By Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron
At a Baptist church in Newark this morning, advocates and victims of gun violence spoke out for more gun control in New Jersey.
“My niece Jessica Moore was shot Sept. 24, 2010. We sent our precious soul here for college education. She came home in a casket,” said Cynthia Moore.
The speakers were here to support Barbara Buono for governor.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker said there have been thousands of shootings in the city in his seven years in office and blamed a lack of leadership at the state and federal levels.
“This is a very frustrating reality, when you have pathways to stop violence that we have leadership that is lacking the commitment to do the sensible things necessary to stop the violence in communities all across the state of New Jersey,” Booker said.
“As governor, I promise you that I will stand alongside Mayor Booker to work to reduce the scourge of gun violence in Newark and across New Jersey,” said Buono.
She laid out a three-point plan for what she called common-sense gun safety — reduce magazine capacity from a maximum of 15 rounds to 10; mandate background checks on all gun sales, including private sales between individuals; and require face-to-face ammunition sales, no more ammunition sales online, over the phone or by mail-order.
Gov. Chris Christie has put forward an anti-violence platform of his own, which Buono today called shallow and off-the-mark.
“It is yet another example of this governor calibrating every decision he makes with an eye to 2016, with an eye to making sure that it plays well with the voters in the cornfields of Iowa instead of standing up and doing what’s right for the neighborhoods right here at home, and I think that’s wrong,” Buono said.
Clearly the Buono campaign thanks the gun issue is a winning issue for their candidate. Perhaps most interesting here was that Booker was so sharply critical of Christie on a matter that he called the gun crisis.
“There is no urgency right now. There is no urgency right now in dealing with the problems we have, and so I’ve got a senator standing next to me who feels that sense of urgency,” Booker said.
Buono said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have been leaders on guns, but not Christie.