EDITOR: When it comes to common sense gun control, with the exception of one member, the Harding Township Committee has nothing to say.
Regardless as to where you stand on the issue, it would be hard to argue that gun violence is currently anything less than one of the most pressing and high profile issues in America right now. All across the country, students, survivors and their friends and families, politicians, and Americans of all political inclinations, are speaking passionately about an issue of national importance.
At the March 12, Township Committee meeting, Rhonda Allen asked the Township Committee if they had a position on gun control, including a ban on assault weapons and high magazine rounds, noting that it was two days before the one-month anniversary of the massacre in Parkland, Fla.
She informed the committee that many of our high school students were planning to participate in the 17-minute school walkout in remembrance of the lives lost to gun violence and urging Congress to enact stricter commonsense gun laws. Allen also invited the Township Committee to join her and other Harding residents at the March 24 “March for Our Lives” in Morristown.
We were astounded and very saddened by the lack of response. The only reply came from Nic Platt. He supports a ban on assault weapons and pointed to Antonin Scalia and former President Ronald Reagan, who both agreed that assault weapons were not protected under the Second Amendment.
While we greatly appreciate his response, we were appalled that no other member of the Township Committee cared to comment.
To be clear, Tim Jones, Nanette DiTosto, Dev Modi and Chris Yates did not even offer condolences to families who lost a loved one to gun violence. They chose not to acknowledge that gun deaths are unfortunate and sad, or that the massacres in Parkland, Newtown, Columbine, Las Vegas, Littleton, Orlando, and Charleston, among too many others, are horrific and tragic.
Not one of that group said children should always feel safe in their schools. Instead, they took the unfathomable route, choosing to say nothing.
We do not necessarily expect to agree with these four members (though we do not feel that gun violence should be a partisan issue), but we did expect an acknowledgement of the tragedies resulting from gun violence. Unfortunately, we were presented only with silence.
Deer Ridge Drive
Editor’s note: The writers were both unsuccessful Democratic candidates for the Harding Township Committee.