Law & Justice

Gun Violence: "A Problem That Has a Solution"

ef4763ba7bdbeb71782e_f0a1e05e1b7a74e156b2_giffords.jpg
TAPinto Paterson had an exclusive sit down with Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly in Paterson on Thursday to talk about their efforts to end gun violence. Credits: Yvette Becket Roland
ef4763ba7bdbeb71782e_f0a1e05e1b7a74e156b2_giffords.jpg

PATERSON, NJ- When Congresswoman Gabby Giffords returned to the floor of the House of Representatives less than seven months after being critically injured by a gunshot to the head her colleagues in Congress welcomed her with a standing ovation.

That ovation, however, did nothing to usher in any new "meaningful" gun control legislation.

Just over a year after that, twenty children and six adults would lose their lives in a mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

Sign Up for E-News

While Congress again failed to act in a way she believed would stem the violence, Giffords could stay silent no longer, and, with her husband Mark Kelly by her side, she launched Americans for Responsible Solutions.

Now known as GIFFORDS, the couple, in an exclusive sit down with TAPinto, brought the organization’s message of advocacy to get guns out of the hands of “felons, abusers, potential terrorists, and the mentally ill” to Paterson Thursday.

Kelly, a former NASA astronaut and West Orange native, rattles off statistics about gun violence effortlessly, yet believes that it is a “problem that has a solution.”

While that solution, as Kelly states, can be respectful of the Second Amendment, it does, as far as New Jersey is concerned, start with electing Phil Murphy as Governor on Tuesday.

Murphy, is the Democratic candidate seeking election on November 7.

Explaining that 80 percent of guns used in crimes in the state come from somewhere else, Kelly believes that New Jersey can “lead the way,” but not if Murphy’s Republican opponent, Kim Guadagno, is allowed the chance to continue Chris Christie’s legacy of vetoing gun reform bills passed by the Democrat controlled New Jersey Legislature.

“Guadagno’s positions are similar to Christie’s,” Kelly said. “Gabby and I don’t believe New Jersey needs a rubber stamp. It needs a governor, like Phil Murphy, that believes that laws matter.”

Earlier this year Guadagno received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association (NRA) as well as an "A" from the organization which, according to their website, defines her as a "solidly pro-gun candidate."

Joining Giffords and Kelly in Paterson today was former Assembly Speaker, and Murphy running mate, Sheila Oliver. Calling bills that would limit gun purchases in the state to one a month, regulate the size of magazines, and take additional steps to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill “no brainers,” Oliver could hardly hide her contempt at Christie’s regular use of the veto pen.

Despite his past record, Oliver expressed confidence that in the wake of last month’s mass shooting that claimed 58 lives in Las Vegas even Christie would be moved to to take action.

As his “last act” Oliver hopes that Christie will sign legislation preventing the use of bump stocks, a modification that allows guns to fire more rapidly. “Why should people be allowed to own assault weapons?” Oliver asked to an approving Giffords.

Citing statistics of his own, Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik revealed that of 739 inmates housed in the facility adjacent to where today’s meeting took place, 136, or nearly twenty percent, were charged with possession of a firearm. Berdnik, a career law enforcement officer, and the father of a police officer, said that with the election of Murphy and Oliver he is confident that “New Jersey will have two leaders who will make sure that appropriate laws and resources are in place to address gun violence.”

Asked at the end of the sit down what message she had for her former House colleagues on gun control Giffords responded without missing a beat, “vote.” Whether they are Democrats or Republicans, she explained, lawmakers need to act.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

Pinkin Resolution to Raise Awareness of Gun Violence passes Assembly

May 24, 2018

TRENTON, NJ - Assembly Democrats Yvonne Lopez, Angela McKnight and Nancy Pinkin resolution to raise awareness of gun violence was voted out of the Assembly 67-0 on Thursday.
            The measure (AJR-100) designates June 2 of each year as “Gun Violence Awareness Day” in New Jersey in order to promote ...

Learn How to “Ace The Interview” at the East Brunswick Public Library

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—Looking for a new job? East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) is here to help. The library offers a special program called “Acing the Interview” on Saturday, June 16 at 10:30 am, which is designed to help jobseekers.

“Acing the Interview” focuses on what many feel is the most stressful part of the job search process: ...

East Brunswick Public Library Launches “EB Grow” Seed Library

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—Every spring, library customers visit East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) to find resources on how to garden. Thanks to a joint partnership between East Brunswick Public Library and the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission, gardeners will be able to get some “seed money” to start their first crops for the year.

The ...

The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2005)

            The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani, a New York Times best selling author, was recommended to me by a young woman who actually came from the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania, the place where the novel is set. “The author did such a wonderful job of describing how the town actually is,” said the young lady.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, 2018)

            What is the “final frontier” on the Earth's surface? Many people would say Alaska, the 49th state, which was added to the United States fifty years ago. Once one has traveled to that remote land, it is impossible to forget the magnificence of the terrain and beasts. Floating by ship in Glacier Bay, surrounded by ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...