Letter to the editor: New Year, new fear: Gun sense activists say #Enough to Mitch

'We Are Jersey City' vigil for shooting victims, Dec. 13, 2019. Photo by Jeri Patasnik


By Jeri Patasnik

It is imperative that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell finally acknowledges the urgency of the gun violence epidemic by bringing HR8 to the floor for a vote.

Senator McConnell has had over 300 days to introduce this gun sense legislation, which would save lives by requiring backgrounds checks on all gun sales.

Each day he neglects to act, 100 more Americans will die by gun.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at CPAC Convention in 2014. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

McConnell has the power to let our elected officials pass smarter gun laws, but even in the wake of recent mass shootings in Dayton, El Paso, Odessa and our very own Jersey City, he’s choosing not to act.

On Dec. 10, 2019, four lives and families were destroyed during the Jersey City mass shooting. This anti-Semitic attack robbed our community of three civilians and Detective Joseph Seals, beloved husband and father to five.

As Eytan Stern Weber, a Moms Demand Action Lead and Jersey City resident said at the the We Are Jersey City Vigil, “We do not have to live like this. We do not have to die like this.”

New Jersey residents are still reeling from attacks on the South Side of Jersey City where, according to Stern Weber, “gun violence is so unbelievably common, yet so under-reported.”

So, I say this to you, Mr. McConnell: How many more Americans must die before you take action? How many more shootings must we endure?

‘We Are Jersey City’ vigil for shooting victims, Dec. 13, 2019. Photo by Jeri Patasnik

Fortunately,  New Jersey is among the states with the strongest gun sense laws and overwhelming support from Governor Murphy, AG Grewal, and William Castner, Gun Violence Advisor.

Every day, neighboring states with weaker laws threaten the safety of every New Jersey resident as guns continuously flow into our state, circumventing our gun violence prevention legislation. Without federal legislation, our hands are essentially tied.

Theresa Piliero, center, of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, displays photos of gun victims at Remembrance Vigil for gun victims, Church of the Redeemer, Dec. 2, 2017. Photo by Bill Lescohier
Theresa Piliero, center, of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, displays photos of gun victims at Remembrance Vigil for gun victims, Church of the Redeemer, Dec. 2, 2017. Photo by Bill Lescohier

The gun lobby, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and President Trump think we’ve stopped paying attention. Let’s prove them wrong and use our grief and rage to fuel action.

Please write, call, and tweet your Senators to demand they enact life-saving, smarter gun laws now! Text “CHECKS” to 644-33 to send a direct message to your senator.

Then, text “READY” to 644-33 to join us, Moms Demand Action! You do not need to be a mother to be a Mom; you just have to believe in our mission to reclaim America’s safety.

Jeri Patasnik of Morristown is Morris County Communication Lead for Moms Demand Action.

Editor’s note: The views expressed above are the author’s, and do not necessarily reflect those of this publication.

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  1. M. Brady, are you serious? It is ALREADY against the law to shoot someone or brandish a weapon without legal justification.
    Also, do you really think that criminals follow laws? You might want to look up the definition of the word “criminal.”

  2. Every time I go past Morristown’s statue of Thomas Paine, the author of a pamphlet called, “Common Sense” that changed the world so many years ago, I think of how many innocent people have been killed because our legislators lack the common sense to pass the laws that will protect all our citizens.

  3. Just an absolute comment for the ages, from I guess a Prager U video or something:

    “When will all of these criminals start respecting and following our very restrictive and existing gun laws?”

    The logical conclusion being we should have no laws, because who will obey them.

    If that argument appeals to you, consider JT may have you marked as a simpleton. 🙂

    “We’ve done it boys, just turn the lights out on your way out of the statehouse, we’re no longer needed. All we had to do was embrace the dark nihilism of JT as we make our way to the thunderdome and feast upon the pets of our unarmed neighbors for sustenance.”

  4. Common sense gun reform. I love that term. Perhaps we should ask those committing mass shootings and gang members who kill with their guns to practice common sense.

  5. Call to action…
    During this presidential election year, please keep in mind that we currently have a President from whom McConnell takes his directions.

    Trump blames social media, video games, and mental health for the attacks, all claims that repeatedly have been debunked.

    He never calls for common-sense gun reform, such as a ban on assault weapons, a ban on high-capacity magazines, or a ban on gun ownership for people who have committed hate crime misdemeanors. He always caves to the NRA following mass shootings.

    It is not too early to get involved in reversing this.

  6. Tough laws make all the difference. “The United States has the 28th-highest rate of deaths from gun violence in the world: 4.43 deaths per 100,000 people in 2017 — far greater than what is seen in other wealthy countries.” (How The U.S. Compares With Other Countries In Deaths From Gun Violence, NPR, August 2019) The stats are extremely well established with multiple replications from multiple sources. Can also compare within US state by state. Suicides, homicides, mass killings are associated with looser gun laws, despite/ above and beyond demographic differences, density and population demographics. All this is well established, and we all know exactly why the laws remain as they are. Grateful to live in a state with tough gun laws, but know we are vulnerable via the pipeline – PA, VA, SC and others. Firearm mortality by state here: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/firearm_mortality/firearm.htm

  7. “Without exception, every law could be refuted with the lawbreaker’s paradox, and societies would swiftly descend into anarchy if it weren’t for reasonable policymakers. Laws against rape, murder, and theft, for example, are rarely followed by rapists, murderers, and thieves, but the fact that such people exist in society is the reason behind such regulations in the first place.

    Among gun advocates forwarding this line of argument, there seems to be a serious lapse in moral intuition that privileges expediency over human lives. To think that the minor inconvenience of gun reforms such as background checks, waiting periods, and assault weapon bans is more burdensome than the death of thousands of innocent civilians each year (which such reforms seek to redress) reflects a miscalibrated sense of what matters in the world. After all, when gun advocates say that they are being ‘hurt’ by gun control, let’s be clear what the actual implication of this statement is: my right to not be bothered in the least by regulation outweighs the right to life for thousands of innocents who die in the absence of said regulation. Not only can such gun reforms reduce the number of homicides, but there is very little controversy about the tremendous effect they would have at reducing suicides. So, the belief that laws aimed at saving lives “hurt law-abiding citizens” is completely incompatible with any sane definition of right and wrong.”

  8. What nonsense. I hope it doesn’t pass. You gun-grabbers miss some very important points:
    – Hundreds of millions of guns are already out there. How do you propose getting those guns back? Door-to-door searches with metal detectors? Good luck with that!
    – By definition, criminals don’t obey laws. Gun laws only affect law-abiding citizens.
    – California and Illinois have strict gun laws. It’s pretty easy to see that they aren’t stopping the criminals there.
    – It is already a crime to use a gun illegally. Tougher laws will make zero difference.