Guest post by Brian Kelly
Picture a woman going to register to vote in New Jersey only to find the State has passed a law requiring her to undergo a background check, pay a fee, show proficiency in civics and, after meeting all those requirements, having to write a summary justifying her Need to vote.
Now, after attempting to justify her need to exercise her right (let that statement sink in) she is denied by a judge who has arbitrarily determined that she didn’t have an urgent need to vote.
That judge’s lover and the local police chief’s sister-in-law however have miraculously passed all the above hurtles and can freely exercise that right with gleeful abandon.
Too farfetched? How about in the aftermath of 911, New Jersey passes a law requiring anyone wishing to practice Islam must apply for an Islam permit and show ‘justifiable need’ to pray to Allah. The State justifies this by claiming a large amount of terrorists are Islamic and therefore the Islam Permits will only be issued to very few people in order to protect the public, after all they can’t have NJ turn into the Gaza Strip.
If you find these examples offensive, you should, as they clearly violate an American’s rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights and no amount of fearful justification merits such infringement. Unfortunately that same, arbitrary, subjective standard applies to most New Jersian’s right to protect themselves and their loved ones in public with a firearm.
New Jersey’s ‘Justifiable Need’ requirement to obtain a carry permit is the self defense equivalent of ‘Separate but Equal’ Jim Crow laws.
In a recent Appeal (http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/a3704-11.pdf) the judiciary continued to defend the reprehensible concept of ‘justifiable need’. “applicants for carry permits generally must show “‘an urgent necessity . . . for self-protection’” by pointing to “specific threats or previous attacks demonstrating a special danger to the applicant’s life that cannot be avoided by other means.” Preis, supra, 118 N.J. at 571 (quoting Siccardi, supra, 59 N.J. at A-3704-11T4 17 557).”
Think about that for a second. So in order to show you need to carry a weapon for self-defense, which is a basic human right, guaranteed by the constitution, you have to first suffer an attack. So in the case of the recent Short Hills Mall Shooting, now that the victim is dead at the hands of violent criminals, he might meet the ‘justifiable need’ which doesn’t do him or his grieving family any good now.
It is tantamount to the government claiming you have no justifiable need to carry an umbrella because it isn’t currently raining. Ask yourself why do we as law abiding citizens have to wait until we are raped, beaten and killed before the State can see fit to grant us a right to self-defense which is a basic human right dating back to caveman times?
The other justification sited for the clear infringement on our right to defend ourselves before we are crime statistics is unfounded fear, “And the demonstration of particularized need that serves to limit “widespread handgun possession in the streets, somewhat reminiscent of frontier days, would not be at all in the public interest.” Siccardi, supra, 59 N.J. at 558.”
This is completely proven false by the overwhelming data available from the 41 states that actually allow their citizens to carry concealed weapons, five of which are Constitutional Carry not requiring any separate permit.
They have not turned into the Wild West with people shooting each other over parking spaces. In fact, in every state that has enabled their citizens to protect themselves with a firearm violent crime has gone down across the board. Here in NJ, violent criminals know they have little to fear from their disarmed, helpless victims unlike the majority of the other States in the Union where a criminal cannot be sure their target is defenseless.
The bottom line is, we are on our own and responsible for the defense of ourselves and our loved ones. The Supreme Court ruled that individuals have no right to expect protection from the police. (Castle Rock v. Gonzales, No. 04-278). It was also held the Police do not have a duty to provide police services to individuals (Warren v. District of Columbia). We are on our own when the majority of violent crime occurs and we require the means by which to defend ourselves. You ask for ‘Justifiable Need’ and the answer is simple, self evident and at the core of our founding as a nation.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
If you are uncomfortable and wouldn’t dream of owning, let alone carrying a gun for protection that’s ok. Please, don’t deny law abiding citizens, like myself, the right a large majority of States already afford their citizens. My ability to carry is not only my best chance to protect myself and my loved ones; it could also save you and yours. In conclusion I leave you with the words of Thomas Paine from Thoughts On Defensive War,
“[A]rms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. . . Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.”
Hat tip: BadBlue Gun News.