- Sixth District Legislators to host Mobile Office at the Katz Jewish Community Center
- Greenwald on NJ Transit Fare Hikes: This is a Serious Blow to Working Families
- Majority Leader Greenwald Bill to Restore Tax Credit for Working People Now Law
- Democracy Act makes necessary updates to N.J. election laws | Opinion
Greenwald Op-Ed: Gov. Christie hits 'new low' in 'cold-hearted' veto of gun magazine limit bill
Times of Trenton
July 9, 2014
Link to original
Leadership includes effectiveness, honesty and the ability to do the right thing, no matter the consequences.
It does not include pandering to far-off voters instead of those you are sworn to protect, nor does it include putting rabid personal ambition above public safety.
In other words, leadership is not Chris Christie.
Gov. Christie’s recent veto of legislation I sponsored to reduce the maximum capacity of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds was among the more faint-hearted acts one will ever see from an elected official. It was also among the most cold-hearted.
Soon after the parents of children murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., dropped off petitions asking Christie to sign the bill, the governor rejected it and released a statement that stated supporting the bill amounted to “grandstanding” and employing “empty rhetoric.”
Only someone with craven cowardice could make such a statement.
This legislation to reduce magazine capacity was in response to the horrific tragedy in Arizona, where an assailant used a large-capacity ammunition magazine to kill six people and injure 13 others, including Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Among those murdered was 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, who was shot that day by the 13th bullet.
As Giffords’ husband, Capt. Mark Kelly, told a U.S. Senate committee, if the shooter hadn’t had access to a high-capacity magazine and had had any problem quickly reloading with 10-round magazines, “Christina Taylor Green would be alive today.”
And this bill wasn’t something thrown together as a feel-good measure. It replicated the former national standard, and national law-enforcement leaders have supported banning high-capacity magazines.
Jim Johnson, the Baltimore police chief and chairman of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, said, “Certainly, we believe that limiting a magazine to 10 rounds, what was in place from ‘94 to 2004, is wise and certainly could save lives in America.” New York City’s top cop, Bill Bratton, said, “High-capacity ammunition magazines were designed as weapons of war.”
Then, there are the parents from Sandy Hook Elementary School, who told us this was the single most important gun safety measure we could pass to stop killers from turning into killing machines.
This wasn’t grandstanding. This wasn’t empty rhetoric. This was advice from parents who know more about the issue than any of us will ever want to know. As they said, “Smaller magazines would have saved more lives at Sandy Hook Elementary, possibly even the lives of our own children.”
The governor’s action can best be described with words used in his own veto statement: “difficult choices are brushed aside uncomfortable topics are left unexplored.”
I would imagine signing the bill to limit magazine capacity would have been a very uncomfortable topic to have with conservative voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, two places Christie won’t want to upset people if he runs for president. And avoiding such a conversation is Christie’s priority, as opposed to protecting New Jersey. This is political expediency at its worst, considering the governor is headed to campaign in Iowa in just a few weeks.
Gov. Christie has worked tirelessly to create an image as a bold leader, but the reality is quite different, and it’s becoming clearer every day.
And with this veto, Gov. Christie has reached a horrible new low.
New Jersey Assembly Majority leader Louis Greenwald, a Democrat, represents the 6th District in Camden and Burlington counties.