Law & Justice

Gun Violence: "A Problem That Has a Solution"

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

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:

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 ...

Giving Back: Learn How to Help Victims of Sexual Violence

February 22, 2018

Every year since 1984, trained volunteers with the Union County Rape Crisis Center have helped victims of sexual violence through the emotional, medical and legal aftermath of trauma. New volunteers are welcome to join the next series of training classes beginning on Thursday, March 22.

No previous experience in crisis counseling is necessary.

“Over the years our Rape Crisis Center ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, March 4, 3:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

Staatskapelle Weimar

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, April 7, 2:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

Arts & Entertainment

East Brunswick Public Library Holds South Asian Community Day of Wellness

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ— On Saturday, March 3, Cancer Support Community Central NJ Jersey (CSCCNJ) will be hosting a Day of Wellness at the East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center, ). This program is part of CSCCNJ’s South Asian outreach initiative, which is made possible by the Shri Krishna Nidhi (SKN) Foundation.

The Day of Wellness is being offered at no ...

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 ...

EBPD: Safeguarding Students, Staff, and Residents in the Public Schools

February 20, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The East Brunswick Police Department, in cooperation with the East Brunswick Board of Education, will be assisting the school security staff by providing police officers at our township public schools. It is the goal of the East Brunswick Police Department and the East Brunswick Board of Education to safeguard our students, staff and residents at our schools on a daily basis ...

'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 ...