Former Gov. Florio slams Congress, lobbyists on gun control

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NEW BRUNSWICK -

Former Gov. James Florio declared "it's absolutely essential" to rally regular citizens to counter lobbyists and special interests in the keynote speech at a gun violence forum at the Rutgers School of Social Work in New Brunswick Wednesday.

"I think the idea of dealing with gun violence is reaching critical masses," he said. "Washington is a basket case on this issue and doing the opposite of what we should be doing."

Florio had launched one of the nation's toughest gun laws while he was in office in the 1990s. Now with the issue of gun violence resurgent, he's pushing for new and tougher laws.

The event focused on what attendees could do to oppose gun violence here at Rutgers, but momentum for gun control began growing nationally after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

"It's an open discussion," said Leslie Westbrook, a graduate student. "And I think a good way to learn and bounce ideas and use ideas to move forward to make change."

Other panelists included representatives of local gun violence prevention groups.

A grant from the Andrew Goodman Foundation, which promotes activism in young adults, funded the event.
 

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