Being Realistic About Chris Christie on Gun Rights

Chris Christie

I’m going to be play some devil’s advocate here: Chris Christie is the most pro-gun governor New Jersey has had for at least 50 years. I say that as someone who is still, tentatively, backing Scott Walker, so this is not driven by some establishment conspiracy to prop Christie up if Bush III falls over, even though I’d back Chris Christie over Bush III.

As a governor of New Jersey, following a parade of awful, corrupt Democratic governors, and facing an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature, I don’t think he’s done a bad job. Do gun owners of a certain age in the Garden State remember booting Jim Florio, after he passed the state’s Assault Weapons Ban? What did Christie Whitman ever do for you? And unlike Chris Christie, Christie Whitman sailed into office with a Republican legislature!

For me Chris Christie’s greatest sin is signing the law that allows people to be denied Second Amendment rights because they were on a secret government list that has included dangerous jihadists like Ted Kennedy. But as a former US Attorney, Christie is quite cozy with the “law and order” branch of the GOP, which hasn’t met many civil liberties it wasn’t willing to infringe on for the War on Terror (really, what’s a little habeas corpus suspension between friends?) or the War on Drugs.

His “law and order” tendencies aside, Christie has been willing to veto more anti-gun bills and use his executive power on our behalf than any New Jersey governor since 1962. Those of you who are older might be able to refute me on this, and you’re welcome to, but I haven’t found anything in my research to indicate otherwise. Most of New Jersey’s gun control laws were passed in and about 1966, under Governor Hughes (no, not that Hughes), and I haven’t found any GOP or Dem successor willing to lift a finger.

I get being tops on gun rights in New Jersey is not a high standard. But New Jersey is an unbelievably hostile political environment for guns. It’s arguably more hostile than even Brady top-ranked California, where there are still many parts of that state which simply ignore the diktats from Sacramento, and where there’s a good chance you can find local constabulary will look the other way. But for New Jersey, it’s become clear that even counties in more conservative South Jersey jurisdictions will throw the book at otherwise good people in the name of “law and order.”

I see a lot of complaining that Chris Christie didn’t bother to help Brian Aitken, but a pardon requires one to admit guilt, and Aitken wanted to appeal his conviction. And good for him, since he did get it overturned, except for the hollow point charge, which he is still appealing. If he seeks a pardon (and in every state there is a bureaucratic process for that), you have to first admit guilt. That wasn’t an issue for Allen, since they had her dead to rights since she admitted guilt to the arresting officer. Christie can’t grant a pardon he wasn’t asked to grant, at least without screwing up the system, and possibly ruining the appeal.

I don’t blame anyone on not liking Chris Christie. We all have our candidates we prefer in the primary season. But I think few people in the gun rights movement have any idea how hostile the Garden State is to our cause. Chris Christie might be behind the national curve on the Second Amendment, but he’s farther ahead on the curve than any solid blue state governor I can think of in the past 50 years, including Mitt Romney.

21 thoughts on “Being Realistic About Chris Christie on Gun Rights”

  1. i was 2 when the corrupt Brendan Byrne was elected. He certainly was no friend of gun owners. I have no idea, really, about Thomas Keane (I was 11 when he was elected) but he’s such an ingrained part of the blue blooded aristocracy (Even more so than Christie Todd – as in the Abe Lincoln railroad tycoon Todd family – Whitman) that I’d be shocked if he thought of guns as anything beyond what his bodyguards carry.

    Generally though People need to stop judging politicians with bright line litmus tests based on their own views and the politics of where they live rather than the politics of who the Politician represents. Christie is governor of the most anti gun state in the country, by far. Worse than NY, worse than Illinois, worse than California. The idea that some people have that he, or any other Northeastern politician would ever be elected if they expressed views even close to the pseudo born again religious ramblings of the Southern Baptist strain of Conservatism that’s such cancerous infectious noose on the GOP really demonstrates a complete lack of intelligence and generally myopic comprehension of the outside world.

    Democrats don’t do that. They pick the one who will win (usually). That’s why the GOP keeps falling behind. I’m convinced the GOP base is willing TO DESTROY America by staying home and electing by Hillary (that’s what not voting for her opponent is, it’s a vote for Hillary) because of their foolish selfishness.

    1. We’ve gone with the moderates as our nominee for a couple cycles now, it has proven one thing, the “elect-ability” argument is garbage.

      1. We went with the well funded next in line obvious nominee and then butchered their chances by falling into – or creating entirely on their own – all manner of ludicrous sideshows that confirm the narrative that the GOP wants to pry into your personal life and turns off HUGE numbers of otherwise Republican voters outside the Bible Belt (and I write this driving in E. Tennessee about to cross into Grorgia).

        You have to put forth someone who can win. But just as important, the base needs some patience and can’t push passage of social issue / religious legislation. Just for a couple of years.

        Btw, I’m originally from New Jersey, but escaped at 18. I wouldn’t ever trust Christie because his idea of leftward line of acceptability is derived from New Jersey’s political climate. Jersey is far more liberal than the rest of the country. But that has nothing to do with the actual positions he’s taken publiclly on any issue. Heck, while Scott Walker is certainly exciting me a lot I actually harbor the same suspicion of him – he’s represented Milwaukee and basically grew up in the suburbs between Milwaukee and Chicago.

      2. wait, what is the argument that says “if only a Real Conservative had been nominated, Obama would have lost in 2008 and/or 2012?”

    2. ah….this mythical GOP base that always stays home….you’ll have better luck finding pixies in your garden…..

  2. Sebastian…isn’t this post a little at odds with the one from a couple of days ago, vis a vis all the Republican candidates’ positions on guns. You noted John McCain was soft on guns and he lost; that Mitt Romney was soft on guns and he lost. If the genius Republicans put up Chris Christie, he will lose. You know it; I know it; anyone with an IQ higher than warm water knows it. At least on gun rights, this post somewhat painfully presents Christie as “the good German” who only wants to kill a few thousand Jews rather than all of them.

    If the gun vote came out soft for both McCain and Romney, which I believe it did, I would bet on it not coming out at all for Christie.


    1. I’m not a Christie supporter, largely because I believe he’d lose, and there are better choices among the field of likely contenders.

      But if Christie were somehow the nominee (which I think unlikely, looking at things now), I’d still crawl over broken glass to help him defeat Hillary (or whatever leftist nut job gets the nomination).

      The take your ball and go home stuff is why we’ve had to deal with 6 years of Obama with two more to go, and why we missed the opportunity to get the Supreme Court 7-2 on the Second Amendment. Instead we’re risking losing that 5-4 majority, and if the Dems get the White House in 2016 we will certainly lose it.

      1. I supported McCain and Romney. Yard signs, word of mouth, and reminding (republican leaning) friends and family to vote.

        But I would have voted for Hillary in 2008. The supposed differences between Jaun and her on most policies were negligible; and I would have hoped that the Republicans would reflexively oppose her, when they would have gone along with him. Besides, betrayal cuts deeper, and McCain would have “pragmatically” betrayed any principles for good press.

        I was not wrong. Boehner and McConnell have shown that they and the GOP establishment will not even oppose unconstitutional actions by a Democrat. So no more pragmatic and “electable” candidates.

  3. Christi is polling about even with Rubio. He couldn’t get any votes outside of New England. I doubt he could carry New Jersey. If he is the best we can do, it would be best to forgo the election and just krown the prog/socialist now.

  4. I’m surprised to see you rank Christie above Jeb. Jeb has a satisfactory record on gun rights. His two black eyes are education and immigration which will probably keep him away from the nomination. I see Scott Walker pulling ahead.

  5. Man, you are _good_ at this devil’s advocate thing. I’d still need a shower afterwards, but could probably hold my nose long enough to vote for him.

  6. I find it stupid that one must admit fault before the government can decide to stop their persecution.

  7. I live out here in the Texas part of California, Kern County. Even the Democrats own guns and ignore the stupid state gun laws. I even have a carried concealed permit which, while issued by the Kern County sheriff, is good state wise. I’ve carried in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

  8. I see the gunnies throwing the faithful under the bus. The idea they should just chill on issues that blew up last weekend is not working. The gay marriage advocates wants to destroy anyone that disagrees and fails to endorse the LGBT agenda. Christie is a good governor for NJ and he is not terrible on freeing people from the worst excess of their laws. He would have lost his race if he was gunnie absolutist. Christie is not acceptable to the primary voters.

    The base and the evangelicals voted in greater numbers for Romney in 2012 than 2008. It was the Catholic democrats that sat out. Those white people that are losing ground and jobs . I see Cruz making a pitch for those voters. He already would get the gun vote and he is pitching for the faithful.
    I hate to say it but I think the voter fraud was enough to tip the scales in 2012.

    Plus the MSM is a major plus for the Democrats . See how the MSM pushed the LGBT agenda this week. Whether you agree with gay marriage or not does not matter. It is the demonic mob for any person that does not endorse it that is the problem. With the MSM leading the charge the number of states and sports teams that ordered boycotts was a major reason for Pence to pause. That hurt and they never expected this demogougery.
    That power is used against the GOP and with fraud it hard to win. Especially with NY and Ca with big electoral votes to slant the scales.

  9. Re: Aitken. I strongly recommend his book, Under a Blue Tent Sky, and suspect from Sebastian’s recounting of the issues with Brian’s pardon that he too has read it.

    Aitken says in so many words that Christie was willing to pardon him but understood the appeal issue and was willing, instead, to give Aitken what he wanted.

    I do not care for most of the Republican candidates, and none of them seems to be a true friend of liberty. They’re all just people who lust for power and have chosen slightly different paths to it. The D’s on the other hand lust for power and are determined to use it to crush people like me. So I will likely hold my nose and vote for the least of evils again.

    Romney was far from ideal on guns, but we probably wouldn’t still be flailing economically, and acting as if the mullahs in Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood were our best allies.

    As far as the bizarre social-con beliefs of this state house candidate or that one somewhere, people do realize that the media has a thousand-pound thumb on the scale? That’s why we heard over and over about some sniveling kid who thought a 12-year-old Romney bullied him so badly that he never grew up, and we’re still in the dark about what the media’s party’s candidates did in their public offices.

  10. The only pro-gun change in NJ laws that I know of, is the requirement of logging all ammo sales to individuals that was tossed in the early 70’s.

    My dad moved to the Wildwood area in the late 60’s, from DelCo, PA. He still went hunting in PA. At some point, he started storing his hunting guns in PA, although he kept some handguns at home. During one of my infrequent visits in the 90’s, I became aware that he was voting for a very anti-gun governor (don’t recall who the Dem was). When I brought this to his attention, he had no clue on the subject. He thought the guy was good for the state.

    In retrospect, I think he was typical of “the greatest generation” (born in ’25). They were too busy making a living to pay attention to the nation-changing crap from the Progressives. I don’t know if he ever bought a new gun in his life, but he continued to buy, sell, and swap guns privately, until late in life. I imagine living in NJ wasn’t a big problem, as he spent half his time in PA, anyway. I doubt GCA ’68 was much on the radar of people of his generation.
    He wasn’t able to make the connection between gun-grabbers and loss of rights in general. He just continued to do his normal workarounds.

  11. Quite a few here are saying that gun rights folks are throwing conservatives under the bus because of Christie’s voting record on stopping really bad gun legislation in NJ. Well, I consider myself a gun rights guy, and a conservative and if (BIG if) Christie were to get the nomination. I too will crawl over broken glass and drag Christie over the finish line because any democrat president will be 100 times worse than what Christie can do.

    And I don’t like Christie.

  12. Well here is my take. I want to elect the most conservative person that can be elected. That is not establishmentarians Christi, Bush, Santorum or Rubio. If one of them is the candidate, Hello PRezzie Hitlery or Princess Lieawatha. Whomever is the candidate, the media wing of the prog/socialist party will vilify them to the max. So the best we can do is work to get the BEST candidate on the ballot. Right now, I vote for Cruz, Perry or Walker.

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