OPINION: Moorestown Mayor strongly supports Tom MacArthur’s questionable record on gun safety.

ABOVE: Screenshot from Citizens’ Media TV’s live coverage of the Moorestown Town Council regular meeting on May 7, 2018.

A letter to the editor by Kristine Piccola of Moorestown, NJ

Dear Editor,

I could not be more disappointed in my Mayor, Stacey Jordan of Moorestown. In a recent letter, Ms. Jordan voiced support for Congressman Tom MacArthur’s “actions” following the tragic shooting that took the lives of 17 innocent people. In truth, facing backlash over his past voting record on gun safety, MacArthur finally acquiesced support for background checks for all gun purchases. I am offended that Ms. Jordan would support a representative who simply panders to his political base, using grandiose but hollow gestures of bipartisanship on such an important issue.

Everyone should understand, MacArthur’s support comes with a few caveats…  We are lucky that New Jersey already has the some of the strictest gun laws in the country. These laws were completely upended by MacArthur’s YES vote on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity bill which allows gun owners, from states with minimal restrictions on gun ownership, to conceal carry in New Jersey. MacArthur has given a nod to federally funding police officers at every school, hospital and religious house (despite the expense and ludicrous underpinnings of this idea). While he supports restrictions on gun ownership for those with mental illness, MacArthur is in favor of an exemption for veterans with mental illness.

It’s good news that MacArthur supports strengthening the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. However, tax cuts will reduce state funding critical for state enhancement of their NICS databases. Enhancements essential to establishing a comprehensive, functional system for nationwide background checks.

Finally, MacArthur has quipped “taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding, mentally-sound Americans” is unconstitutional. This statement is a parody of the voices nationwide who demand common sense gun legislation. How can the debate about gun control starts at this lowest level of understanding of where concerned citizens stand on the issue? We need leaders who are listening and understand the concerns and needs of constituents. Our Mayor has just aligned herself with a representative who does neither.

This November, MacArthur needs to be voted out. Candidate Andy Kim is listening to those of us who demand sensible, comprehensive gun legislation. Likewise, with two seats on the Moorestown Town Council on the ballot, a vote for Nicole Gillespie and Brian Donnelly will lead to the appointment of a Mayor who supports his/her constituents first.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this letter are the author’s only.

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