Tag Archive: mental health

Source: NJ NRA opposes banning people on terrorist watch lists from having guns

Before the debate over guns even begins in the NJ Legislature, groups including the NJ Association of Rifle and Pistol Clubs, which touts itself as the “Official NRA State Association” are already lining up in opposition to what legislators consider common sense gun violence prevention measures. Lets see some of what we hear they oppose according to sources:

  • (A588) Banning ammunition that penetrates body armor.

  • (A1329) High capacity magazine ban (current limit is 15 bullets, would decrease to 10)

  • (A1387) Expands gun-free zones near schools

  • (A3510) Safety training requirements for gun owners

  • (A3687) Disqualifies people on federal terrorist watch list from getting firearms

  • (A3754) Allows Law Enforcement to seize firearm if mental health professional determines user poses a credible threat to themselves or others.
  • But the list doesn’t end there, because sources say they oppose the majority of the proposals up for consideration. Apparently the gun groups are worried about a secret list from the government. And that’s why we can’t prevent people from the terror watch list from getting guns. Makes sense, right?

    For their part, the Assembly Democrats put out this video with Legislators speaking about what they are actually proposing and thinking:

    You can see the full board list of bills up for consideration here.

    Senator Barbara Buono

    Senator Barbara Buono is the only Democrat who has declared her intent to run for Governor this year. Yet, the mainstream media and her own party seem to be looking beyond her candidacy for a more conventional politician to take up the charge.

    As I wrote last week, the truth is that Barbara Buono has the best chance of pulling off the political upset of the decade. Thanks to the Democratic leadership, she’s a Trenton “outsider” and provides the clearest contrast to the policies of Governor Christie. She brings the women’s vote to the table, not because of her gender, but because of her advocacy for issues that are important to women and to the men who are also concerned about these issues. In a state with exactly zero women in our congressional delegation, a woman in Drumthwacket helps alleviate this unevenness in the halls of power.

    I met with Senator Buono in Metuchen this morning to discuss the campaign and how she would govern the state if she moves from the Senate wing into the big office.

    Disclosure: I have contributed to the Buono campaign. But not as much as the Koch Brothers have contributed to Chris Christie.

    Reed Gusciora on Marriage Equality

    Back in 2006, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution affords equal protection to same-sex couples. As a result, the state legislature created civil unions, but was not willing to pass same-sex marriage. This “separate but equal” arrangement was tried, but was rife with unequal treatment, even though the law put civil unions and opposite-sex marriage on the same plane. (See the testimony at this site by scrolling to “Testimony from Citizens” for some compelling and poignant stories of why civil unions don’t work.)

    As a result, in February of this year, both houses of the New Jersey legislature passed a historic bill that would end marriage discrimination in the state and allow same-sex marriage. Governor Christie, never one to pass up an opportunity to please his right-wing base, vetoed the bill within 24 hours of its appearing on his desk. He politicized the issue, calling for a referendum on this fundamental civil rights issue.

    At the time of the veto, the legislature did not have enough votes to override, but one thing it did have is time. It has until the end of the current legislative session in January, 2014 to get 12 assemblypersons and 3 senators to switch and vote to override.

    The other thing the legislature had is momentum. Attitudes toward marriage equality are changing for the better, and are changing quickly. The prime sponsors of the bill – S1 and A1 – continue to work behind the scenes to convince those who voted against equality (mostly Republicans) to vote their conscience instead of going lock step with the governor.

    But now things have changed.

    More – including the complete interview with Assemblyman Gusciora and Garden State Equality’s Steven Goldstein’s reaction – below the fold.

    “Shared Sacrifice”: Mentally Ill & Disabled Edition

    Remember after the tragic shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords by a violently disturbed individual, we as a nation were going to re-prioritize mental health services? Well, it’s not turning out that way.

    By now we know that Gov. Christie’s budget cuts are going to disproportionally hurt the most vulnerable New Jerseyans, including the mentally ill. The state department with the largest percentage cut is Health and Senior Services (15%), and Christie is once again angling to close a state mental hospital, among other moves.

    But did you know that these cuts are part of a nationwide trend, in both state capitols and the federal government?