Video: Ridgewood Citizens Demand Tougher Gun Control Laws at Protest

Coalition of protesters held a vigil for Sandy Hook victims in Ridgewood on Sunday. The group also demanded legislators enact "sensible" reforms to prevent shooting deaths in the U.S.

Still reeling from the on Dec. 14, more than 50 village citizens took to the streets to let their voices be heard on gun control reform.

Organized by three village residents, the peaceful protest met for a vigil on the one-month anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre at Ridgewood's Van Neste Square on Sunday.

Approximately 70 people joined the vigil to hear speakers, including Ridgewood's Mayor Paul Aronsohn. Following the speeches and a march around Memorial Park at Van Neste Square, the participants were led by Bill Scher in a rousing rendition of "America the Beautiful".

The vigil organizers reacted to the NRA suggestions that reforms would infringe on the Second Amendment and that teachers should be armed, along with police presence in school.

Check out the video above and tell us your thoughts.

Still photos courtesy of Nancy Scappaticci.

Vostra Guida January 17, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Long Time Resident, Thanks for the kind words. I can't take credit for coming up with the line "when seconds count, the police are minutes away," -- I have heard it before but don't know the original source. But feel free to use it as far as I am concerned.
Vostra Guida January 17, 2013 at 04:21 PM
Matt M, Why did you fail to mention that the study you cite is flawed and intellectually dishonest as it leaves out many obvious factors. For those of you who would like the truth about that "study" and those statistics read here: http://old.nationalreview.com/kopel/kopel013101.shtml http://www.guncite.com/kleckjama01.html http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcdgaga.html
Vostra Guida January 17, 2013 at 04:22 PM
Matt M, Why did you fail to mention that the study you cite is flawed and intellectually dishonest as it leaves out many obvious factors. For those of you who would like the truth about that "study" and those statistics read here: http://old.nationalreview.com/kopel/kopel013101.shtml http://www.guncite.com/kleckjama01.html http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcdgaga.html
Vostra Guida January 17, 2013 at 04:41 PM
Kevin, Do you really thinkg offering up extreme scenarios and absurd suggestions(e.g., "what if 27 other men followed after that maybe we should arm every citizen with an AK 40 sub-machine gun" or "maybe we should get the kids guns also so they can defend themselves too") will influence people's opinions? The point is that 5 or 6 bullets is unlikely to be sufficient in many non-absurd scenarios -- like the one Mr. Bombace used (i.e., a 2nd intruder in the home). By the way, it is not hard for a gunman who has planned his attack to have many magazines on his person and ready to use. Nor is it difficult for that person to change magazine's and reload -- it takes only a few seconds.
James Bombace January 17, 2013 at 05:13 PM
Kevin, Please, at least try to be reasonable in your comments. Half of all home invasions have three individuals involved. Teaching kids to properly use a weapon makes sense asn demonstrated by this incident...http://www.newson6.com/story/19858704/12-year-old-girl-shoots-intruder-during-home-invasion Now you tell me Kevin, what do you think would have happened if this young lady DIDN"T have a gun? Would the thug have said, Oh I am sorry I didn't mean to break into your house while you were home. I will leave now and try again later when your not home. If you believe that your smoking some good stuff!
Vostra Guida January 17, 2013 at 05:40 PM
News Man, Why should the NRA, gun manufactures, and distribution sources be held responsible for what irresponsible people or criminals do with a legally produced product? First, the NRA is a group that seeks to protect 2nd Amendment rights. The NRA has a right to speak and offer its position on issues of the day. What exactly did you have in mind in terms of holding the NRA, gun manufacturers and distribution sources "responsible" and "legally and financially libel" (I assume you meant "liable")? You are not suggesting that they pay damages for what criminals do with a legally produced product are you? By that logic, you would hold alcohol and auto manufacturing companeis liable for damages resulting from DWI accidents. Your stated justification "that will get their attention" is not serious. I can get your attention by suggesting that you be held financially liable for your failure to lock your refridgerator door when a kid breaks into your house, drinks the beer from the unlocked refridgerator, steals your car and kills an innocent child. It would get your attentino, but would it be justified? Newsman, this is not directed at you as I don't know you, but I find it interesting that the people who are so anti-gun are often the same people who seek lesser penalties for criminals who convicted of violent crimes. How about we focus on what we can do to the criminals rather than on law abiding citizens and companies?
dutchess January 17, 2013 at 06:10 PM
VG, the subject is gun owners! And I don't think being a responsible gun owner should feel threatened. Nobody is taking away your guns. But is someone you loved was shot or killed by a gun that was gotten with out a background check or a way to track a gun you would feel differently, I would hope! If I ran over you with my car you would be compensated. Why shouldn't I be compensated if you shot me? Actually if I cut you with my kitchen knife you could probably make a claim to my homeowners insurance. Why is registration so tabu? Are you hiding something?
jp1 January 17, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Vostra Guida January 17, 2013 at 07:54 PM
Dutchess, You know I did not argue against background checks. I have no problem with our current laws -- not specific to gun owners -- allowing for compensation if accidentally injured by someone. Just as there is no need for separate insurance to compensate someone if you cut them with your kitchen knives (as you point out), there is no need for separate insurance for an accidental shooting at your home. As for my issue with gun registration, I have a problem with it for several reasons. First, people like you (and/or a tyrannical government) would then use that list to confiscate guns from law abiding citizens. Second, people like you would try to force me to pay an annual registration fee (a solution that is particularly hard on low-income people - many living in places far less safe than Ridgewood). And before you argue that we pay registration fees for cars let me remind you that having a car is NOT a right guaranteed by the Constitution. Third, the Supreme Court has held that felons cannot be forced to register because they would be forced to admit to their own guilt (i.e., a felons can't legally possess firearms), which would be a violation of the 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination. So what you propose is that only law abiding people register. Fourth, registration does not prevent a gun crime from happening. Fifth, a criminal is unlikely to use a gun registered to him/her. And to answer your obnoxious question, No, I am not hiding anything.
Vostra Guida January 17, 2013 at 08:03 PM
jp1, Your conclusion that NO ONE IN THIS COUNTRY NEEDS A MILITARY ASSAULT WEAPON" is still just a conclusion without offering actual support for your position (ALL CAPS DO NOT CHANGE THAT). YOU ARE DUMB (see, the All Caps and no support for the conclusion don't make it true, do they).
Vostra Guida January 17, 2013 at 09:23 PM
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
James Bombace January 17, 2013 at 10:28 PM
jp1 said NO ONE IN THIS COUTRY NEEDS A MILITARY ASSAULT WEAPON! Ok, lets just say your correct. No one needs an assault weapon. So by your statement the local Police or State Police shouldn't have them, neither should the FBI or the people who guard the President, or the CIA, Prison Guards, or U.S Border Patrols. I could go on but I think I made my point, the ignorance of your statement is obvious.
4women January 18, 2013 at 12:55 AM
Vostra Guida- why are you so paranoid? Do you have such little faith in our Constitution and how our government was set up to have check and balances? If God forbid our gov't ever turns to tyranny, your gun will have no impact vs. the firepower of the army. Are you stockpiling missiles and grenades too? Pathetic. Also- look at past statistics about armed officers in schools- they have not helped at all. Didn't help at Columbine, and wouldn't help at RHS either where ever door is open at all times. Why aren't gun lovers so willing to accept 11,000 gun murders a year as acceptable for this country. IT IS A SHAMEFUL STATISTIC.
James Bombace January 18, 2013 at 01:46 AM
Bon, if that statistic (11,000 gun murders a year) is shameful what about the 45,000 killed every year in this country by something other than guns. Why is that statistic not more shameful?
Vostra Guida January 18, 2013 at 02:12 AM
Bon, I don't understand your comment. I have great faith in the Constitution, in part because it contains the 2nd Amendment. Why do you resort to name calling? I am neither paranoid nor a "gun lover." I recognize the importance of the 2nd Amendment and the role it plays in keeping the government in check. Even in recent times governments of Western nations have turned on their own people: Germany, Italy, Spain, to name but a few. I'm not saying it is about to happen here, but it could. Your claim that citizens would have no chance against the U.S. government no matter what weapons citizens have is shortsighted:(1) history is replete with examples of the "weaker" vanquishing the "stronger" (our own Revolution for one); (2) you have no idea what weapons a tyrannical government may have in the future and thus no idea whether armed citizens would have a chance; (3) you have no idea what percentage of the military will support such a tyrannical government or side with the people instead; and (4) at any given time in the past decade, less than 1% of the American population has been on active military duty. That leaves a lot of citizens (assuming they are still allowed to be armed) to fight. As for officers in schools, it would be better if you would just read the prior posts (in short, once a gunman starts shooting don't you call the police to come -- wouldn't it be better if he/she were there already? Go after the murders and leave law abiding gun owners alone.
dutchess January 18, 2013 at 03:33 AM
You are not law abiding if your guns are not registered. The 2nd amendment speaks of a well regulated militia. How do you fit into that?
Vostra Guida January 18, 2013 at 11:24 AM
Dutchess, You are wrong. NJ does not require you to register your guns. http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/state-laws/new-jersey.aspx PURCHASE Rifles and Shotguns It is unlawful to sell, give, transfer, assign, or otherwise dispose of or receive, purchase, or otherwise acquire a rifle or shotgun, other than an antique rifle or shotgun, unless the purchaser, assignee, donee, receiver, or holder is licensed as a dealer under New Jersey law or possesses a valid Firearms Purchasers Identification Card (FID), and first exhibits the FID to the seller, donor, transferrer, or assignor, and the purchaser, assignee, donee, receiver, or holder signs a written certification form that identifies the purchaser, his or her address and FID or dealer’s number, and states he or she presently is not disqualified from purchase. POSSESSION It is unlawful to knowingly possess any handgun, including any antique handgun, without first having obtained a Permit to Carry, and it is unlawful to knowingly possess any rifle or shotgun without having first obtained a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FID), however, no Permit to Carry or FID is required. In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
Vostra Guida January 18, 2013 at 11:26 AM
In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
dutchess January 18, 2013 at 09:10 PM
Forgive me! I meant having to pass a background check and license!Why are you so hot about this? Nobody is going to take away your guns as long as you are a law abiding citizen. You mention traditionally lawful purposes as being self defense within the home. That does not sound like the right to carry or the necessity for An AR 15.
Vostra Guida January 19, 2013 at 03:00 PM
Dutchess, I am not "hot" about anything. I have calmly explained the current laws in place and explained why it is important not to give up the right of the people to bear arms. You and others hear about a tragedy and immediate start demanding more "gun control" without knowing what the current laws are and without thinking through all of the consequences of what you are proposing. You try to bully people by calling them names or accusing them of being "hot" over an issue or not caring about children. I have explained why I believe your proposals are unconstitutional, redundant, and/or ineffectual in achieving the goal of preventing or reducing violent crime. As for home defense (which is not the only lawful reason for having a gun), how do you know what each home needs? Do you think the needs of everyone in NJ or the USA are the same? Have you ever had to defend your home or family? Have you ever been in a riot or looting situation? You know so little about guns and yet demand action based on your uneducated gut feelings on the issue. As I said before, I have no problem with background checks and permits, which are already the law in NJ, so if that is all you want, then be happy, you already have those laws. Not sure why you are asking for my forgiveness, you made a mistake, I explained why you were wrong, and you corrected your statement. Nothing really to forgive, but if it makes you feel better, I forgive you.
Vostra Guida January 19, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Dutchess, Just to be clear, I am not saying you are generally uneducated, I simply mean that you have not taken the time to educate yourself about guns, gun laws, constituional rights relating to guns, supreme court decisions relating to the 2nd amendment, before you began proposing solutions. I'm sure your heart is in the right place (a courtesy you do not afford me).
PolWatcher January 19, 2013 at 04:49 PM
Dutchess... you may be well meaning but you are also foolish. You don't realize that the more government ratchets down on any type of possesion of any substance or object, invariably the government makes you a criminal. I am sure you are open minded enough to recognize that there is such a thing as "overzealous prosecution." Liberals rant about that kind of thing all the time, except when it comes to 2nd amendment. You might even admit, if you were honest, that even law abiding people make mistakes. Do we now want these otherwise law abiding people prosecuted by some politically appointed prosecutor who seeking to make headlines for himself? The fact is there are plenty of laws protecting people now. We don't have the manpower to enforce most of them. What makes you think more laws will protect you and won't be abused by prosecutors?
dutchess January 19, 2013 at 04:50 PM
I still believe we need an assault weapons ban and smaller clips. As a matter of fact I unknowingly could have been a victim of gun violence after I witnessed a young man steal an item in Ridgewood. Reported it after he was gone.He was arrested and found to be carrying a 357! I was relieved I had the good sense not to confront him. Why he was carrying that gun I'll never know but I am glad I didn't have a gun! I Don' t know where he got the gun but it would be a good idea to have a way to trace it.
PolWatcher January 19, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Your argument is illogical and misdirected. First, a 357 handgun is NOT an assault weapon and so would not be covered by the ban you propose. Secondly, d you think that an assault weapons ban would have stopped that young man from carrying a gun? You have to come to grips with the fact that people ignore laws all the time.Creating a law is not a security blanket. It's an illusion. Secondly, why aren't you concerned about the culture of violence. I haven't heard many people here talk about addressing violent video games, violent movies and other exploitantive material that comes out of hollywood, not mention the impact social media has on the young psyche , which often leads to taunting, extremism and isolation. Where is the focus on the mental health community that is failing us?
Vostra Guida January 19, 2013 at 05:44 PM
Dutchess, A few questions. 1) What exactly is your definition of "assault weapon"? 2) What size clips do you think is the appropriate size and why? 3) Assuming you get your "assault weapon" ban and "smaller" clips, and another tragedy occurs using the next most scary looking gun, are you going to demand the ban of that type of gun and insist on the return to single bullet muskets?
Dennis Martinez January 20, 2013 at 11:55 AM
At the end of the day it doesn't matter what the law is in NJ or NY. You go down south and you can legally get a gun in a day and illegally in minutes. In Arizona, grandma next to you filling up at the gas station is packing a pistol in plain sight..........Trying to ban guns will be as successful as banning alcohol. Good luck.
Vostra Guida January 20, 2013 at 04:56 PM
Great article in The Wall Street Journal today for those of you interested in understanding the issue better. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323468604578245803845796068.html?mod=hp_opinion
PolWatcher January 20, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Vostra Please don't do this. you are confusing the knee jerk, wet their pants liberals with facts. They don't do well with facts, they traffic in emotion and opportunism - hallmarks of our great clueless president, who feels no reservation about misusing children in his misguided policy promotion schemes.
James Bombace January 20, 2013 at 09:06 PM
Pass all the gun laws you want, it still does not address the issue and problem of an individual who is determined to kill others in large numbers. Until we all, as a country, are wiling to admit that guns don't kill people unless they are used by evil or mentally deranged people, the killings will continue. Once this country realizes its not the gun or bomb, as Tim McVeigh used, but the person that is the nproblem and we develop a way to deal with and stop these people, then and only then will these senseless killings stop.
Marshall Katzman September 13, 2013 at 08:58 PM


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