(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) released the following statement marking the one-year anniversary of the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, CT on Saturday:
“One year ago, 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School lost their lives in one of the most heartbreaking and senseless acts of violence in our country’s history. This tragedy shook our nation and sparked what many thought would finally be decisive action on sensible gun reforms.
“I had the privilege to meet with a number of parents who lost children at Sandy Hook while the Assembly was considering common sense measures to curb gun violence. The sadness in their eyes was palpable and it’s something I will never forget.
“It reminds me every day why we need to continue doing everything we can to curb the senseless epidemic of gun violence in this country. We made some marked strides towards that goal in New Jersey earlier this year and I’m proud that we have some of the strongest gun laws in the nation, but we need to continue to do more to improve on mental health.
“Four years after we enacted an involuntary outpatient commitment law, its implementation has been mired in feet-dragging. It’s time to see this program rolled out in every county so that individuals suffering from severe mental health issues get the treatment they need before they become the next Adam Lanza.
“With the proper treatment, the next would-be shooter becomes just another law-abiding citizen and more parents will be spared the grief of mourning the loss of a child too soon,” said Oliver.