While I agree in concept with the Nov. 11 editorial on gun control, “Target NJ congressmen,” I reject its depiction of District 4 Congressman Chris Smith as a moderate.
In addition to being a religious zealot, Smith has received the “Thumbs Down” and zero rating from recent Brady Scorecards, where they evaluate if congressional representatives are lapdogs of the NRA and block progress of expanding Brady background checks. Smith received a 50 percent from the NRA.
Some of Smith’s recent votes have shown he is moving closer to the NRA’s playbook. For example, this spring, Smith voted to allow mentally ill people, including people with schizophrenia and psychotic disorders, to obtain gun licenses. In 2016, Smith voted “yes” to prohibit firearm bans in airports (meaning he was against the ban).
Smith also has avoided the wrath of the NRA by sometimes abstaining on many relevant votes. It is also noteworthy that Smith has a 78 percent Trumpscore by the FiveThirtyEight site, which evaluates how often a representative is aligned with President Trump’s positions and policies.
The editorial stresses, “Attention must now turn to getting rid of those representatives who have been deaf to the need to act” to curb gun violence with basic gun safety regulation. I concur. N.J.’s District 4 needs a congressman who is not an ally of the NRA.
This letter also appeared in the Asbury Park Press.