Christie calls for country to have a ‘thoughtful debate’ on gun violence

BELMAR – Gov. Chris Christie wants the country “to have a thoughtful debate” on all of the issues surrounding mass shootings.

The governor stressed in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting that “if all we do is focus on gun control laws then we’re going to miss part of the picture,” saying it’s time for the country to engage in a debate to attempt to “try and prevent more senseless death.”

Christie was asked by a young boy at his latest town hall whether school security will be bulked up in the wake of the shooting that claimed 26 lives in Connecticut.  The governor argued it’s time for a thoughtful debate and said New Jersey will not have “armed guards … standing outside of every classroom.”

“I think that most schools have really good safety procedures in place to keep our children safe every day,” said Christie, explaining officials are reviewing schools’ safety procedures and will make any necessary adjustments to ensure student safety.

“The only thing that we can never completely stop is when bad people want to do bad things,” he said, explaining that more needs to be done than focus simply on school procedures and gun policy.

“We’ve got to look at all of it because there are more of these happening,” he said.

"He’s obviously working very, very hard at it. I mean he’s traveling all over the country as chairman of the [Republican Governors Association] and I think at this point he has as good a chance or better than anybody else. His name is household word all across the country, and I think he would make a great president."
—former U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-3), on Gov. Chris Christie