Young Voices - NJ7 Citizens for Change

The Students: New Voices on Gun Control

The Students: the Most Powerful Weapon of All  On Thursday, April 5th 2018, at Millburn High School, there was a fire drill during fourth period. As almost as if it had been rehearsed, every student and teacher filed out of their respective classes immediately and walked out onto the street. With fire alarms blaring, I found myself studying for my next test and walking at the same time, paying no attention at all to the students around me, who were probably just talking or (knowing the cut-throat atmosphere at Millburn) studying as well. The siren’s harsh tones mellowed slowly, and then became silent. Everyone went about their routine as if nothing happened, because nothing had happened. It was just a drill. 
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PRESS RELEASE: Congressman Lance Declines Invitation to Town Hall

Congressman Leonard Lance has declined invitation by student activists in New Jersey’s seventh congressional district to attend a town hall discussing the issue of gun violence and our nation’s need for stricter gun control legislation.
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We Rise NJ: End Gun Violence Now

A little over a month ago, my friend, Katherine Morris, and I created a petition to Congressman Leonard Lance requesting that he support future legislation regarding stricter gun regulations (the banning of semi-automatic weapons, bumpstocks and silencers; enforcement of stricter universal background checks; enacting red flag laws, etc.). We received an overwhelming amount of support from the students at our school, Watchung Hills Regional High School. We obtained over 1,500 signatures from students in the span of just 3 days! We had the unique opportunity to hand-deliver the petition to Congressman Lance when he came to visit our school. From this experience, I was able to see the amount of frustration and passion our student body had towards the issue of guns in America.
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PRESS RELEASE: New Jersey Student Activists Demand Town Hall With Congressman Lance

Students invite Congressman Lance to a town hall on April 20th, to discuss the issue of gun violence and give constituents the ability to voice their concerns about legislation he has supported. NEW PROVIDENCE, New Jersey — (April 20th, 2018) — A group of student activists from New Jersey’s 7th congressional district have launched an initiative to host a town hall on the topic of gun safety. However, current district Representative Leonard Lance, who is up for reelection this year, has not confirmed his availability, despite numerous phone calls and email requests. Meanwhile, the students have already confirmed the presence of candidates Tom Malinowski, Goutam U. Jois, and Peter Jacobs who are challenging Rep. Lance for his seat in Congress during the upcoming 2018 midterm election.
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Nonsensical Sentencing: The US Prison Overcrowding Crisis

by Tina Tarighian The 1960s were the beginning of a period of mass incarceration for the United States. When citizens felt unsafe in their neighborhoods, they propelled legislators to draft bills that made their system tougher and their streets safer. What they didn’t account for, however, was that clinging to the orthodoxy that more incarceration always means less crime would be the exact reason that the United States now harbors the population of some countries behind bars and leads the world in inmate count. Until we have some real reform, this legacy can never be ameliorated.
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Dear Mr. Congressman: A Student's Message to Leonard Lance

  Dear Mr. Congressman, My name is Sid, and I’m a Senior at Somerset VoTech. I’m typing out this letter to you on my phone, in the middle of a packed crowd at the Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston, NJ. This is the first rally I’ve ever been to in my life, because I’m a cynic, Mr. Congressman. I’ve never held the hope that a protest could shake this country onto the right path, or that a clever sign could be the mirror that sparks real reflection on Capitol Hill. Mr. Congressman, I write to you today that I will be the last of the cynics. There is no more room in our democracy for the tired deflections of the past. I recognize that there are nuances to the issue of gun violence in America, but there is one divide that will forever and always be black-and-white: Mr. Congressman, we can either commit to act, or sit back and enable these horrific tragedies to continue.
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