voter Lacey Rzeszowski, were unaffiliated with any particular advocacy group, Rzeszowski noted. The Summit mom had helped spread the word about Wednesday’s event.
“I’ve absolutely hit my limit,” Rzeszowski said. “Every situation that’s occurred, whether it’s sitting in a high school being terrorized, on a college campus, dancing in a club or walking down the street — we’re all at risk. My children who are teenagers literally don’t know what it’s like to live in the USA without this level of gun violence. It’s for our generation to change. It’s for our legislators to change.”
Phyllis Sank also came from Summit to let Congressman Lance know how she feels.
“The Second Amendment has been taken and twisted into something it was never meant to be,” Sank said.
Stiller and a few other protesters were eventually invited into Lance’s office to speak with members of his staff.