Space, Wirths vote no to life-saving gun regulations

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On Monday, March 26, 2018, the NJ Assembly voted on a series of bills to make NJ gun laws stricter. All the bills passed through to the Senate. Unfortunately, our LD 24 Assemblymen, Hal Wirths and Parker Space voted NO to 4 of the 5 common sense life-saving bills.

The most promising bill, which experts believe has the potential to save the most lives, establishes a mechanism for family, household members and law enforcement to temporarily prevent access to guns by loved ones who pose an elevated risk of endangering themselves or others. It is called an Extreme Risk Protection Order or ERPO. If this law was enacted in Florida it may have prevented the shooter in the Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School from committing the tragic shooting that massacred 17 people on Valentine's Day.

Our legislators, who have been given 'A' ratings by the NRA, believe that the occurrence of school shootings is due to school safety and mental health issues. From their statements and voting records one can assume they do not believe that the easy access of firearms in this country play a role in school shootings.

Yes, we can make our schools safer and there is definitely a need for more mental health resources. However, as a Nation, we are jumping through hoops to fortify schools with bullet proof classroom doors, armed guards, and even arming teachers, all to protect the "rights" of a segment of the population that believes their rights trumps the rights of our children. What's next? Fortifying malls, churches, wrapping our children in bullet proof clothing and backpacks? Not to mention the cost of all this "hardening."

There are over 300 million guns in America. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of un-hinged people out there with guns. Let's admit the easy access to firearms is a large piece of the puzzle.

Sue Hannon


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