‘Moms’ rally for sensible gun control in Fanwood

Photos By Peter Fiorilla Laurien O'Brien, a Group Leader with the Union County chapter of Moms Demand Action, talks about the need to control gun violence, which she says kills 89 people every day.
Photos By Peter Fiorilla
Laurien O’Brien, a Group Leader with the Union County chapter of Moms Demand Action, talks about the need to control gun violence, which she says kills 89 people every day.

FANWOOD, NJ — October 1, 2015, Roseburg, Oregon: 10 lives lost.
July 16, 2015, Chattanooga, Tennessee: Five lives lost.
May 23, 2014, Isla Vista California, University of California, Santa Barbara: Six lives lost.
Faith leaders, councilpersons, mayors, activists, a Union County freeholder and state legislators — including Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12) — united to remember the victims of recent mass shootings on Sunday, Dec. 13, in Fanwood, as part of a Moms Demand Action rally to reduce gun violence.

After the public figures matter-of-factly read the details of each mass shooting, they lit candles to commemorate the victims, including students killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on the third anniversary of the tragedy.

“I may be a mayor, but I’m a mother first,” said Fanwood Mayor Collen Mahr, who lit one of the 12 candles on display at the Forest Road Park building. “And I know, just like those mothers at Sandy Hook, that I send my kids off to school every day.

And I know I send my kids to the movie theater, just like those mothers in Aurora, Colorado. And I know that one day soon, I will send my kids off for a college education, just like the mothers of the students in 23 campus shootings that have taken place in 2015 alone.”

Well over 100 people attended the rally organized by Moms Demand Action, a 3.5 million-member, national non-profit which set up Sandy Hook commemorations in 44 states. The Union County chapter was born in early October, according to Group Leader Lauren O’Brien, and has “been doubling membership since, every month,” demonstrating the local need to “discuss, question and act upon the reduction of gun violence,” she said.

“America is in a state of crisis,” said O’Brien. “Every day, 89 Americans are killed with guns — every day. That’s just what we know about. We at Moms Demand Action support the Second Amendment while doing everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people, or dangerous people, and keep our communities safe.”

Many of the rally’s speakers, from Moms Demand Action volunteers to legislators like Watson Coleman and State Sen. Nicholas Scutari, offered “common sense” solutions to reducing gun violence in the United States, which O’Brien said is 20 times worse than in any other developed country.

Some of the ideas include stopping online ammunition sales by requiring bullet buyers to provide ID at official retailers; flagging purchases of 1,000 rounds or more that are made in five days; only permitting citizens to buy bullets for guns they legally own; and getting rid of “guns that are only designed to kill people,” as Watson Coleman put it, a statement which drew a lengthy applause from the audience.

“There are lots of different pieces of legislation that are just common sense legislation, that don’t deny law-abiding individuals of the right to have a gun,” said Watson Coleman. “There are so many things we could do, that just make sense.”
Another legislative possibility, floated by Scutari — who works as a prosecutor in Linden — is for New Jersey to follow Connecticut’s lead on gun control. Two weeks ago, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signed an executive order to ban gun sales from people on federal terrorism lists.

“The biggest problem in this country is we just have too many guns, and it’s just too easy to get them. Relying on the Second Amendment, that we all have the right to bear arms, is not a panacea for every person who wants to get a gun,” said Scutari, to another round of applause. “There should be more legislation to curb that.”

In addition to legislative suggestions, the rally promoted gun safety and awareness through the Moms Demand Action “Be S.M.A.R.T.” campaign, which encourages people to handle their guns responsibly. In particular, “Be S.M.A.R.T.” advises parents to keep their guns unloaded, locked up and hidden where their kids can’t find them.

Promoting gun safety was also why much of the crowd wore orange, a color that Moms Demand Action members use because “it signifies we are visible and united,” said O’Brien. It’s also the color that people typically wear to avoid gun-related hunting accidents.

Bishop Kelvin Brooks, though, bucked the trend and wore another color to remember the victims of recent mass shootings.
“As a bishop, when I make an appearance at a civic event, like today, it is most appropriate for me to wear the color black. However, I chose instead to wear the color of my office, which happens to be red — not because of status or fashion,” said Brooks, the Vice President of the Scotch Plains and Fanwood Ministerium. “It’s to remind us that despite our ages, our sex, our race, our religious beliefs, we all have one thing in common when tragedy strikes: The blood that we shed is red.”


13 Responses to "‘Moms’ rally for sensible gun control in Fanwood"

  1. Gene Ralno   December 19, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Over 100 people attended? Well… That settles it.

  2. Len Pozner   December 20, 2015 at 10:31 am

    We bring awareness to the cruelty and criminality of Hoaxer activity and, if necessary, criminally and civilly prosecute those who wittingly and publicly defame, harass, and emotionally abuse the victims of high profile tragedies and/or their family members. We intend to hold such abusers personally accountable for their actions, in whatever capacity the law allows. Send us report about your any type of harassment in our webpage honr.com

  3. John Seagull   December 21, 2015 at 7:09 am

    Everyone who suggests the government deny constitutional rights due to a secret list must also agree to allowing search of their house without warrant, from a list no one will tell you that you’re on, that you cannot face your accuser, that there is no way to know if you’re on, that there is no way to get taken off the list, even if you just have the same name as someone else on the list. In other words, no due process.

    Personally, I’d start searching the houses and cars of all the Op-Ed and letter writers who want to use secret lists to ignore constitutional rights. In addition it would be illegal for any of those on this secret list to publish anything for the time they’re on the list.

    Just think about all the crimes we could solve and keep from happening with just these “minor inconveniences”

    Seems there are quite a few that agree with me:
    Vox: “The liberal case against turning the no-fly list into a no-gun list,” German Lopez
    ThinkProgress: “The Problem With Banning Guns From People On The Terrorist Watch List,” Aviva Shen
    Los Angeles Times: “Should people on the no-fly list be able to buy guns? Yes,” The Times Editorial Board
    The Daily Beast: “My Fellow Liberals, Don’t Support Obama’s Terror Watch List Gun Ban,” Cathy Gellis
    The Guardian: “It’s messed up for Democrats to use the no-fly list to push for gun laws,” Trevor Timm
    The Washington Post: “The no-fly list is a terrible tool for gun control, in part because it is a terrible tool,” Philip Bump
    Slate: “President Obama Just Offered Two Bad Ideas For Fighting Gun Violence,” Jamelle Bouie

  4. jim smith   December 21, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Re: “common sense legislation”

    In 1934, 1938, 1968, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1993 and 1994 I suspect similar arguments were made for “common sense legislation” when more restrictive federal gun laws were passed. Since all of the regulations derived from these laws are apparently not enough, maybe you can understand the reluctance of gun owners to entertain the idea of quietly accepting the any more. The problem is the real agenda of the people leading the charge for more gun control is to ban all guns except for the government and governments (unlike individuals) have the track record for killing people that don’t agree with them. This is really just about using relatively infrequent, isolated incidents of gun crimes to whip lawmakers into an emotional frenzy to goad them into quickly advancing the agenda of gun control irrespective of any facts in more incremental “progressive” steps in order to set a new baseline and move the goal posts to the point where an unscrupulous government would have the option to do what ever they please.

  5. jim smith   December 21, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Re: “ban gun sales from people on federal terrorism lists”

    There is no due process requirement levied upon the government to put a person on the no fly or terrorist watch list. In addition, a person on a no-fly list at the airport can be pulled out of line and questioned or detained. A person who fails a background check at a gun store is allowed to walk out of the store with information about how to challenge the denial. The no-fly and terror watch lists are supposed to be secret so all this really does is allow a terrorist to find out if he is on a list and realize he has to come up with another identity to 1) get a firearm and 2) get on an airplane. So the dirty little secret here is that in order to make this work like they think it should, everyone wanting to purchase a firearm would first have to go to a law enforcement organization for a background check and be detained if they failed. This would accomplish two things the anti-gun zealots dream about – 1) Allow arbitrary denials of the right to bear arms 2) A registry of all gun owners – and keep in mind in every instance where governments have confiscated firearms, it has been preceded by registration.

    If the government really wants to implement this, they should be required to follow due process – or more specifically go before a judge to seek approval to add someone’s name and allow the accused person the option to be present to defend him or herself with the right to appeal.

    Right now, the criteria for being on the no-fly or terrorist watch list is somewhat secret and arbitrary and the latest legislation that was proposed (HR15-1076) would allow the Attorney General to add anyone based on some undefined, subjective things called “a reasonable belief” or “appropriately suspected” the person is connected with international or domestic terrorism – and the term “domestic terrorism” is so nebulously defined in 18 USC 2331(5) that it could include anyone the government doesn’t like.

  6. jim smith   December 21, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Re: “getting rid of guns that are only designed to kill people”

    All guns are designed to “kill people” – but that is not how they are always used. They have 4 uses – deterrence, intimidation, control and lethal force and only the latter causes injury or death. Law abiding gun owners know that shooting someone is a last resort because every bullet has a lawyer attached to it. Criminals don’t care and will always have guns if they want them. If worst comes to worst they will be smuggled into the US from Mexico inside a bale of marijuana and sold on the black market.

  7. jim smith   December 21, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Re: “keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people”

    The problem you have is that in 2010 (for example) there were 725000 violent criminals in state prisons and 15000 in federal prisons. This works out to a total of 740000 or about 0.238% of the US population which means that about 1 out of every 420 people in the US that have been caught have no qualms about ignoring whatever laws you pass and killing or injuring someone and the gun is often their tool of choice. So the bottom line is (1) The human race produces a few bad individuals prone to violence who just refuse to play by whatever rules you promulgate and until you find some way to identify these individuals and the courage to permanently eliminate them from society, innocent people are going to be killed (2) Because of these bad individuals, bad things happen every day to people who through no fault of their own were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  8. jim smith   December 21, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Re: “stopping online ammunition sales by requiring bullet buyers to provide ID at official retailers; flagging purchases of 1,000 rounds or more that are made in five days;”

    And this would do what? The Aurora theater killer supposedly had over 6000 rounds but he only needed a few hundred to complete the carnage he initiated and there are several reasons a person wants a lot of ammunition – 1) The price keeps going up 2) Proposed laws like one proposed by Colorado Representative DeGette get everyone concerned about the availability of ammo or the viability of mail order which saves time and money and does not deplete a retailers local stock 3) Civilian government agencies (in addition to the military) have several RFQ’s out for several million rounds – enough to kill everyone in the US several times over which tends to restrict the supply – (see-link deleted in case the moderator doesn’t allow it) (Note: when this was discovered in the public domain, in this one case they started redacting the quantities – see – link deleted in case the moderator doesn’t allow it) 4) Ammunition manufacturers will not increase production capacity because the demand has it’s ebbs and flows so there will be periods of restricted supply 5) The anti-gun government zealots continually make an effort to de-mil used military brass shell casings rather than sell them to ammunition manufactures for re-use 6) The government places restrictions on the importation of ammunition from countries they don’t like (ex: Russia) 7) Anti-gun legislators (ex: California) keep proposing legislation to heavily tax ammunition 8) Ammunition has a long shelf life and if you stockpile several thousand rounds and you reload your own casings, you may not have to buy any more for the rest of your life or pay any attention to these “feel good” laws that do nothing but restrict the gun rights of law abiding citizens.

  9. David   December 21, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Reading the unsubstantiated spew above it is plain to see that the illicit narcotic abuse is rampant in all anti gun advocates as other than being clinically insane , drug abuse is the only possible way one could believe the screed spewed above.

  10. Rich   December 21, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    The hard-left Marxist and Islamists who infect our federal government plus the MSM media prostitutes who protect them will gleefully lie, falsify, fabricate, slander, libel, deceive, delude, bribe, and treasonably betray the free citizens of the United States..

    Second Amendment foes lying about gun control – The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with personal self-defense.Firearms are our constitutionally mandated safeguard against tyranny by a powerful federal government. Only dictators, tyrants, despots, totalitarians, and those who want to control and ultimately to enslave you support gun control.

    No matter what any president, senator, congressman, or hard-left mainstream media prostitutes tell you concerning the statist utopian fantasy of safety and security through further gun control: They are lying. If their lips are moving, they are lying about gun control. These despots truly hate America..

    These tyrants hate freedom, liberty, personal responsibility, and private property. But the reality is that our citizens’ ownership of firearms serves as a concrete deterrent against despotism. They are demanding to hold the absolute power of life and death over you and your family. Ask the six million Jewws, and the other five million murdered martyrs who perished in the Nazzi death camps, how being disarmed by a powerful tyranny ended any chances of fighting back. Ask the murdered martyrs of the Warsaw Ghetto about gun control.

    Their single agenda is to control you after you are disarmed. When the people who want to control you hold the absolute power of life and death over your family, you have been enslaved. The hard-left Marxist and Islamists who infect our federal government plus the MSM media prostitutes who protect them will gleefully lie, falsify, fabricate, slander, libel, deceive, delude, bribe, and treasonably betray the free citizens of the United States into becoming an unarmed population. Unarmed populations have been treated as slaves and chattel since the dawn of history.

    Will we stand our ground, maintaining our constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment rights, fighting those who would enslave us?

    American Thinker

  11. Jeff Rau   December 21, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    The headline of this piece shows The Union News Daily is biased. Just because the people who support something call it common sense doesn’t mean it make any sense.

  12. Barry Hirsh   December 21, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Gun control that defies three constitutional amendments (2nd, 5th and 14th) cannot be tolerated, no matter how many “moms” demand it.

  13. E. Zach Lee Wright   December 21, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    In 2010 DC had the most extreme gun control in America. They also had twenty seven times more murders than the slightly larger city of El Paso. BTW, El Paso is a place where every responsible adult citizen can carry a loaded, concealed handgun on her person as she goes about her day. After adjusting for population differences, Chicago’s murder rate was nineteen times higher than El Paso’s. If gun control is the answer why did El Paso have twenty seven times less killing?