TRENTON, New Jersey (PIX11) – The cherry blossom trees outside the New Jersey State House were in their spring bloom on Tuesday. Inside, however, the talking points were blunt and focused on that shocking morning last autumn at Sandy Hook.
“When the tragedies took place around the country and when the tragedies took place in this school, nobody went in and identified the bodies by their voter identification cards,” New Jersey Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald said during a cramped news conference.”This is not about politics–this is about common sense.”
Greenwald hammered those words home with a handful of the parents who lost their children at Sandy Hook Elementary.
This was all part of an effort to get ahead on a fight that is brewing under the dome in Trenton.
“If this tragedy had been transplanted from Connecticut to New Jersey, the reality is we’d be passing this legislation now,” Greenwald said.
The Democratically controlled New Jersey House approved a bill in February that would reduce the capacity of magazines for semiautomatic weapons from 15 rounds to 10. The democratically controlled Senate doesn’t include a limit on magazines.
“We are not fighting for some new right. We are fighting to go back and find the balance between what has worked and we know has worked,” Greenwald said in a reference to the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban.
Nicole Hockley lost her son at Sandy Hook. Her only request is for lawmakers in New Jersey and elsewhere to show some backbone; “Have the courage to stand up for what you know is right.”
The families impacted by the tragedy at Sandy Hook have found themselves inserted into a battle they never asked for. Their fight this month has been challenging after they, along with President Obama, were dealt a defeat by Congress. Nonetheless, they continue to forge ahead in states like New Jersey as well as online.
Newtown Action Alliance founder Dave Ackert tells PIX11 News politicians against gun reform are now being targeted by anti-gun advocates on the site shameoncongress.org.
Established in the wake of the gun reform defeat in Washington D.C., the site has what it calls the “Shameful 45.” Forty-five politicians they say do not want to reform gun control.
It goes to show how their fight only gets stronger in defeat–especially when Greenwald compares their fight to previous legislation that has been passed.
“We are passing legislation to ban high-powered laser printers. We’ve worked on legislation because a child tragically lost their life in a baseball game because they were hit with an aluminum bat, a ball that came ricocheting off that aluminum bat. What are we talking about here?”