Today, in America, 100 people will be shot and killed. Our country’s gun homicide rate is 25 times that of other high-income countries. Gun violence is a serious problem in America. People are tired of seeing children and teenagers murdered in classrooms by assault weapons, parents are fearful sending their children off to school, young people are marching on Washington demanding action, we have installed armed guards at our elementary schools! People in our country are waking up and realizing that we don’t have to live this way. All over the country, voters are supporting candidates because of their stand on gun violence. Clearly, in America, we are moving in the right direction.
However, not here in Sussex County, where on Wednesday, February 19th, the Sussex County Freeholders, in conjunction with Assemblyman Parker Space, adopted a resolution declaring our county a “Second Amendment sanctuary.” This purely symbolic gesture is being adopted by a small minority of local NJ leaders that don’t like that a majority of NJ’s voters are in favor of common sense gun laws.
Nevertheless, misinterpretation of this resolution could be dangerous and a threat to public safety. When people think of the word “sanctuary” they may think that the gun laws don’t exist in our county. This confusion may lead to injury or death.
Adopting this resolution will also have devastating cultural and economic effects on Sussex county. Young families will not move here, businesses will not locate here and people will leave the county preferring other, safer communities.
Lastly, these resolutions will have no impact in Trenton. The Governor, the Attorney General, and our state legislators will continue to prioritize the health and safety of their constituents and pass additional life-saving legislation. It is a shame our elected officials are wasting their time and energy on insignificant actions, like this resolution, instead of working for the residents of Sussex County.
NJ Executive Committee
(formerly Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence)