(Trenton) — At a candidate forum sponsored by the New Jersey Herald last night, Parker Space, a Republican State Assemblyman in the 24th Legislative District, had a shockingly candid moment when he said, “there is nothing better than an unregistered gun, believe me.”
Asked to clarify whether he was in possession of unregistered firearms, Space demurred, adding, “I’m saying that when the liberals take over everything they are not going to be able to track you down and take your weapons away from you.” Space’s remarks occur just before the debate forum’s one hour mark (56:53). Watch it here:
The Assemblyman’s head-turning statement was disturbing for a couple of reasons.
First, Assemblyman Space demonstrates a callous disregard for the victims of gun violence and for the challenge to law enforcement of bringing violent criminals to justice.
Public opinion polling suggests Assemblyman Space is on the wrong side of this issue too. A recent Fairleigh Dickinson University poll showed that 59 percent of the country believes more gun regulations are needed to avoid more mass shootings. Similarly, the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America released a poll that found 82 percent of New Jersey voters support requiring domestic abusers to turn in their guns to law enforcement after they become prohibited from having them. And, a New Jersey Spotlight Poll shows that a large plurality believes New Jersey should do more to limit gun-magazine capacity and tighten gun-permit background checks.
Space also is suggesting that when proponents of common sense gun reform finally overcome Gov. Chris Christie’s vetoes and pass gun safety legislation, that he intends to flaunt those laws — a statement that implies that he is either in possession of unregistered firearms, or condones violations of existing law.
“Elected officials have a solemn duty to work on behalf of their constituents to promote a safer, more prosperous New Jersey. Assemblyman Space’s statements from last night suggest that he is neither capable of nor interested in fulfilling those responsibilities. We need thoughtful and considerate people representing us in Trenton, not conspiracy theorists who seem to condone violence,” said John Currie, Chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. “On Tuesday, 24th district voters should send two more reasonable people to Trenton: Michael Grace and Jacqueline Stapel.”
Assemblyman Space is apparently taking cues from Governor Christie, whose position on gun control changed dramatically when he decided to seek the presidency. Not only did Christie veto legislation that received unanimous, bipartisan support from the state legislature, but he angered family members who lost love ones in the Sandy Hook massacre by refusing to meet with them and accusing them of "grandstanding."