STATE REP RACE Q&A: Judy O’Connell Discusses Her Positions On Gun Control, Death Penalty

WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple is asking weekly questions to the seven candidates running in contested primaries for the Wilmington/Tewksbury State Representative seat (19th Middlesex).

Below, in her own words, are the responses to this week’s questions from candidate Judy O’Connell (D-Wilmington).

#3a) What is your interpretation of the 2nd Amendment? 

I believe that the 2nd Amendment “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” was written with positive intention. The right to protect yourself and one another makes perfect sense to me. I certainly want to protect myself and the people that I love. Having said that, I do not own a gun or wish to have one in my home. I am not trained to use a gun and do not have the proper licensing. I do believe that law-abiding citizens that have successfully passed criminal background checks and have completed the proper training should absolutely have the right to possess a gun. Here’s where this issue causes me to reflect, as I’m sure it does for the entire world. The 2nd Amendment has been questioned and identified as a culprit in recent tragic events such as school shootings, and I believe that these devastating acts stem from mental illness and not addressing or educating people of all ages about the consequences and irreparable damage of gun violence. Also, I believe there should be restrictions on the type of firearm a person is allowed to carry such as a personal hand gun versus a machine gun for example.

#3b) When, if ever, should a citizen’s 2nd Amendment rights be curtailed?

Once again, I would like to address the necessity of gun safety education and the consequences of gun violence.  I believe this should be part of every citizen’s early education from family and schools.  Where there is a clear and present danger identified, such as if a person has been convicted of a violent crime or has a documented history of mental illness, there needs to be safe-guards in place to prevent access to guns.

#3c) Do you consider yourself a pro 2nd Amendment candidate? (submitted by Rob Fasulo of Wilmington)  


#4a) Do you support capital punishment?

I do not support capital punishment.  I believe in swift and appropriate punishment after due process of law has occurred. However, no system is without flaws, and we know that it is possible to sentence an innocent person or rather issue a punishment that doesn’t fit the crime.  An execution cannot be overturned. I do believe criminals who commit egregious acts of violence such as first degree murder for example should be sentenced to prison for life without the possibility of parole.

#4b) When, if ever, should a person convicted of a crime be put to death by its government?


#4c) Would you support reinstating the death penalty in Massachusetts? (submitted by George Ferdinand of Tewksbury) 


Bonus “Fun” Question: Which town has the best breakfast spots? TEWKSBURY with Donna’s Donuts, Vic’s Waffle House, Perfecto’s, Bradford Lantern, Deli King, Route 38 Café, IHOP, & Cracker Barrel or WILMINGTON with As Good As It Gets, Country Chef, Sunny Side Café, Modash Café, Heav’nly Donuts, Starbucks & Panera Bread? For the record, each town has 8 Dunkin Donuts. 

When I do have time to relax at a breakfast spot, I enjoy Vic’s Waffle House and Route 38 Cafe in Tewksbury and As Good as It Gets in Wilmington.  As for the other quality businesses mentioned, I’m going to make it a point to schedule some breakfast meetings at these locations.

(NOTE: Do you have a question for the candidates? Email and it may be asked in a future Q&A or in a debate.)

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