[And also, because The Shooting Wire remains determined to provide a "permanent link" to Shepherd's commentary, I am obliged to quote the thrice-weekly commentary in full, in order to provide you with his opinion. Again, I urge you to subscribe to The Shooting Wire to avail yourself of ... in this instance ... his incisive commentary also on "Second Amendment Foundation has filed suit against the District of Columbia in an effort to compel the District to issue carry permits to law-abiding citizens", and "the National Park Service has launched a program encouraging hunters to voluntarily switch to alternative ammunitions and stop using lead bullets. The NPS says the lead's a health threat." You should subscribe to The Shooting Wire here. Do it now!]
Geek take: transparent attempt to undermine the Second Amendment.
Bad Laws, Bad Legislators, Bad Ideas
On Friday, it would be nice to be able to talk about the anticipation with which we all look toward the weekend. After all, it's the most continuous time many of us have to enjoy the outdoors. Some Fridays, unfortunately, that's just not possible.
Yesterday, New Jersey became the fourth state to pass legislation limiting state residents to one handgun purchase every thirty days. We have been told, however, that this isn't legislation designed to be anti-handgun - it's anti-violence legislation.
Right. It's necessary in a state with almost as many firearms regulations as indicted legislators. It's nothing more than "feel-good" legislation. The bill's supporters says it's going to cut of a supply of guns to gangs and others who use straw purchases to do their gun buying for them.
In fact, says Bryan Miller, executive director of Ceasefire NJ, [link added by Cogito Ergo Geek editor] "The only people who need more than 13 handguns a year are legitimate collectors, exempted by the law, and handgun traffickers who need to buy and sell handguns in volume to make a profit from their dirty and damaging and illegal trade."
To their credit, supporters of the bill have managed to keep the wealthy collectors off their backs by exempting "legitimate collectors." They've also kept hunters from having much of a voice in the argument, too. Handguns are illegal for hunting there.
"This premise of this law is a fallacy," stated state Assemblyman Gary Chiusano. [link added by Cogito Ergo Geek editor] "Many New Jersey residents have to wait upwards of 100 days to obtain a pistol permit. So after passing background checks, getting fingerprinted, and paying fees to obtain the permit, which are only valid for 90 days anyway, government is now telling people they can only purchase one handgun in a 30 day window after going through all of this bureaucracy. This bill is pure symbolism."
"In a recent Executive Order, Governor Corzine [link added by Cogito Ergo Geek editor] created a task force to examine New Jersey's firearms laws," said Assembly member Steve Oroho [link added by Cogito Ergo Geek editor] , who volunteered to serve on the task force. "But in less than a month after creating the task force, he is already pushing for new gun laws. The Governor is looking to score political points among his far left constituency in what he probably hopes will one day be a universal ban on private citizens owning firearms."
It's wishful thinking, but any company that manufactures or sells handgun-related products in New Jersey (or Maryland, or Virginia, or California - the other three state with similar legislation) should be in the process of packing and relocating. It's time firearms manufacturers started demonstrating their disapproval with idiotic legislation by removing their contributions to the tax base that pays the salaries of these legislators.
Like I said, wishful thinking.
And like I said:
this is a "transparent attempt to undermine the Second Amendment."
The part of the "... the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" doesn't specify Congress. It isn't just in imposition on "CONGRESS". It's worded such that every governmental entity not only should, but must take heed of this elementary "right of the people".
It is a basic American Constitutional concept that our citizens enjoy certain "unalienable rights". The difference between "Unalienable" and "Inalienable" is significant. (See previous link. Discussion on that difference is available here.)
The concept of "States Rights" is also significant. In the 10th amendment of the Constitution, we discover that:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. "
In this specific case, we see that the Federal Government does indeed, in the incarnation of the Bill of Rights, take precedence over the rights of the individual state.
Here, the State of New Jersey has taken it upon itself to abridge the Second Amendment (" ... Shall Not be infringed") The state has not this permission according the the Constitution, any more than has Washington, D.C. the constitutional permission. As has been established by the Heller Decision of 2007:
1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a[emphasis added by Cogito Ergo Geek]
firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for
traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
(a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but
does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative
clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it
connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22.
(b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation
of the operative clause.
We see here that a state has subdefined the number of firearms which an individual may purchase during an arbitrary period of time. While it may suggest a valid reason for enactment (to prevent 'straw purchases" of weapons for later sale), it still constitutes an 'abridgment' of the right guaranteed by the Constitution.
Despite their obvious good intentions, the legislators of the good state of New Jersey have obviously run afoul of the Constitution of the United States of America. That presumption cannot be allowed to stand without challenge.