New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is not a perfect politician. Not by a long shot. But he did the right thing earlier this month when he vetoed a bill that would have reduced the state’s magazine capacity limit from 15 rounds down to 10 rounds.
In doing so, he’s been encountering a lot of backlash from gun-control advocates who believe he made a grievous error in opposing the measure.
This past weekend, for example, upwards of 170 activists held a demonstration outside of a fundraising event Christie was holding in Connecticut for GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley.
Many of the protestors who followed Christie were a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s pro-gun control organization. They were toting signs that read, “Not One More” and “Be a Gun Sense Voter.”
In the face of the opposition, Christie held his ground and stood firmly behind the notion that limiting magazine capacity has no effect on crime rates.
“If you really want to limit mass violence in the country, you need to get at the mental health system in this country, which doesn’t deal with these folks,” Christie told a patron who confronted him about the issue at a diner near Greenwich, according to ABC News.
“Every one of these instances of mass killings, we had people with significant mental health issues. And that needs to be dealt with,” Christie continued. “It’s not the sexy part of it. It’s not the stuff that gets you big headlines when you are a politician. It’s the stuff that actually gets the job done. So I think we should stop doing the headline-grabbing stuff and start doing the actual work that makes a difference.”
When the man persisted, Christie said, “You asked a question. That’s my answer. I am not going to debate you. If you run against me someday I will debate you all you like.”
Christie has come under fire for not debating or engaging with gun-control advocates on this subject, specifically family members of Newtown victims who would like to see tougher gun laws implemented.
One specific protestor to take umbrage with Christie’s stance is Katherine Morosky, a Newtown resident who clams to know several of the Newtown families effected by the tragedy. Morosky acknowledges that there is a mental health component but still believes 10-plus round magazines are a risk to public safety.
“It’s such easy access to those weapons used for war and you can take out a lot more people that way,” Morosky said. “It makes a very big difference.”
To these arguments and others, Christie told reporters at the diner, “The fact is we have an honest disagreement. Now people on issues across this country can disagree, we disagree. I made the decision that I felt was best, they disagreed, that is certainly their prerogative to do so and to express themselves.”
Christie needs support because he is handling this situation with class. And, more importantly, he is not afraid to speak the truth along the way.
Sure, one can argue that he’s simply doing is job, insofar as he is willing to overlook emotional appeals and arguments and instead side with the facts and reason on the matter (Studies suggest magazine bans or limitations will not reduce crime rates). That’s fine. But in state that has a tendency to ignore facts and reason while breeding an institutional hostility toward firearms and gun ownership, one has to acknowledge that doing one’s job and taking a stand for gun rights is not always the easiest thing to do.
So, with that said, contact Chrisite and let him know how you feel. Show support for a guy who is putting up with a lot of stuff to do the right thing.