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    Second Graders vs. the Second Amendment

    On April 20, 1999, at 11:19 am Colorado time, two high school students, armed with two 9mm firearms, two 12-gauge shotguns, a Hi-Point 995 Carbine with thirteen 10-round magazines and a Savage-Springfield 67H pump-action shotgun, walked into their school and began mercilessly hunting and shooting students and staff. 49 minutes later, after murdering 12 innocent students and one teacher and injuring an additional 21 people (20 students and one teacher), they shot themselves to death. At the time, it was a shocking, unprecedented act. The Columbine massacre was—by far—the most devastating mass school shooting in America at the time. The tragedy seemed to galvanize Americans in their collective outrage and grief. Surely as a society we would make sure this never happened again. But the sad truth is that Columbine was just the beginning. What could have been—should have been—an isolated act became a blueprint for future school shooters. After decades of ever-intensifying massacres, we have collected reams of data and we know how to solve this. 71% of Americans want stricter gun laws. And yet gun violence is now the leading cause of death for children in the United States. It’s a tragedy of inaction. As the years pass, Republicans have increasingly refused to take even the smallest steps toward protecting our children. They oppose proposals for expanded background checks and red flag laws that would allow for guns to be temporarily confiscated from individuals deemed a danger to themselves or others. They refuse to re-enact the assault weapons ban and the ban on large capacity magazines, which worked to reduce violence and death, according to ever-increasing evidence. They support measures like "concealed carry reciprocity," which would allow individuals with concealed carry permits to carry their firearms in any state, no matter the strength of that state’s gun laws. Aren’t Republicans supposed to be the party of “state’s rights?” Since Columbine, according to this Mother Jones database, there have been one hundred and twenty more mass shootings in American schools. In the wake of Sandy Hook, the current representative for NJ CD7, Tom Kean stalled Republican votes and then voted against an emergency bill, which would have created a new electronic system for instant background checks and mandated background checks for private gun sales in New Jersey.
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    The Border, Drugs and People - and Silence

    Recently, we were subjected to the sham of a Thomas Kean Jr “Town Hall.” It was a phantom phone-in, with no information provided before the event about how to join. Surprise, surprise, the polling of attendees provided - no surprises. So 96% of these carefully curated attendees voted “yes” to the question “do you think the federal government should take greater measures to secure our borders, cutting off the flow of deadly drugs such as fentanyl into our communities?” Look, fentanyl is a national crisis. Noone should underestimate its importance in the slide in American life expectancy that has developed over the last few years. But our Congressman, quite intentionally, muddles two issues. The first is how we should attack the supply of fentanyl, and the second is how we should respond to the flow of asylum seekers at our borders Trump legitimized the demonization of those seeking refuge at our borders on the day that he descended the escalator in Trump Tower. He in turn was echoing the racist statements made by those such as Congressman Steve King, comments that have fueled the belief of 39% of Americans and 60% of Republicans that “most of the fentanyl entering the U.S. is smuggled in by unauthorized migrants crossing the border illegally.” That is not how fentanyl arrives in our towns and cities. The drug, manufactured by Mexican cartels from ingredients supplied by China, crosses the border, almost always passing through official checkpoints hidden in cars or commercial trucks driven by American citizens. US citizens are subject to far less scrutiny, and so they are the smugglers of choice for the cartels. The hard truth is that fentanyl is so cheap, so easy to make, so profitable, and so hard to detect, that we will never stop the flow. We need to do the hard work of tackling the demand side of a crisis manufactured right here, in the United States. The War on Drugs is not an overseas battle; it will be won and lost here on our home soil. What are YOU going to do to help, Congressman? If Congressman Kean really wants to do something about the flow of migrants into the country, he should persuade his colleagues on the Problem Solvers Caucus to look at the bipartisan proposal put forward in 2013. It passed the Senate with a 68-32 majority, only to be stifled in the House by Republican speaker John Boehner, who knew that it would pass with a bipartisan majority - and infuriate his right wing. It would have increased border security by adding 40,000 border patrol agents; and by constructing a double layer fence to meet a target of stopping 90% of illegal border crossings. All that, AND a reduction in the deficit of $700 billion by 2033. THAT, Congressman, is what a bipartisan solution would have looked like. Try getting that past your friend Marjorie Taylor Greene today. Do the hard work of governing, Congressman. Slick promises don’t solve anything.  
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    Tom Kean Jr. Keeps Us Sick

    Let’s Talk About Healthcare in NJ7 Malinowski vs. Kean, Jr As a health insurance broker in NJ, I am well aware of the issues faced by my clients in terms of affordability of health insurance as well as out of pocket costs given high deductibles, coinsurance and Rx costs. Now in the midst of a world- wide pandemic, the availability of health insurance is more important than ever. Congressman Malinowski has worked with the House majority to support initiatives to help all Americans.  His YES votes include:
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  • Pamela Baker
    followed this page 2020-06-12 18:00:59 -0400