Letters to the Editor

The Silent Majority Must Find Its Voice on Gun Control

13e6b46df8f67de9b14a_Ann_Headshot.jpg
Ann Ormsby
13e6b46df8f67de9b14a_Ann_Headshot.jpg

Hours before community residents gathered at Temple Emanu-El in Westfield to hear a panel discussion on common sense gun control, a five-year-old in Kentucky picked up his rifle, which he had received as a gift the year before, and shot and killed his two-year-old sister.  This illustration of senseless gun violence was chilling and served as a stark call to action for the hundred or so concerned citizens that had come out to hear community leaders talk about gun control.  Politicians at every level of government have been debating gun control and looking for answers.  The mass murder in Newtown, Connecticut, which took the lives of 26 people, including 20 little children, has raised the issue and demanded that government take action.  The Connecticut Legislature and Governor Malloy have acted.  The New York Legislature and Governor Cuomo have acted.  The New Jersey Legislature and Governor Christie have not acted.  Congress has not acted.

Calling themselves “accidental activists,” the leaders of NJ Residents for Action (Against Gun Violence) organized the forum of legislators, law enforcement officials and clergy to discuss the status of gun control efforts.  All of the speakers urged the audience members to speak out.  To write and call their legislators and the Governor and to have their voices heard.  Although recent polls show that more than 90 percent of Americans are in favor of common sense gun control and universal background checks, Assemblyman Joe Cryan reported that his office had received 2000 emails and letters from pro-gun constituents and “zero” from the silent majority.  He urged people to take the time to reach out.  Assemblyman Cryan was a sponsor of many of the bills included in the gun control package that was passed by the New Jersey Assembly in February.  Cryan and Linda Stender, who was also at the event, are advocates for both universal background checks and a reduction on large-capacity magazines. 

A bill to reduce large-capacity magazines is now creating a controversy in the State Senate where President Stephen Sweeney is refusing to put this bill up for a vote as part of the Senate’s gun package.  Sweeney, a democrat, is putting his own re-election in front of public safety.  He should allow this bill to come forward.  As Sheriff Ralph Froehlich said at the event, “There is no need for anyone to shoot off 15 rounds.  Years ago we limited the number of times hunters can shoot deer to three shots, but someone can shoot 15 rounds into our kids.  One of the children at Newtown was shot 11 times.  These are weapons of war that are designed to kill people.  They are not for recreation.  It doesn’t make any sense.”

Sign Up for E-News

anwood Mayor Colleen Mahr talked about her involvement with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition of 900 mayors across the country and 1.5 million grassroots supporters.  These leaders have put partisan politics aside and have come together around three common goals: protecting communities by holding gun offenders accountable; demanding access to crime gun trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat gun trafficking; and working with legislators to fix weaknesses and loopholes in our laws.  Mayor Skibitsky of Westfield has refused to join this effort.  Mayoral candidate Dave Haas attended the rally and said that he would join the coalition if elected.

 On the federal level, last month, more than 40 U.S. Senators voted against a bill that included comprehensive background checks in deference to the very vocal and very rich gun lobby.  The last significant federal gun law, the Assault Weapons Ban, was passed in 1994 and expired in 2004.  In January of 2013, one month after Newtown, President Obama announced his plans for gun control which included universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds and offering more comprehensive insurance coverage for mental health.  A call to Congressman Leonard Lance’s office to ask for his position on gun control produced the following answer.  Congressman Lance supports tightening the background-check process on gun sales... Concerning reducing magazine sizes,…the Congressman prefers to focus his energies on proposals that have broad, bipartisan support and believes that issue may be best left up to the states,” wrote his press secretary. 

 Many other speakers spoke passionately about the issue, including former Governor Jim Florio, Reverend Robert Moore, Executive Director of Coalition for Peace Action, Reverend Dr. Raymond R. Roberts of the Presbyterian Church, Michael Pohle, the father of one of the victims at the Virginia Tech massacre and Rabbi Sagal.  If you feel passionate about saving innocent lives, now is the time to let your legislators know.  Michael Pohle shared with the audience his day on April 16, 2007 when a gunman shot and killed his son Michael along with 32 other people and wounded 17 in two separate attacks before the gunman killed himself at Virginia Tech.  He described going to lunch on an ordinary day that turned into the worst day of his life.  Let’s act together so that other fathers, mothers, and children never have to feel the pain he has lived through.  Write or call your legislator today.

Ann Ormsby

Westfield, NJ

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

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

5 Arrested in Connection with Prostitution at Union Spa

April 20, 2018

UNION, NJ – Union police arrested a man and four women in connection with a prostitution business at a local spa on Morris Avenue.

In September 2017, Union police made arrests at the Birchwood Oils – Essential Oil Rub Treatments -  when they discovered it to be a place of prostitution, police said.

According to police, they continued to monitor the location and discovered ...

2018 Municipal Budget is on Collision Course with Principles of Financial Soundness & Stability

April 18, 2018

Having chaired the town council’s finance committee in the recent past, I appreciate the hard work that goes into developing a municipal budget for a town as large and dynamic as Westfield. But as I have expressed publicly and also to the mayor and my council colleagues, I do not support the adoption of Westfield’s 2018 municipal budget. Although the budget contains much that I ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_847ee9151bdce789833a_y

Sat, April 21, 9:30 AM

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Westfield Area YMCA Camp Open House

Sat, April 21, 10:00 AM

Tamaques Park, Brightwood Park & Mindowaskin Park, Westfield

Westfield 2018 Spring Clean-Up

Giving Back Government Green

Carousel_image_28ada9d80beb9d6466b0_picture2_simpler

Sat, April 21, 1:30 PM

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Free Aquatics Healthy Kids Day

Health & Wellness Sports

Westfield Police Blotter: Residence Burglarized & More

April 18, 2018

April 11, 2018 10:23 a.m.

Raymond Rodgers, 56, of Westfield, NJ was arrested in the area of E. Broad Street. Rodgers was arrested pursuant to an unrelated traffic investigation. Rogers was transported to Westfield Police HQ without incident. At WPD HQ, Rodgers was processed and released after posting the full bail amount ($250). Rodgers was arrested on the strength of an outstanding Westfield ...

In London Town - NJFO Season Finale

April 20, 2018

On Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20, the New Jersey Festival Orchestra, under the baton of David Wroe, presents a magnificent 35th anniversary season finale celebration of music linked in some way to England and its great city of London.

The concert opens with Sir Edward Elgar’s exhilarating Introduction and Allegro for Strings, a work composed in 1905 to enable the string section ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Edison Students Participate in Beta Test of Google Augmented Reality App

Students and teachers at Edison Intermediate School participated in a recent beta test of a Google application that uses augmented reality technology to explore the inner workings of plant cells, the functions and framework of the human skeletal system, and other educational subjects.

Edison Media Specialist Andrew Cusumano arranged for a Google representative to visit the school on April 9 to ...

Get Your Home Ready for Summer Before its TOO HOT

Finally, the weather is getting warmer and you are shedding those down coats. Now is a great time to start thinking about summer and getting your home prepared. Paying attention to a few maintenance items can alleviate painful repairs later on if you wait too long. The line ahead of you will build as the summer rush starts. So, let’s not wait.

Check your roof   (hire the expert ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Hellenic Therapy Center

April 13, 2018

Dropping Off Our Kids At College – Learning How To Adjust

Hellenic Therapy Center

 

Whether your kid is a freshman entering college for the first time or returning back to college, there are so many emotions we experience as parents.  There are differences in a parent’s reaction to the departure of a first child, an only child or even the last child.  Feelings ...

Obituaries

Oct 21, 1944 - Apr 14, 2018
Kathleen A. Hertell passed away peacefully with family at her bedside on April 14, 2018. Loving ...
Read more

Mets Sign Patriots Pitcher Before He Can Unpack His Gear

April 20, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — The Somerset Patriots have announced that right-hand pitcher Scott Copeland’s contract has been purchased by the New York Mets.

So, instead of stretching out and getting in shape at TD Bank Ballpark, he's been sent to extended spring training at the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

The 6’3” righty broke into the big leagues in ...