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Several hundred concerned citizens joined the Morris Area Committee to Reduce Gun Violence, Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty, and surprise guest and gubernatorial hopeful Barbara Buono on the Morristown Green tonight at a rally and memorial vigil marking the two-month anniversary of the tragic elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
“I look out at all of you and I am inspired,” state Senator Buono said in her brief remarks on the podium, where she proclaimed support for common sense approaches to reduce gun violence. “If you need an assault rifle to hunt a deer, maybe hunting isn’t your sport,” she quipped.
The event coincided with the announcement of a letter written by 33 New Jersey mayors urging Governor Chris Christie and the NJ SAFE Task Force—which was formed in the wake of the Newtown massacre—to press for stronger national gun laws and regulations.
Mayor Dougherty, who signed the letter, urged Chrisitie to act because he is a national figure with considerable pull in our nation’s capital. The letter commends the governor for establishing the NJ SAFE Task Force, but asks him to go a step further and communicate with members of Congress to support sensible measures that can potentially reduce gun violence.
The rally featured a musical performance by the Bethel AME Youth Choir, remarks from politicians statewide, and reflections from Reverend Alison B. Miller of the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, whose personal experience with gun violence informs her passionate advocacy for gun control.
Politically active attendees urged those in the audience to write their representatives and express their feelings about reducing gun violence and preventing future tragedies. As the letter written by the New Jersey mayors made clear, there is already movement on “key issues” in Washington, D.C., but they need as much support as possible.