On Feb. 13, 2013, NJ's Law and Public Safety committee introduced 24 new bills imposing more restrictions on firearms' and ammunition's purchase, sale and ownership in our great state. It was an extremely interesting meeting that attracted around 500 people opposing the new legislations.
The meeting was headed by Charles Mainor of Jersey City, and had a majority of Democrats on the board. Many of the citizens that attended the meeting requested to testify before each bill was voted on only to be met with Mr. Mainor's shocking instructions!
The chairman of the committee was concerned there were too many people that requested to testify on each bill, which would take too much time. Instead, he said, "We can vote on all the bills first and then listen to people's testimony at the end!" Apparently someone had failed to inform Mainor that "WE THE PEOPLE" refers to the American citizens, not the government officials.
Mainor's suggestion was met with an uproar from the crowd that rejected his authoritarian attitude and refused to allow him to proceed without objection. He, then, came to terms and agreed to hear people's testimony before each bill was to be voted on.
The events of that day had two major indications:
- People in charge of our public committees behave as if they were Kings and Queens
- It didn't matter what the people came to say because they were going to pass those bills regardless.
The 24 bills that were introduced that day all passed the vote with little opposition since the majority of the committee was Democratic. As I listened to the many testimonies by the supporters of the 2nd Amendment, it was clear that most of the bills were written hastily by those that do not own firearms or have any real experience on the subject. Mainor stated that the purpose of all the proposed bills was to curb violent crimes using firearms and to prevent those firearms from falling into the wrong hands. Sounds awesome if you do not know much about the bills or are unaware about who are committing the overwhelming majority of violent crimes in the country!
According to the FBI records, there were 269 murders in the state of NJ in 2011. Only one of those homicides was committed using a rifle. That is so much less than 1 percent. Yet Mainor thought that there is a need to ban AR15 in NJ! Where is the common sense in that bill?
We all know that the majority of violent crimes in the country are caused by gangs and their turf wars. Everyone knows this fact, especially the president! Yet, not even one of his proposed firearm restrictions targeted gangsters! Not one bill increases the prison time for anybody committing a crime using a firearm?
Since Hadiya "The little 15-year-old girl" was shot in Chicago, the media couldn't stop reporting her story. Their agenda was to stir more emotions from the people to increase the support for the new restrictions on firearms. But they failed to report one major part of that sad story. The young man that shot that little girl was a known and convicted gang member.
Ward, who was already on probation for unlawful use of a firearm after pleading guilty in a 2011 arrest, was one of the shooters that took the young girl's life. How is it that someone who is a convicted gang member and arrested with the unlawful possession of a firearm is on the streets? Where is the legislation that would fix this major problem with our prison system? There simply isn't one. Our politicians do not wish to tackle a racially charged issue!
Instead, they decided to enact laws and legislations that would never affect the urban neighborhoods and put violent criminals away for good and off the streets. A feel-good type of legislations that does not fix a problem, but sounds good on TV.
Last night I was discussing this issue with a friend of mine who grew up in a very rough neighborhood and currently works as a police officer. He is not a "Gun Nut" nor interested in firearms beyond his ability to do his job to the best he can. I asked for his opinion on the new bills and his exact words were "They won't resolve anything because gangs do not follow the law." This is a testimony from someone that grew up in rough neighborhoods and is a law enforcement agent. He, in my opinion, is the authority on the issue more than anyone else is.
I can tell you for a fact that most of the bills introduced have no real answers to violent crimes nor will ever stop criminals and crazy people from committing them. They were all written without any real debate or research. They are simply "FEEL GOOD POLITICS" and designed to make some politicians look good. It was very apparent, as people testified against those bills, that those who wrote them didn't have any real answers or real knowledge about the current laws or about firearms in general. Shouldn’t we seek help from those that know before we enact pointless laws?
Did you know that Assault Weapons are already banned in NJ? Yet, one of the new proposed bills bans AR15! Did you know that in the state of NJ there is already a limit on magazine capacity? (Only 15 rounds max are allowed) Did you know that NJ residents can’t purchase a firearm unless they have a firearm purchasing ID card? Did you know that you must submit to a mental background check in order to be eligible for a firearm ID card?
We already have one of the strictest gun laws in the nation. Second only to Chicago but did you know that both Chicago and us have the highest crime rates in the country? Maybe we need to stop deciding on resolutions based on our emotions and we need to use logic and reason for a change! Maybe it’s time to think before we act! Maybe we need to sit together (both sides of the aisle) and discuss actual real solutions based on educated and well-informed opinions. Maybe it is time to stop allowing our political correctness to control our future.