The New York Daily News has run a very favorable article on the Gordon Van Gilder case. You read that right, the New York Daily News. They even embedded NRA’s video on it. I’m kind of shocked, because it’s not like the Daily News is on our side, even on a good day. My guess is that the media is likely aware these stories damage Chris Christie. Regardless of motivation, the more people hear Mr. Van Gilder’s story, the more likely he can get a favorable outcome, as Shannen Allen did.
It also lets people know that what New Jersey has are all the “reasonable common sense gun laws” that the gun control crowd promotes, and that New Jersey’s laws are their model for the rest of the country.
18 thoughts on “New Jersey Flintlock Case Getting Mainstream Traction”
The news says he had the flintlock loaded and in his glovebox. If that’s true, then he clearly planned to use it as a gun. It is misleading to give the impression that the police played a gotcha game over a historical artifact.
Complain about NJ laws, but the police appear to be acting consistently in this case.
Where does it say loaded? From what I heard, it was unloaded. It didn’t even have a flint. He had just bought it.
Various sources, including the article that Sebastian linked to, claim that the pistol is approximately 300 years old. If this is correct, it is logical to inquire whether or not the owner had ever actually fired it — given it’s age, I doubt that he ever has.
Thus, assuming the claim about it being “loaded” is actually accurate, the question then becomes how long it has been so loaded, and whether or not it was actually capable of being fired: Was the powder viable? Was the priming pan full of appropriate powder? Was the ignition system fully complete and functional?
In other words, assuming the report(s) you refer to are accurate, the question is whether or not it was actually in condition to be fired, or if it just had a ball in the barrel capping some inert/decayed powder, and with an incomplete or unprimed firing mechanism.
Also, most news agencies (and often police agencies for that matter) are not particularly knowledgeable about most things, especially firearms. This in turn should lead people to be immediately suspicious of any claim made by/through such an agency when it relates to firearms.
My complaints about NJ’s gun laws are principled based on the unconstitutional nature of the laws themselves; Any complaints, while still important, are secondary to this fundamental issue.
This should read: “Any complaints about the consistency of enforcement, while still important, are secondary to this fundamental issue.”
You can watch the video at NRA NEWS cam & company under, Ginny Simone reports . It clearly states the gun was unloaded .
Regardless of that, they are certainly acting stupid. Its a freaking flintlock! Just let the guy go.
In the NRA video with Ginny Simone about this story, I think that was what the first cop said. He did just let the old man with his even older flintlock pistol go, but then later, one of the first cop’s superiors was not having it. So, a posse of at least three other cops then had to be formed up to go over to the old man’s house and haul him away in handcuffs.
It must be tough for at least some of these New Jersey cops to keep their consciences fully intact when they have no choice but to arrest people for things like possessing a Swiss Army knife, a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun, or a “Dennis the Menace” style slingshot, because all of those things can get you arrested in New Jersey. (You have to have a “good” reason to possess in public any type of pocket knife in New Jersey, and a “I carry this pocket knife just in case I might need it” reason is not acceptable in New Jersey.) I simply cannot imagine how any of those cops could have felt good about arresting an old man with no prior criminal record because he had an ancient gun in the glovebox of his car.
If they felt so bad about it, and thought it was wrong, then why did they still do it?
The “I’m just following orders” line of reasoning died at Nuremberg. Sooner or later, cops will need to start making choices about wheather or not to pursue “offenses” based on their own morality, and not simply blindly obeying orders from on high.
That’s all fine and dandy, but it wouldn’t take long to find enough guys who aren’t going to jeopardize their pension.
We can’t expect cops to walk out en masse like the scene from Robocop 3. Our solution to these kinds of things have to be done way above their heads.
First, I would argue that they have already done so.
Second, my above post is a moral/philosophical point, not necessarily a practical one. On the whole, cops should not be expected to act as we would deem to be moral until the time comes where they are held accountable on an individual basis for their actions: As it stands, they have nearly zero accountability, and we see the results here. Those who follow orders are protected by the unions, and those who make waves are not.
Fair enough. I’m with you on the philosophical side, and in a way we are already seeing it happening with the SAFE act and gun control laws in CO where sheriffs have already said they are not going to enforce. Having a chief LEO being held accountable to the people is something I’m sure the states and feds want to see go away eventually.
Iâ€™m with you on the philosophical side, and in a way we are already seeing it happening with the SAFE act and gun control laws in CO where sheriffs have already said they are not going to enforce.
I have yet to ever hear of even one single solitary incident where a New Jersey cop anywhere has publicly said anything against the gun and other weapons laws of New Jersey. I believe this is entirely because all cops in New Jersey know that their careers would be over in a heartbeat if they ever spoke out against the laws which give them cause to arrest people for “crimes” such as possessing a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun without a valid New Jersey firearms ID card.
I have only heard the exact opposite coming from New Jersey cops when it comes to the question of what good the New Jersey gun laws are. The last time I know of was when a New Jersey police chief opined to the local media that he felt New Jersey’s gun laws “keep people safe,” and this was after police officers of his department arrested a guy on his own front porch late one night, just for coming outside the house with his loaded shotgun, which was only because the police officers themselves made the guy think that prowlers were looking for a way to break into his house. (The police officers were actually searching around in the darkness for a completely different suspect at the time – one who I think wound up getting away, all while the police officers were busy arresting the home resident for having his loaded shotgun on his own front porch.)
This is why I still believe that NJ is a much more hostile state to reside in as a gun owner than NY.
NJ has a lot less counties, and nearly all of them can be considered non-rural. We all know the police chiefs in the major cities are anti-gun puppets for their mayors, but even the smaller towns are populated with police departments who have been brainwashed against guns in civilian hands. At least in NY, you have large swaths of the state that are rural and still pro-gun, regardless of what state leadership says. Hell, my home county which is not even an hour north of midtown Manhattan has come out against the SAFE act and my dad’s sheriff said he isn’t going to enforce its provisions.
However as this case proves, nobody should just assume the sheriff is going to be on the side of gun owners.
I think at this point I agree that NJ is the worst state. You can expect to get a break from rural cops in New York and California. Cumberland County is not all that populous, and South Jersey is culturally more similar to Pennsylvania than it is to North Jersey. That it happened there is a sign of how bad things have gotten over there.
“Complain about NJ laws, but the police appear to be acting consistently in this case.”
Yup. They’re consistently acting like proper little bluecaps.
I believe her name is Shaneen, not Shannen.
BTW, I think it’s great Van Gilder’s story is getting greater exposure to a deep blue audience. I think shaming the anti-gunners is a good strategy. Expose their capricious injustices.
Shannen Allen did not get a “favorable outcome”. A favorable outcome would have been for the charges to be dropped and her record expunged.
If New Jersey’s diversionary program is like Pennsylvania’s, and I believe it is, her record will be expunged once she completes the process. She will not become a felon. Considering what she could have faced, that was a favorable outcome.
I agree, the charges should have been dropped, but this is New Jersey we’re talking about.
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