Barbara joined Seton Hall shooting survivor Nakeisha Vanterpool (friend of Jessica Moore, who died during the 2010 incident) and her mother Leslie Wednesday to condemn Governor Christie's Friday night clandestine veto of commonsense gun legislation.
"On Friday evening, Chris Christie failed to lead," Barbara said. "He chose the NRA and the conservative base over families here in New Jersey."
"On Friday evening, Chris Christie failed to lead," Barbara said. "He chose the NRA and the conservative base over families here in New Jersey."The most prominent bill Governor Christie vetoed would have banned .50-caliber rifles in New Jersey. If you're not familiar with them, here's some background:
- In terms of size, a single .50-caliber round will pretty much cover the tip of the average adult man's middle finger to the base of his outstretched hand.
- An untrained shooter can pick up a .50-caliber rifle and accurately hit a target 10 football fields away.
- Designed specifically for use on the battlefield, the .50-caliber rifle is a weapon of choice for drug cartels and al Qaeda, particularly because its ammunition will rip right through the best-equipped law enforcement officer's bulletproof vest.
"This is a weapon that doesn't belong in the hands of regular citizens," Barbara said. "It has no legitimate use in civilian life. None whatsoever."By the way, any firearms ID holder can buy a sniper rifle. And since FIDs are valid for a lifetime, someone with a recent history of violence or mental illness can still purchase a .50-caliber rifle using an FID he or she got years ago (Barbara supported a bill to require renewal every four years, but Christie vetoed that on Friday, too).
"He's real tough until it comes to standing up to the NRA," Barbara said. "It is utterly irresponsible and unbelievable that he would go this far."
Here's the real kicker - the .50 caliber ban was one Christie called for himself! After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., Governor Christie put together a task force on gun violence. In April, he announced his Administration's plan to reduce gun violence, which included a ban of the .50-caliber sniper rifle. He vetoed his own idea.
At first it didn't really make much sense. But then we gave it some thought.
Let's see, what happened between April and August? A trip to the George W. Bush Presidential Library in DALLAS (Let's not forget how much money Chris Christie raised to help get Bush elected). A trip to UTAH for a summit organized by Mitt Romney (Hey, remember when he asked Christie to be his running mate?). A fundraising trip to SAN FRANCISCO at the home of billionaire Trevor Traina. And then another one in PITTSBURGH. And then another in LAS VEGAS with anti-union casino magnate Sheldon Adelson (who put at least $100 million into trying to defeat President Obama last November and has vowed to double donations - presumably to Republicans - in 2016). A weekend in Republican Governor Tom Corbett's home state of PENNSYLVANIA. A trip to ASPEN for a meeting of the Republican Governors' Association. A trip to BOSTON for a Republican National Convention meeting. And of course, a not-so-friendly message from Pro-Gun NEW HAMPSHIRE.
It seems like with the combination of all that out-of-state travel and his unabashed presidential ambitions Chris Christie's forgotten that NEW JERSEY families like the Vanterpools need reform now.
"My daughter has to wait for the next [shooting]? Is that what Governor Christie's trying to tell us?" Leslie said. "I need to wait to get another phone call at 2 o'clock in the morning?"
Moms like Nakeisha's are tired.
And so is Barbara.