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Congressman Tom MacArthur

Representing the 3rd District of New Jersey

Congressman MacArthur: Federal Government Must Conduct Study on Gun Violence

February 28, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the Parkland shooting, Congressman Tom MacArthur is urging the House Committee on the Judiciary to instruct relevant federal agencies to conduct a comprehensive scientific study of the causes of gun violence in the United States.

“While I have seen too many wasteful studies in government, we need more scientific research on gun violence and its causes,” said Congressman MacArthur. “I believe this is a worthwhile use of government resources. While not a popular opinion with some, I strongly believe that a comprehensive look at gun violence in our country, not just a partisan attack on the Second Amendment, would contribute valuable information to our national conversation on gun violence.”

This action is part Congressman MacArthur’s safer communities plan, which can be read in full here.

Background:

Full Text of the Letter Below:

February 27, 2018

 

Hon. Bob Goodlatte, Chairman                                 Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Ranking Member

U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary                 U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary

2138 Rayburn House Office Building                                     2035 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515                                                              Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Nadler,

I am contacting you to ask that the House Committee on the Judiciary address the lack of meaningful scientific research into the causes of gun violence in the United States. While I have seen too many wasteful studies in government, we need more scientific research on gun violence and its causes. I believe this is a worthwhile use of government resources.

Let me also say that I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment in Congress and I have been a recreational shooter for much of my adult life. While not a popular opinion with some, I strongly believe that a comprehensive look at gun violence in our country, not just a partisan attack on the Second Amendment, would contribute valuable information to our national conversation on gun violence.

I recently held a meeting in Stafford Township with the Mayor, Police Chief, Police Captain, a Social Worker, and two constituents: One who is a local advocate for Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and one who is a local NRA member and avid hunter. We had a productive and open conversation about this critical topic and I walked away from this meeting believing we can work together to make our communities safer.

Any study must also consider the moral and spiritual decay in our society, as well as the influence of the media and the entertainment industry. We have seen countless examples of Hollywood glorifying violence, the media making perpetrators famous, and the video game industry creating ever more realistic games where killing is a form of entertainment. I am not suggesting that we outlaw media coverage, movies, or video games, but we need to confront the impact these things have on children.

For these reasons, I request that the Committee instruct relevant federal agencies to conduct a comprehensive scientific study of the causes of gun violence in the United States. Doing nothing to stop gun violence in our communities is irresponsible.  We must work together and advance real solutions to protect our children and neighborhoods.

Sincerely,

Tom MacArthur

Member of Congress

 

Last Friday, Congressman Tom MacArthur met with a group of students in Toms River and discussed school safety.

Earlier that week, Congressman Tom MacArthur held a meeting to discuss community safety in Stafford Township. The meeting was attended by Mayor John Spodofora, Police Chief Tom Dellane, Captain Herman Pharo, Licensed Clinical Social Worker Meghan Corrigan, Charlene Hoverter - Barnegat resident who is Survivor Engagement Lead and Fellow for Everytown for Gun Safety and a member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and Randy Campoli who is a local business owner, NRA member, and hunter.

Last week, Congressman MacArthur joined 19 other Congressmen in urging Speaker Paul Ryan to hold a vote this week on the “Fix NICS Act.”

On Monday, Congressman MacArthur cosponsored a group of bipartisan bills, endorsed by the National Fraternal Order of Police, which will improve safety in schools and communities across South Jersey and the entire country. 

Yesterday, Congressman MacArthur urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to release the findings of the comprehensive review of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and also issue guidance to states on ways to improve the background check process, to ensure that there is an acceptable minimum standard across the nation.

He also released a safer communities plan containing immediate steps that can be taken by the federal government to make our communities safer. Full plan can be read here.