Letters to the Editor

East Brunswick Moms Join Protest against Insufficient Gun Laws

Congresspeople Bonnie Watson Coleman and Reed Gusciora are joined by East Brunswick/Middlesex County activists. Credits: Moms Demand Action

Two things consistently happen after a mass shooting: Everyone offers thoughts and prayers, and gun sales go up. 


When is the appropriate time to discuss changing gun laws and addressing the public health epidemic that Americans are faced with?  Seems like this questions is always in the air. 


After mass shooting like Sunday’s in Las Vegas, the opposition says that this is not the appropriate time.  We mourn and we pray and we remember the fallen.

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When a shooter is being put on trial, the opposition says, “This is not the appropriate time, let victims and families focus on the trial”


When a victim like Rep. Steve Scalese comes miraculously back onto the Congress floor after a 3 month long recovery that is not even over….The CONGRESS FLOOR, the opposition STILL SAYS “This is not the appropriate time”!


And when some days go by without a high profile shooting like Sunday’s, or Orlando, Or Arlington, Or Charleston or Sandy Hook or Aurora, when it’s only a typical day, when the usual 93 people that die EVERY day in this country, the opposition then says “What gun violence problem?  There’s nothing to see here.  Let’s work on something more appropriate.


But it’s those times, when the unheard 93 people a day die that the gun lobby and NRA leadership do their worst work. 


You do not need a permit to concealed carry or open carry a rifle or handgun in Nevada.  You do not need to register your gun in Nevada.  You are not forbidden to have assault weapons in Nevada.  You can use a bump stock to make your semi-automatic fire like an automatic while still keeping the rifle “officially” a semi-automatic. 


Moms had successfully pushed an initiative to require background checks for ALL gun sales, including private sales.  In a state with such lax gun laws, a secure background check system is even more impotent.  While it’s wonderful that it passed last year, it has been over 10 months and there has been NO movement on putting that in place.



During Sunday’s shooting and even at the Alexandria attack of the Congress members, the first thing eyewitnesses reported with the sound of gunfire.  Hearing where it’s coming from and knowing to duck and cover can be the difference between life and death. ” the gun lobby is pushing for legislation to deregulate silencers for the first time in 80 years. The guise of “hearing protection” is a distraction from the fact that the gun lobby has seen a turn down in gun sales for the first time in years and silencers are the largest growing arm of gun manufacturers.  Making it easier to buy a silencer from a private seller will only end up with deadlier weapons being used by dangerous people who are not interested in gaming and hunting, There is a reason military use ear protection, not silencers and it’s because they work better!


Nevada is a state that has reciprocity.  Meaning states from the other 29 states that share it can honor each other’s Concealed Carry Permits.  This by no means is to say that they share requirements to get a permit.  Each state is very different, some, like Nevada requires no training.  Some states have very strict requirements, like Illinois.   But right now, Congress is working on Federal Concealed Carry Reciprocity.  Making every state honor every other’s concealed carry permit state.  NJ has the fourth strongest gun laws in the country.  How effective will they be if this passes!


So the answer to my original question, “When is an appropriate time to start talking about gun violence”? The answer is now, and tomorrow and every day after that that people are being taken from their families.  We must rescue meaning from these horrific shootings and take action that could save lives in the future.  We are not talking about taking people’s guns, or abolishing the Second Amendment.  The NRA leadership uses that to divide us.  The vast majority of gun owners and NRA members know that universal,  loophole-free background checks are reasonable.  Regulating silencers is reasonable.  Banning bump stocks is beyond reasonable!  If they believe in state’s rights because every state has different terrain and culture, they’d keep it the way it is.  But, that’s not why they want reciprocity.  The gun lobby sells guns to those who want to feel more powerful in their lives. Then they sell more guns to the people who need "protection" and want to able to” stand and fight" against the first group of people they were sold guns to!  First they sell anger, then they sell fear!


Moms Demand Action will be fighting just as hard tomorrow as we did yesterday.  And while, of course, our thoughts and prayers are with the people in Las Vegas, we will honor them with action and the promise that we are not stopping until this hateful gun culture that is uniquely American and killing our people has stopped!  Anything LESS than fighting as hard as we can as often as we can would be an insult to those taken.  And should be deemed by all of us inappropriate timing.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

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