Author’s note: I originally wrote this article this past spring concerning the opportunity that would present itself to NJ gun-owners, with the entire Legislature up for re-election in the Fall. Unfortunately, in a year where the total turnout of all voters in November 2011 was 23 percent, there was scant evidence of any cohesive efforts on the part of NJ gun owners, their various clubs and the memberships. As long as this [Do Nothing Attitude] remains the dominant mindset in NJ and to a somewhat greater degree the Nation as a whole, Second Amendment Rights will always be one election away from being legislated out of existence.
Manasquan, NJ –-(Ammoland.com)- I’m sure this is going to upset some people, and that’s unfortunate, but I’m not the type to sugarcoat things and I always call ’em like I see ’em and let the chips fall where they may.
At least the readers will always know where I stand on something.
I’ve been a shooter for nearly thirty years and an instructor, activist and writer on Second Amendment issues for almost a decade. The thing I’ve consistently noticed over the years is the fractionalization of firearms owners and the way it actually helps our enemies on the gun control side.
- The hunters couldn’t care less about the people that want to carry for self defense.
- The sporting clays shooters don’t care about the hunters.
- The military collectors don’t care about those that hunt.
- Etc etc.
Basically, if the issue at hand doesn’t effect a specific person or group directly, they tend to ignore it, to the immense detriment of the larger group as a whole. Not only do things NOT have to be this way, but by maintaining these pointless divisions, all gun owners inadvertently help those that seek to take away our firearms, by doing the dividing and conquering for our opponents!
Here’s but one example.
For several years running, Senator Ted Kennedy proposed legislation banning any bullets that were capable of penetrating the body armor of police officers. Hunters barely made a peep about it, I suppose assuming that it would only effect pistol or modern sporting rifle owners. What they never realized was the language of the proposed bill would have banned the ownership or use of almost 100 different calibers and types of common hunting ammunition by virtue of the fact that their ballistic characteristics made them readily capable of penetrating law enforcement style body armor like the proverbial hot knife through butter. Thankfully, the proposed legislation never made it far in Congress.
Here’s another instance. In NJ, there have been repeated efforts over the last few years to ban .50 caliber rifles, because a few of the rabid anti gun hoplophobes in the state house have drunk the Kool Aide of the banners and believe, falsely, that criminals and terrorists are running around with Barret .50 caliber rifles, despite the fact that the firearm costs $7,000.00, is nearly 6 feet long and weighs almost 30 pounds.
Fortunately the proposal has been defeated for now, because it was so poorly written that it would have barred black powder rifles as well. But during hearings on the matter before the Law and Public Safety Committee, there was only a handful of people in the hearing trying to defeat the bill, instead of having an over flowing capacity turnout from the hunters, long distance competitive shooters, military collectors, and gun owners in general.
This year is the first time in a generation or more that gun owners in NJ have a real and viable chance to enact some serious and long overdue changes to NJ’s draconian firearms laws. The entire Legislature is up for election this year and we have the rulings in Heller V DC and McDonald V Chicago in our favor.
But having the ammunition and the target insight means nothing if you don’t have the manpower to fight the battle!
If there’s one thing politicians pay attention to its getting re elected, and we have a unique opportunity to seriously threaten the re election of some of our biggest and most influential foes in the gun debate this year, but its going to take everyone putting aside their petty differences and banding together as allies against a common enemy. Every once in awhile a series of disparate events come together and create a set of circumstances that open a temporary door for citizens to actually accomplish great things. This year is one of those times. Ask yourself, many years from now, when your children or grandchildren are lamenting the fact that nothing has changed or possibly even gotten worse regarding NJ Firearms Law, what will you say? What would you give to go back in time and seize the opportunity that lies before you right now!?
If not now? Then when? If not us, the ENTIRE firearms community of over 1 million people in NJ, then who?
A few Thomas Paine quotes seem particularly relevant to this:
“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.”
“If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately.”
About Dan Roberts
More articles, commentary and information by D. Roberts available at ThatEveryManBeArmed.com