Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Second That Amendment

This week I received my State of New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card, which gives me permission to buy rifles and shotguns in New Jersey.
Receiving the card was a culmination of seven months of waiting after I filled out the necessary forms back in July 2009. According to information on the New Jersey State Police website, the average waiting time for the permit is one month. Why it took seven months is mindboggling, but I’m not quibbling over bureaucratic lag time. I finally have my firearms permit.
Woodland creatures, here I come!
The process into securing my Second Amendment rights began at my local police department, where I handed in my applications and paid the $60 processing fee. I was taken by a nice detective and fingerprinted. He collected my information, including the names and numbers of two non-relative contacts and a consent form to search my mental health records (since so many lone gunmen are insane), and told me to wait.
So I waited.
For seven months.
Why such a long waiting period? In New Jersey, permits could be issued in 30 days but usually take many months. This is due to intense background checks by the New Jersey State Police and Statue Bureau of Identification.
Firearm waiting periods were enacted to prevent easy accessibility to guns by people who might use them to harm others. They attempt to weed out the risky purchasers, including ex-cons, people with a penchant for violence or those who hear voices in their heads instructing them to purge the unworthy ones at that Dairy Queen.
Waiting periods were also enacted to prevent crimes of passion, presupposing that those who are enraged would have a “cooling off period” before buying a gun. This is flawed logic, because if you’re really angry and want somebody dead, you’d probably just stab them. I wonder if the government will enact waiting periods for buying cutlery sets.
New Jersey requires one permit for purchasing rifles and shotguns and another one for purchasing handguns. I went with only the rifle and shotgun permit since stalking a grizzly bear with a Derringer would be suicidal.
There's also a permit to carry a gun, which the police officer said I didn't need because "only policemen carry guns." I guess he was worried I'd assume the guise of a masked vigilante and put him out of a job.
Gun advocates who are suspicious of waiting periods and legislation which ban certain types of guns (like assault weapons) have registered their discontent online.
One firearms forum carried the following posts:

“If a nationwide ban on guns does happen it will be a sad day for America. I like to believe we have enough gun owners and pro gun organizations to make our voices heard. Next they will be listening in on your phone calls and detaining you for 48 hours without a reason...O wait, They do that already.”

I don't know if it could happen, a nation-wide ban that is. I don't know what oath LEOs take (I'm not knocking on LEOs, I simply don't know ), but people in the military swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America, and lawful orders of the officers appointed over them-- and the Commander-in-Chief. Seeing how a nation-wide ban would be un-Constitutional, any utilization of military-type would be an unlawful order, and can be discarded without punishment.
I'm sure bureaucracy would rear its ugly head, but it states explicitly that we swear an oath to the Constitution before anything else; and I simply don't see a way any politics could deter otherwise.

True, I do not see them having a nation wide ban. I can see them adding new rules to gun ownership. I can just see it now..................

1) You cannot own a gun if you have kids in the house.
2) You cannot own a gun if you live within 25 miles of a school
3) You cannot own a gun if you have less then 20/20 vision.
4) You cannot own a gun unless you complete 30 days of fire arms safty (sic) training.
5) You cannot own a gun if you are reading this right now.

By the way, a LEO is a Law Enforcement Officer. I looked it up.
Besides fevered calls to join the National Rifle Association, the forum participants expressed a deep outrage that federal authorities would slip into their homes unseen at night and using ninja-like tactics, confiscate their firearms. This is the lynchpin of the NRA’s sales pitch; that an abusive federal government run by liberals, hippies and feminists wish to emasculate the gun carrying, freedom-loving alpha males by disarming America and dismantling the Second Amendment.
Some academics indicate that the Second Amendment is archaic and applies to only militias and not a blanket license to own every firearm, while gun advocates insist it’s a fundamental cornerstone of Constitutional freedom.
In other words, you have the right to possess as many M1 bazookas as possible.
Here’s what the Second Amendment actually says:

“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.”

So it’s all about public defense if you think about it. While such a concept dates back to the Middle Ages, the idea of citizen soldiers was popularized during the American Revolution when the colonists, not a standing army, repelled the British. Your Average Joe would be called upon to take up arms and defend his country on short notice. The National Guard still maintains this tradition today.
Yet a citizen must now prove his citizenship, sanity and good standing in order to acquire firearms because a lot has changed in America since the days of powdered wigs and muskets.
I think we should be true to the sprit of the Second Amendment. Everyone with a firearms permit must immediately purchase a gun and be part of a local neighborhood militia. They must keep watch on night patrols and wear tri-corner hats as they march up and down the streets. Every hour on the hour they will be required to announce the time followed by “All is well!”
This would bring the Second Amendment in line with reality, create an opportunity for people to serve their communities and present a new level of homeland security in a scary and turbulent world.

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