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'Safer Community' Focus of Anti-Gun Violence Rally in Morristown

The rally and vigil brought together politicians, religious leaders and citizens.

State Sen. Barbara Buono joined Morristown Mayor Timothy Dougherty, local religious leaders and more than 100 people for a vigil and rally against gun violence on the Green Thursday evening.

The rally, held on the two-month anniversary of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, called for gun legislation reform and an end to gun violence.

Buono called on change in Washington, DC to help make America safer and called on Gov. Chris Christie to instate a ban on assault rifles. "If you need an assault weapon to hunt deer, maybe hunting isn't your sport," she said. "Maybe you ought to take up golf."

Michael and Eileen Cleckner of Raritan also want to see change in Washington. The two drove to Hartford, Conn., to march in an anti-gun violence rally there before they returned to New Jersey for the event in Morristown.

"We'd like to grow up in a safer community," Eileen said. "I'd like to see our politicians up on the hill start cooperating."

The Rev. Alison B. Miller of the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship described having a gun pointed to her head by robbers as a child. "It was definitely one of the most terrifying, memorable moments of my childhood," she said.

Now a mother herself, Miller said she understands why mothers will do anything to protect their children. And when so many people from so many different religious groups come together on the same issue, she said, legislators have a duty to listen.

"The moral compass is so clear, that life should be protected," she said.

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