It’s All About the Freedom!!!
New Jersey –-(Ammoland.com)- That was the theme of this year’s Second Amendment Foundation’s Gun Rights Policy Conference (SAF/GRPC) held last month in Chicago, Illinois.
The SAF chose Chicago because Illinois is the only state to grant absolutely NO right to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense.
Personally, I question that conclusion since New Jersey may as well be considered among those states that DO NOT issue carry permits to private individuals.
Yes, there are laws on the books providing for their issue; but in actuality, the state requires the demonstration of a “justifiable need” which is impossible to demonstrate effectively to the satisfaction of New Jersey’s law enforcement personnel and judges.
Absurdly, self-defense is not considered a justifiable need in our state.
IT’S ABOUT FREEDOM!!! What freedoms are we referring to here? Most of us understand the structure of a Constitutional Republic formulated around “states’ rights”. Unlike a “pure” democracy, in a constitutional republic, the majority does NOT always rule. Why not? It is because our founders were wise enough to realize that there are certain rights and freedoms that should NEVER be allowed to be voted away. These rights have been codified in our Constitution and its Amendments – especially those we refer to as our “Bill of Rights”. That name is not an accident. Our founders understood that humans cannot live as humans should without the right to their own beliefs, lives and property. They also understood that the people must be allowed to protect themselves from the dictates of a tyrannical leader or group of leaders.
IT’S ABOUT FREEDOM!!! While it is true that we are the United “STATES” of America, our centralized Federal government does have some legitimate authority that supersedes the rights of the individual states. When state and local laws infringe upon the fundamental human rights recognized by the founders and protected by the Constitution, the Supreme Court can overrule state and local statutes and prevent our rights from being ignored. We have seen this many times especially in regard to what we refer to as our “civil rights”. Civil rights is just another way of referring to “those rights which belong to the people” such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. According to our Constitution, *ONLY* those rights expressly granted to the States and Federal Government belong to those entities. All other rights belong to “WE THE PEOPLE”. Again, this was not an accident.
The founders intimately knew the result of oppression by a tyrannical government. They and their families suffered egregious rights violations at the hands of the English empire.
IT’S ABOUT FREEDOM!!! What does this mean for us today and what does this have to do with “gun rights”. Well, first of all use of the term “gun rights” is not quite accurate. Guns do not HAVE rights. PEOPLE have rights. One of the MOST fundamental rights of a human is the right to their own life and the right to protect their loved ones, their property and their home (which can be expanded to include their country). The founders realized this and included the Second Amendment to the Constitution in the Bill of Rights. There have been several versions but the version ratified by the states reads as follows:
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.
While many people have tried unsuccessfully to interpret the right to keep and bear arms (RKBA) as a right of the state (as in the state militia), the Supreme Court has consistently ruled that RKBA is an INDIVIUAL right belonging to the people (see “Heller v DC” and “McDonald v Chicago”). However, activist judges in New Jersey and many other states continue to rule against this individual right. Legislators continue to propose bills restricting this fundamental right and governors continue to write “executive orders” creating numerous obstacles designed to prevent honest, law-abiding individuals from exercising this right.
IT’S ABOUT FREEDOM!!! Gun prohibitionists at every level of government continue to abuse our rights and freedoms using every possible avenue. At the federal level, the Executive branch engages in treaty talks promoting global gun bans. Anti-gun-owner activists are routinely appointed to key positions within federal and quasi-federal agencies. The ATF, OSHA, EPA and the state department all participate in activities designed to severely restrict RKBA. There is more – MUCH more, but the most significant threat to our Freedom and Rights is the ability to appoint Federal and Supreme Court Judges. I cannot stress emphatically enough how important the next Presidential election is to the retention of our civil rights. Currently in the Supreme Court, there is only a very slim margin in favor of individual rights over state and federal rights.
The appointment of just ONE Supreme Court Judge could change that overnight.
OK… IT’S ABOUT FREEDOM!!! Yet it is quite possible that as a resident of New Jersey you have come to the conclusion that you don’t care all that much about the right to keep and bear arms. Perhaps you don’t wish to own a firearm or to keep a gun in your home for self-defense and defense of your family. That is certainly your prerogative and I will not try to convince you otherwise. What I will do is remind you that if you are willing to relinquish ONE of your fundamental human rights to the whim of whoever happens to be the ruling class at the time, you automatically place all of your OTHER rights in jeopardy.
It *IS* all about freedom, yours mine and the millions of Americans who simply want to control their own lives, retain the fruits of their own labor and be free to engage in activities that do not infringe on the rights of others.
Now, if only the government had the same agenda. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
New Jersey Second Amendment Society – Our mission is to promote the free exercise of Second Amendment rights within the community and Legislature of New Jersey, to educate the community regarding the enjoyable, safe, and responsible use of firearms, and to engender a sense of camaraderie and fellowship among the members and their families. Visit: www.nj2as.com