(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) made the following remarks Tuesday as he joined Gov. Phil Murphy to discuss school security preparedness:
“Let me start by commending the governor and his Cabinet for the efforts they’re going to make to enhance school preparedness. It’s something that we will all benefit from and I commend them for their hard work.
“We all know that gun violence is an epidemic and a public health crisis.
“The names of the communities are so familiar to us – Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook and now Parkland. They’ve become places that we’re familiar with for all of the wrong reasons, and the actions are far too commonplace. We need to do better.
“It is unacceptable and unthinkable that children go to school each day worried about the possibility of encountering a mass shooting. We need to do more. We have strong gun control laws here in the state of New Jersey, but we can do better.
“While we hope for comprehensive leadership in Washington, and we hope that comes soon, unfortunately we have yet to see it. We know that while we wait, things get worse. Seven of the 10 largest mass shootings have occurred in the last 11 years. Three of the nine largest in the last 13 months, and so while we wait, we need to do something on our own.
“Sensible regulations and laws can prevent gun violence while still preserving the rights of law-abiding citizens, and we cannot stand idle when we can take common sense steps to protect our communities and our children.
“An entire generation of children now grows up living in fear.
“This is a call to action. It’s a call that we must answer – and we will.”