Watson Coleman lambastes Congress on gun control reform

Glenn Townes | 8/8/2016, 7:50 p.m.
In the wake of repeated instances of shootings of unarmed African American men and mass shootings sprees in the past ...

In the wake of repeated instances of shootings of unarmed African American men and mass shootings sprees in the past several months and years, outspoken Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman is condemning some of her constituents for their ineptitude in significantly revamping gun control measures in the country.

Bonnie Watson Coleman

Bonnie Watson Coleman

In a statement last month and just weeks after the largest mass shooting in U.S. history at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fl., in June, Watson Coleman (D-12th) said, “After every attempted terrorist attack, we've had changes in our security from talking shoes off during screenings at airports to how much liquid we can take on an airplane.” She added, “But after Virginia Tech, after Fort Hood, New town and San Bernardino and after countless lives lost in our communities every single day, Congress has done nothing!” Watson Coleman sponsored legislation last year to regulate online gun and ammunition sales. In addition, she has frequently criticized lawmakers for being slow to react to a perceived gun crisis in America. “The scale of the shooting in Orlando—brings to light two problems: the continuing struggle of the LGBT community and glaring failures to address the prevalence of gun violence,” she said.

Watson Coleman noted that there were more than 40 other shootings on the day of the Orlando massacre and, there were at least seven individuals lost to gun violence in New Jersey in the past three months.” The city of Camden, Watson Coleman's' hometown and Trenton, have long been the center of illicit gun activity and homicides for years.

Lastly, in a related matter, the Senate last month, rejected two controversial gun control measures that were advocated by New Jersey Democratic lawmakers Bob Menendez and Cory Booker. In short, the bills would have significantly expanded gun background checks of purchasers and prevent people on government terrorist watch lists from buying guns. Menendez said the legislation was practical and preventative and not extreme or vastly radical proposals, as opponents of the bills successfully argued.

In a statement following the dismissal of the measures, Menendez said, “I am incredibly angry that Republicans have once again caved to the demands of the NRA rather than listen to the demands of the American people.”