Government

Central Jersey Group Attends Gun Violence ‘Speak Out’ In Washington D.C.

4f9835142829e371a1de_dadccd3e71dc4770b420_IMG_1107.JPG
Credits: Charles W. Kim photos
8e9cffaa697457d93f80_IMG_1095.JPG
458026b058fa1b998ddc_IMG_1102.JPG
2cfec595b1ff12943da6_IMG_1103.JPG
458879e2f96356d2377e_IMG_1105.JPG
733d8a2c913299a87a7a_IMG_1109.JPG
9fc088968673bf23eb21_IMG_1111.JPG
688953400bed9cd734ea_IMG_1113.JPG
dc926be341b04e1759c4_IMG_1114.JPG
613a4d4bb166c1405cd3_IMG_1117.JPG
302e391622dd20456be8_IMG_1123.JPG
7a9f24ae73826c052176_IMG_1127.JPG
b8eb13c2463d14f19c42_IMG_1131.JPG
c1df765f54357067aeda_IMG_1132.JPG
e99fc970d3953022976b_IMG_1135.JPG
8395675046a62a952d71_IMG_1138.JPG
a729fd6ea24584d11766_IMG_1142.JPG
02a4db2dfaedcfb9c9ed_IMG_1145.JPG
5e74b39052d89dd726fe_IMG_1151.JPG
8e3535e87fe2d0def57c_IMG_1154.JPG
172bc75fc7a184386d56_IMG_1157.JPG
ceb11fc0c0969049a476_IMG_1163.JPG
79cd07727998bb0ef8e0_IMG_1166.JPG
afea8b68a99e204a26e0_IMG_1167.JPG
2bc780fd2e71a6de1b9a_IMG_1175.JPG
59b7262654cd2e209b9b_IMG_1182.JPG
60a23b3a5d1aa1351770_IMG_1186.JPG
05c4a7e9e15f0288ee54_IMG_1191.JPG
2515d5b0af7a3c81dc13_IMG_1192.JPG
f425ead2d40d0fde215d_IMG_1194.JPG
4f9835142829e371a1de_dadccd3e71dc4770b420_IMG_1107.JPG

WASHINGTON, D.C. – “I know first-hand about gun violence and the lasting impact it can have on a family, community, and even a nation,” Trenton resident Regina Thompson-Jenkins said to a crowd of several thousand people gathered on the western lawn of the U.S. Capitol Thursday evening to “Speak Out” against gun violence.

Jenkins was one of around 60 people from central New Jersey that boarded a bus at the Shiloh Baptist Church on Calhoun Street in the afternoon to make the trek to the nation’s capital to be part of the rally.

Sponsored locally by U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12, the bus carried people hoping to make a difference and end what they feel is preventable bloodshed by passing stricter gun control laws and also stop what they see as systemic racism in the criminal justice system.

Sign Up for E-News

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives put on the rally, which featured groups from around the nation, each with a story to tell about loved ones gunned down.

It was also to demand house Republicans to come back into session and work on legislation including stricter background checks and denying the mentally ill the ability to purchase guns.

The Republican majority adjourned the session for seven weeks at the end of June despite a “sit in” by Democrats to try and prevent ending the session and moving forward on the legislation.

Jenkins lost her son Tre Lane, 19, in September 2012 while he was on the porch of a city home.

According to published reports at the time, Lane, who was working as a security guard for a company in Princeton Junction and attending classes at a community college, was shot once in the chest while trying to shield two women from two gunmen around 3 a.m. on Sept. 22.

“He was my only child,” Jenkins said, holding back tears as she spoke. “Tre died a hero, but that doesn’t take away my pain. This is personal for me.”

She said that her story could be the story of anyone in the crowd and that she still feels like she has to defend her son’s character following the tragedy.

“Not all black and brown children have their pants hanging down, not all black and brown children are in gangs,” she said. “Yet, my son was a victim of gun violence and I’m standing before you as a grieving mother.”

As a result, she said she would never see him graduate from college, get married or have grandchildren.

“I will never know the reason why someone chose to shoot into a crowd of people and take the love of my life, my pride, and my joy,” she said.

The different stories from people in communities including New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida and California, all had the common theme of loss by gunfire, but were each from different circumstances like the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Orlando, to the lone shooters in Newtown, Connecticut and Charleston, South Carolina.

A group of several hundred “Black Lives Matter” protestors marched to the capitol from the White House where they had been protesting throughout the hot and humid day, adding about a third more to the rally.

Other officials speaking at the rally included Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Cal, and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.

Lewis, who led the sit in last month, told the crowd that they need to use their votes to hold the Republicans accountable and regain a majority in the house and senate in the November elections.

A small group of five counter protestors were also on the lawn, holding up signs denouncing the Democrats attempts to pass stricter gun laws that they see as a threat to the second amendment right to bear arms.

Members of that group refused to be interviewed for this story, saying that the media was in the pockets of the Democrats and the anti-gun agenda.

As darkness fell on the capitol lawn, attendees held cell phones high, singing “This Little Light of Mine” while waving the devices.

That was followed by a repeated chant of “Black Lives Matter” from that group of protestors.

Coleman joined the Central Jersey delegation at the end of the event to thank them for showing up and supporting the cause.

“You gave of your time to come down here, 97 degrees at night, so that we don’t have to have any more mothers losing sons, or fathers losing daughters,” Coleman said to the delegation before the bus pulled out to return to New Jersey. “We have got to change our congress.”

Among the attendees from New Jersey, South Brunswick resident and Board of Education member Azra Baig, said she attended to encourage congress to pass the proposed legislation and help bring an end to the carnage throughout the nation.

“There has to be legislation that speaks to stricter background checks (on weapon purchases) and restricting individuals with criminal records or a history of domestic violence or mental illness from buying guns.”

She said that not having “such easy access” to guns, especially at gun shows, would help the problem.

“You can’t just go in and get it without having anyone look at your records,” she said. “So many lives have been lost to senseless gun violence.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

Vets4Warriors Gives Struggling Veterans a Lifeline

February 18, 2018

Fatima Aguilar’s first day on the job at Vets4Warriors was anything but normal. A military veteran who’s currently enlisted as a Second Lieutenant with the New Jersey National Guard, she found herself in a potential suicide crisis situation as soon as she hit the phones.

“I started around three and a half years ago on the overnight shift, and my very first call was a US ...

South Brunswick: Volunteer Soccer Coach Charged With Possessing And Distributing Child Pornography

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – A volunteer youth soccer coach and former Sunday school teacher is charged with possessing and distributing child pornography, officials said Thursday.

FBI agents and local law enforcement arrested Waldo Milla-Guerra, 49, at his Kendall Park home Thursday morning after executing a search warrant, officials said.

Milla-Guerra, a volunteer soccer coach with the ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

Guest Column

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The ...

New Brunswick/Middlesex County Reentry Site Opens

February 18, 2018

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ - The New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC), a nonprofit agency serving court-involved individuals, is pleased to announce the grand opening a new reentry site in Middlesex County on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 at 11 a.m. The office is located at 57 Livingston Avenue, Unit 3, New Brunswick, N.J. 08901. Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin will offer remarks and cut ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, February 18, 3:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick, New Brunswick

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra: Hot Latin Nights ...

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, February 19

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

Mr. Popper's Penguins

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, February 19, 7:00 AM

Raritan Valley YMCA, East Brunswick

Presidents Celebration at the Raritan Valley Y

Other

Library Hosts Program On Joint Replacement Surgery

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital partner to present the special medical program “Considering Total Joint Replacement in 2018” at the library on Tuesday, March 6 at 7 pm.

Lead by board certified orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Stephen Kayiaros, the program gives a brief overview of arthritis of ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K. Rowlings it was the novels penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith; books about a maimed and very flawed private detective with the unlikely name of Cormoran Strike. For Kathy Reichs, it is the ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

'American Hero' explores with powerful performances

‘American Hero’ pulses with tension, clashing emotions at George Street

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNWICK – The issue of social injustice makes its way into “American Hero,” the second play in a trilogy by Christopher Demo-Brown.

Armand Schultz as Rob is to receive a medal of honor for his heroic actions during the Iraq war. Although he lost the use of his legs, he ...