EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rachel Gurevich wants new gun legislation on a national level. So do her friends. So do other students and citizens around the nation. Last week, supporters of restrictive gun legislation around the country wore orange in support of revisiting current federal law. Gurevich and other students brought their views to the Unitarian Society on Tices Lane to begin an ongoing campaign.
They were joined by Reverend Robert Gregson of Faith Action NJ , a lobbyist for the religious left, who spoke about how New Jersey, which has the strictest gun laws in the nation, is nonetheless being impacted by the "iron pipeline" of guns brought in from other states. He expressed his support for "smart gun" legislation proposed by Loretta Weinberg, which would make a gun inoperable except by the owner. He said the "smart gun" would especially impact the number of suicides by those in thier own home who pick up a gun that does not belong to them. (Smart gun legislation was prosoed and rejected by Governor Chris Christie and has been given a rating of "F" by the National Rifle Association.)
gregson said that "although New jersey is a model for the nation" that there is still a need for "common sense, basic ways to save lives" nationwide. He discussed the safe storage of firearms saying, "Even if you have locked-up, loaded firearm, the chance of accidental death goes up dramtically in your home." He ended his presentation by noting that 97% of Americans (source not cited) agree with the idea of background checks before a gun purchase. According to recent statistics, the support for background checks rests at around 90%, even among members of the NRA.
The meeting was also attended by Mayor Brad Cohen, who, earlier in the month, had issued a township proclamation supporting the student activists. At the meeting he noted, "Most movements for social change have often been started by young people. Youth is going to have to go to the 30 states and 60 Senators that are holding us back because they are under the control of the NRA."
The students will continue to work for the organization Everytown for Gun Safety. Everytown for Gun Safety is an American nonprofit organization which advocates for gun control and against gun violence. Everytown was founded in 2006, combining Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.