Saturday, February 23, 2013

25 Proposed Gun Laws Are Up for Vote in the N.J. Assembly: It's the Wrong Approach

25 Proposed Gun Laws Are Up for Vote in the N.J. Assembly: It's the Wrong Approach

"We need to take a harder look at what’s really going on. Stop trying to treat the symptoms and treat the cause of the problem. Maybe we should try a little harder to help these kids before they feel so cornered that they turn into monsters." - Aaron B. Powell, United States Marine who served in Iraq

The new gun bills up for vote today in the N.J. Assembly are too many for me, a Political Junkie, to fully understand, and that says a lot.

As a parent, I was heartbroken after the tragedy in Newtown, CT. I hugged my children as soon as they walked in the door from school, and spoke with them at length about what had happened.

Among other things, I explained that there are some people in this world with mental problems, and it sometimes makes them do very bad things. I explained that they are safe, and being that I am their mom and protector, they believed me. They understood. However, some of our lawmakers do not seem to understand much.

Demonizing the right to bear arms with knee jerk laws will not bring back the poor victims in Newtown, CT. New gun laws will only prevent law-abiding citizens from the ability to protect themselves, and their families, as we know the mentally ill and criminals, with their illegal guns, will not be affected by current or any new laws.

There are over 100 million law-abiding American citizens who responsibly own firearms for target shooting, hunting, personal and home defense and collecting. They care deeply about the Second Amendment and they are the ones being targeted now.

I believe efforts to impose new restrictions on law-abiding citizens and responsible gun owners are misguided. We already have the strictest gun laws in the nation. Well, after NY, that is.

Now, take this Bill, A58: It prohibits possession of ammo capable of penetrating body armor. This is already Federal law, and simply needs to be enforced.

These 25 gun bills were thrown together within months of the Newtown, CT., tragedy. I wish the Democrat controlled legislature in N.J. would work this hard and fast when it comes to our budget issues, and our state's financial issues. Instead they drag their feet and stonewall Governor Christie every step of the way.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) argues in a recent press release that violent crimes with firearms have declined since the Federal Assaults weapons ban, which for a decade restricted sale of semiautomatic rifles, and limited magazine capacity to 10 rounds, expired in '04. The study was conducted by the Department of Justice.

Camden, N.J., is the most dangerous city in the nation. Why is it that N.J. cities like Newark, Camden and Trenton etc., which belong to a state with one of the strictest gun laws in the nation, have the most shootings? Even Mayor Cory Booker of Newark stated that creating new laws will not stop criminals from getting illegal weapons, and using them.

It would make sense to me that, by making all these laws, we will only empower and pad the pockets of criminals selling guns on the black market at an even higher monetary, and human cost in the long run.

In my opinion, all this talk of so-called assault weapons seems like nothing more than misguided attempts to appeal to, but only serve to fool, the uneducated public about guns. Or maybe it is that the lawmakers of our legislature are uneducated on the issue themselves? These 25 new laws up for vote tomorrow looks to me like "feel good" bills. It’s pretty much impossible to legislate unstable, mentally ill, and criminal citizens that are looking to do harm to others. They will find a way, and it won’t be through registering any weapons.

For instance, Bill A1387 - to impose gun free zones around schools. Does that look effective knowing that every mass shooting in the last 10 years has been carried out in school zones? Is a criminal or deranged person going to decide to leave his gun home because it’s a gun free zone? As a mom, I would prefer my children’s schools have at least one armed guard in the lobby, bulletproof front doors, and windows.

Our legislators' focus should be to strengthen mental healthcare in N.J., and improve the quality of data supporting the National Instant Criminal Background check system (NICS). Maybe also work more on enforcing the already strict gun laws we have in N.J.

Locally, our representatives should look at our under-reported drug problems, especially among teens but, also among citizens of all ages. Let’s look at how to better manage the mentally ill of all ages.

My final thought to our dear lawmakers: When you sit down to vote, please keep in mind that our Founding Fathers made the Second Amendment a right, and be careful before you trample on it. You will be up for re-election one day, and the electorate is watching you.

"The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it." - Thomas Jefferson
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The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.

The Supreme Court of the United States first ruled in 2008 that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess and carry firearms.

In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two landmark decisions officially establishing this interpretation. In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home within many longstanding prohibitions and restrictions on firearms possession listed by the Court as being consistent with the Second Amendment. In McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment limits state and local governments to the same extent that it limits the federal government.

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About Synnove Bakke:
Synnove, a Republican Committee woman in Middlesex County, was born in N.J. to immigrant parents, but moved back to Norway as an infant, and lived there her entire childhood and young adult years. She came back to the U.S. when she was freshly graduated as a nurse, she quickly fell in love with this country and never returned to Norway to live.

Synnove has lived in a socialist country, Norway, and from that experience, studying American political history, and comparing the two nations, realized she is a Reagan Conservative Republican. She was an activist for a few years, and belonged to a few different Tea Party groups after Obama was elected in '08.

Synnove helped restart the Young Republicans in Middlesex, and soon after she became the chair. The first campaign she worked on was a county campaign in '09, based in South Plainfield, which also had a close working relationship with the Christie for Governor Campaign. Senator Sam Thompson, this campaign, along with other organizations locally ensured the sweeping Christie win in Middlesex that year.

Synnove left the Young Republicans to working with the chair Senator Sam Thompson on the Middlesex County Republican Organization, where she still works. She is also currently working for the State in another capacity, and is a Zoning board member in East Brunswick.

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