Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Sweeney Is Wrong on This One

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Sweeney Is Wrong on This One

Article excerpt

IF THERE WERE any doubt about state Senate President Stephen Sweeney's inability to lead Democrats in the state - or the unlikelihood of him one day being governor -- he has shown once again why he will remain a South Jersey politician. Not only is he out of step with his colleagues in the Legislature, but also with his own political party nationally, and with the voters of the state of New Jersey.

Sweeney joins the ranks of the "shame" senators - the Democrats - - Mark Pryor, Arkansas; Max Baucus, Montana; Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota; Mark Begich, Alaska -- who voted against the national gun control measure that would have mandated background checks for gun purchasers.

He joins them because he omitted a restriction in a package of gun-control measures posted in the state Senate that would restrict the size of an ammunition clip to 10 rounds, lowering the limit from its current 15.

Gun control advocates - including many of the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting who visited the State House last week -- argue that clips with more rounds mean that mass shooters can get off more shots, and kill more people, before they can be stopped.

Supported by 70 percent of voters

Seventy percent of New Jersey voters favor the measure.

Nicole Hockley's 6-year-old boy, Dylan, was murdered by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In Trenton last Tuesday, Hockley and other parents whose children were among those shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December spoke of the importance of reducing clip size.

"That is one critical component that's very dear to our hearts. Every round that can be reduced means more time to reload, more time to disarm a shooter or escape," she said.

Eleven of Dylan's classmates escaped when Lanza stopped to reload.

Nonetheless, Sweeney calls the current 15-round limit "effective."

Sweeney's position has resulted in an intraparty battle among Democrats. Members of the Assembly, including Speaker Sheila Oliver and Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, support restricting the size of an ammunition clip to 10 rounds, and say they won't consider the Senate package of gun-control measures without the clip reduction included. …

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