Last week during the second gubernatorial debate democratic challenger Barbara Buono attempted to get Governor Chris Christie to explain why he vetoed a bill (a 3659) that would have banned the future sale of the 50-caliber barrett rifles. Despite the fact that Governor Christie called for the same ban a few months earlier. Christie said it was all because of his 'opponents political treachery. For 'political reasons he said. The Democratic legislators decided to make the bad more broad, which the governor thought was unacceptable. 'They need to understand that if they break a deal with me, then there's going to be ramifications for it, he blustered. But Democrats who control both houses of the legislature disputed that. So who then did the governor have an agreement with? Assembly Democratic spokesmen Tom Hester said the speaker of the house and majority leader were unaware of any such agreement. Also second in command of the senate Loretta Weinberg said she knew of no such negotiations over this bill with the governor. She goes on and says ' I'd hate to be the first to mention this to the media but I do believe the governor makes up stories at the spur of the moment".
So what is going on here? Has the governor lost his mind? No he was just tap dancing for the Jersey voters. Most of whom supported the bill, in a clear effort to hide the fact that this veto was all about the 2016 presidential election.
Truth be told the political reasons the governor was talking about was his own. It was a letter he got from gun activists in New Hampshire, threatening his future prospects in a Republican presidential primary in there state if he does not veto the bill.
Christie knows when he runs for president he will have to defend his record on gun control to the right wing conservatives of the Republican Party. Republicans said in a poll this year that they would not vote for a candidate with whom they disagreed about gun policy, even if they agreed on most other issues.
So it wasn't a snubbing from the Democrats in the state house that caused the governor to veto this bill. It was the governor himself folding to pressure from a gun lobby group. After all, if there was some aspect of the bill the governor didn't like, he could have just given it a conditional veto and revised it to his liking. Instead he vetoed it outright! Clearly putting his own presidential aspirations first and the public safety of our citizens second. I ask governor Christie. Do we really need 50 caliber rifles in New Jersey? Apparently Republican gun lobbyists in New Hampshire think so.