Resident Responds to Gun Control Laws in Light of CT Shooting
Hopatcong resident Michele Guttenberger submits a letter to the editor.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted from Hopatcong resident Michele Guttenberger in response to the recent tragedy in Newtown, Conn.:
THE PRESERVE LAND TRUST SPORTS CLUB OF HOPATCONG, BYRAM AREA SPONSORS FIREARMS SCHOOLS TO OUR YOUTH &ENDORSES THE OPPOSITION OF GUN CONTROL LAWS
The President has stated we have failed as a nation to pass laws to protect our children from this violence such as the tragedy at the Newtown Conn. elementary school. This statement made me think about this issue in context of my own neighborhood community since Newtown is a rural suburban area that shares some similarities. Like Hopatcong, it is a rural bedroom community connected to the NY metro region too.
When you examine the powerful influential groups, clubs and organizations of our towns and surrounding Sussex County communities next door, it is very evident the propensity they have to endorse pro gun advocacy groups. I know that Hopatcong is favorable to open space and recreation land trusts which help exclude them from expansive commercial land development. Its residents desire to keep open space land for camping, biking, fishing, and local wild life hunting.
We have a long heritage of this lifestyle. However, most residents do not realize that these same land trust properties have been transformed into secluded elite firearm sport epicenters that support the most private and powerful commercial shooting club memberships.
This well-known club draws the wealthiest political and legislative delegates, ambassadors and advocates of pro gun legislature both at the state, regional and even national levels in its membership and guest roster list. The landmark historical adult campsite of Hudson GUILD Farms has been changed over to a different society.
Although, it has acquired the familiar name, it is legally listed as are insurance entity registered in Bermuda. We still perceive this group to be a continuation of the beliefsand charity of that familiar name. A small portion of these chartable traditions seem to remain intact. However, this is just a modest contribution and not the main charter of this club and their affiliation of firearm special interests lobbyists. It becomes evident by its nonprofit funding that there is nocommitted interest for local public schools programs, nor direct support to past organizations like theboy scouts, or girl scouts nor has it adopted to fund women’s health clinics like Planned Parenthood,that provide complete healthcare, education and preventive programs to the RESIDENTIAL families of ourcommunities.
The most major contributions have been to promote firearm sports. Looking at the list of nonprofit programs it supports, the largest funded nonprofit program is to Tri State Youth and Safety Shooting Education. Therefore, it advocates programs that promote gun ownership and handling of firearms byour youth. The address for this Club at this land trust location is also the same address for the Griffinand Howe commercial Shooting School.
But, the permitted reconstructed building structures and heliports that help to glad hand prominent dignitaries of the sporting firearms world would not have this epicenter for their campaigning without endorsements by us. We have obliged them with acommercial shooting license and our own borough representatives and leaders have passed heliportsand zoning resolutions for their buildings and helicopters on our open space, recreational and farmlandtrust properties. It is not hard to find out which political groups, individuals, and organizations have given support to these affiliations that promote the non negotiable advocacy for the right to bearfirearms at any cost.
Some of them have their photos plastered in our community newspapers for the charitable work their club has sponsored. They are our own local people and organizations that support the lobbyists who put obstacles against strict gun control legislation. They will ask us to pray along with them on this national tragedy at local meetings. But instead of a unity in prayer, we could use adose of shame and burden of responsibility, because we honored these associations as philanthropic benefactors and treated them as the pillars of our community who cared about the welfare of itspeople.
Documented is a list of names that have given public written comment regarding DFW to grant HudsonFarm a license to operate a commercial shooting preserve (CSP) both pro and con. http://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/pdf/2011/hudson_farm_dep_response.pdf
There is no doubt that we are the enablers of this national tragedy and it is time for us to take opposition at a local level with our local leaders who push resolutions and ordinances that help endorse groups that construct their sports memberships with a tax exempt convention place to endorse lobbyist and constitutional attorneys that build a powerful judiciary frontline that takes on gun control restrictions from the moderate political advocates of reasoning.