July 19, 2019 •
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Are we any safer? It doesn’t feel that way. As I got ready for bed late Sunday night, news broke of a carjacking with gun violence at The Short Hills Mall. The victim died.

One year ago. Already one whole year has passed. 20 children. 6 adults. Senselessly gunned down in Newtown. All of us with children in schools were terrified. Were are children safe? Could they be protected?

Nearly 200 children have been killed by guns since Newtown last year. How are we in America protecting ourselves and our children?

Speeches were made. Vigils were held. Bereaved were comforted. Yet one year later, there are too many more speeches. Too many more vigils. Too many more bereaved.

Our legislature is ineffective. Though thousands have risen up, lobbied in DC and locally, we are not any safer and perhaps, less safe.

But as Nelson Mandela said, “it always seems impossible until it’s done” and we need to find another path. NJ United Together Against Gun Violence, part of Metro IAF, an interfaith group, has another approach.

Taxpayers purchase 40% of the guns in America. This gives our executive branch power and it is time to utilize it. NJ United Together against gun violence is meeting with Mayors and Police Chiefs to ask them to evaluate their gun buying procedures. Today, if you buy a new iPhone 5s, there is fingerprinting security. Shouldn’t a gun be as secure?

Mayor Steven Fulop of Jersey City is the first to include social responsibility questions in his city’s request for bids for new guns for the police department.

It’s been a year since Newtown. Phone calls and visits to our legislatures have not moved us to a safer America. But it is time to pursue a new path and work to change our actions from vigils and funerals to a safer society.

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