The New Jersey Factor

On an article about Chris Christie:

Politicians who don’t trust law-abiding citizens to own guns do NOT see them as equal members of a democratic republic. To put it bluntly, they see them as serfs. Or children who need to be protected from themselves. And that sort of attitude will NEVER get you the nomination from a Republican Party that wants to keep Conservatives inside the Big Tent. NEVER. The way he treats the voters of New Jersey is the way he will treat the voters of America. Take it to the bank. The Second Amendment is not just one amendment in the Bill of Rights: It’s the Founders’ message to the citizens of America – “We Trust You”. And if you fold on that amendment? You’ll fold on all the others. Guaranteed.

Yep. That’s one reason I believe this issue is so important: it goes way beyond guns and hits at the heart of how a politician views the relationship between the people and their government. How a politician feels about an armed populace tells me a lot about how they think.

New Jersey is actually a great microcosm for how gun politics would play out if we gave into them on a national level. The Garden State is further along the path than many other places. The last gasp, so to speak, for the gun vote in New Jersey was the ouster of Jim Florio. Florio had backed New Jersey’s assault weapons ban in May of 1990, and in 1993 vetoed an attempt by the GOP controlled legislature to repeal the law. Florio managed to piss in plenty of other people’s Wheaties too, and by the time the next election rolled around, he was out and Christie Whitman was in, with promises to gun owners. Whitman then proceeded to do exactly nothing, and that was it for the gun vote in New Jersey.

It’s not that there are no gun owners in New Jersey, there are still many of them, but they have been broken, first by the Democrats, and then by the Republicans. The Republicans in New Jersey no longer view the gun vote as anything worth cultivating. Why? Years of onerous regulation, dating back in 1966, has greatly reduced the incidence of firearms ownership in the Garden State. Gun ownership, unsurprisingly, is a key indicator of one’s views on gun control. Without a lot of gun ownership, you have a fertile garden of ignorance that opponents of civilian gun ownership are very adept at cultivating. You end up with Democrats against gun ownership because they hate it, and the Republicans afraid to touch the issue because they don’t want to risk losing votes of the ignorant who are easily manipulated into thinking they want to to supply weapons to crazies, criminals, and terrorists so they can mow down kindergartens with 50 caliber heavy machine guns. The failure of the gun rights movement in New Jersey to effectively change anything, and their subsequent abandonment by the Republican Party, made a lot of gun owners just give up. They stopped caring or paying attention to the political fight.

And this is exactly the future President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg has planned for the rest of us. What remains to be seen is whether the national Republicans will play along.

9 thoughts on “The New Jersey Factor”

  1. That’s part of the reason I’ve called NJ “The Gestapo State” since 1985, and I finally got out in 1990.

  2. I saw an article by Jonah Goldberg arguing that Christie should be welcomed inside the party. This is exactly why he shouldn’t. We’ve already had the ilks of him with McCain and Romney. Time to get serious.

  3. I’m tired of hearing that this or that issue for the GOP is “one issue” and should be scrapped. Funny, the left has had plenty of “one issues” for years that seemed crazy, and somehow they’ve managed to ramrod pretty much everything they wanted through in less than eight years. That’s quite impressive. How did they do it?

    Clue: Not by bending over backwards and caving. And by electing people that were somewhat articulate enough to make you eat a crap sandwich without knowing it.

  4. Some of us in New Jersey are building a movement. It is starting with small successes, like forcing municipalities to follow state law as it exists. We are building momentum. Also, att least two of our gun rights groups are working together, ANJRPC and NJ2AS, which could be a sign of things to come. If we continue to build momentum, I believe New Jersey will eventually become a free state.

    1. I believe if Chris Christie does the right thing and vetoes the anti-gun bills he could start to be taken seriously as a national figure. Until then, he needs the punishment doled out. Not being invited to CPAC is the least of his worries. CPAC comes every year.

      1. I would not count on Chris Christie doing the “right thing” by vetoing any new gun laws in New Jersey.

        Chris Christie already has had a chance to speak out against New Jersey’s already draconian gun laws. This was back in 2010, when Chris Christie ordered the release of Brian Aitken, the guy who was tried, convicted, and jailed for possessing guns and so-called “high capacity” magazines that he legally purchased while he was living in Colorado. Chris Christie never went so far as to say anything about New Jersey’s gun laws back then, so I doubt that he would have anything to say about them now. That makes him something of a RINO in my book.

        1. I agree. But elections (and threats) have been known to push politicians toward the right direction now and then. Another thing that would be interesting is who a potential senate nominee would be should Sen. Menendez choose to spend more time with his family.

          Consider that Mitt Romney was never able to back peddle from his hypocrisy on signing the AWB in Mass. Offering, “well it offered gun owners some good things, too,” arguments were clearly not being taken seriously and many gun owners (and conservatives as a whole) stayed home. There’s no way Chris Christie could stand behind any of these bills as offering gun owners much of anything. If he turns out to be vocally pro-gun, he would be rewarded immensely in 2016.

          On the flip side, if he turns out to be anti-gun, would a GOP nominee seriously be counting on Bloomberg’s money to win a presidential race?

          1. You should also have added that since they turned their back on New Jersey’s gun owners, the state’s GOP has relegated itself to a minority party in the legislature.

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