Taste The Jackboot!

It’s good to see that crime is under such control in New Jersey that the police can expend so much energy making sure no one can have any fun on Independence Day:

Yet it’s illegal in New Jersey to use, possess or transport fireworks, including firecrackers, Roman candles, M80s, cherry bombs and even sparklers. New Jersey is among nine states that bans all consumer fireworks.

“It was a lot about enforcement, but it really was mostly about educating the people,” Hengemuhl said of the state police effort. “We wanted New Jerseyans to know it’s illegal and it’s dangerous.”

We have to put you in jail.  It’s for your own good, you see.   Look, it’s one thing to ban fireworks in a dry climate, when there is a legitimate public welfare concern, it’s another thing to protect people from themselves.  Pennsylvania bans many types of fireworks, but as far back as I can remember, fireworks laws in Pennsylvania have never been enforced by police on Fourth of July unless someone complained.  New Jersey authorities are now talking about fireworks as though it were cocaine.

It’s high time for the citizens of  New Jersey to take back what the politicians have taken from them: their basic freedom.   If people want to do something dangerous, that’s not anyone’s business other than theirs.

New Jersey Alert

The Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs has an alert out urging shooters in New Jersey to contact their state legislators. The New Jersey General Assembly is voting on a bill today, AB3511, to institute a one-gun-a-month gun rationing scheme.


Please contact your Assembly member TODAY and respectfully urge him or her to oppose this unwarranted and unnecessary gun-rationing scheme. To identify your Assembly member, please use the NRA-ILA “Write Your Representative” link below or click here.

So those of you who live in New Jersey might want to make a call. Jersey may be a lost cause, but that doesn’t mean we should give up without a fight.

New Jersey Blames Pennsylvania’s Weak Laws

No, not for guns, for fireworks:

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey wants Pennsylvania to help take the bang out of fireworks, but its wishes may fizzle.

New Jersey is among nine states that bans all consumer fireworks, but residents can easily scoot over a Delaware River bridge to the Keystone State to purchase their Roman candles, bottle rockets sparklers, firecrackers and the like.

Of course, Pennsylvania’s fireworks laws are arcane in their own right, as much of any given firework store’s inventory can only be sold to out of state residents.

So a New Jersey Senate committee on Thursday approved a resolution asking neighboring Pennsylvania to revise its state law to make it illegal to sell consumer fireworks to out-of-state residents.

I would like to propose, in response to New Jersey’s request that we help them outlaw fun, that we make fireworks generally legal in The Commonwealth.  That’s legislative action I can agree with!

New Jersey Fires Under Control

Apparently the fires, which were caused by a military jet dropping a flare, are now under control.  This blaze apparently caused my grandparents former trailer park in the Pine Barrens to be evacuated.

As much as I support military strikes against New Jersey, FormerSpook reports that many residents are none too happy.

“I don’t think they should be doing it,” said Brenda Schoeneberg, 46, on Tuesday evening as she prepared to evacuate her sprawling neo-Colonial home in Warren Grove, N.J., where a stand of pine trees was silhouetted against the blaze 200 yards away.

The Times dutifully reports that this is the fourth time in eight years that Guard jets at Warren Grove have started fires or caused other damage in the local area, leaving “residents feeling as if they live in a war zone.” In 2004, the pilot of another F-16 fired an inadvertent burst from his 20 mm cannon that struck a school about three miles from the range. The incident occurred at night (when the school was empty), and damage was minimal. Two years earlier, practice bombs at Warren Grove touched off another fire that burned 11,000 acres, and a smaller fire in 1999 scorched 1,600 acres of area woodlands.

He later points out:

Warren Grove is located in the Pine Barrens, a rural portion of New Jersey that the Times describes as the largest piece of open space between Boston and Richmond. The remote location is one reason the range was established in that area almost 50 years ago. It’s also convenient for ANG F-16s based in Atlantic City, and Pennsylvania Guard A-10s from the Philadelphia area. Without the Warren Grove range, New Jersey and Pennsylvania guard pilots would have to fly farther south–perhaps to the Dare County Range in North Carolina–to accomplish their training, at a considerably higher cost in flight time, maintenance and jet fuel.

The military says it has no plans to close the range–nor should it. While occasional accidents will happen, they are an unfortunate–though thankfully rare–by-product keeping combat pilots prepared for their mission. The Defense Department will compensate property owners who suffered losses from the fire, just as it did after previous incidents. It’s a small price to pay for training that may save the life of an F-16 or A-10 pilot in combat, or improve their ability to kill terrorists on the ground.

I agree completely.   Read the whole thing.

More From the Weird Department

We definitely have some weird people in Pennsylvania, but we don’t generally elect them Governor:

James E. McGreevey, who resigned as New Jersey governor in 2004 after saying that he had had an extramarital affair with a man, has become an Episcopalian and wants to be ordained as a priest in that faith, according to a published report.

The former governor, who was raised as a Roman Catholic, was officially received into the Episcopal faith on Sunday at St. Bartholomew’s Church in Manhattan, said the Rev. Kevin D. Bean, the church’s vicar.

I guess he was impressed that the Episcopal Church has accepted openly gay bishops. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

You Have To Consider Local Standards

Apparently Corzine is out of the hospital.  He had this to say:

“I set a very bad example,” said a contrite Mr. Corzine, who broke his left femur and 11 ribs in the accident, speaking from a wheelchair just outside Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J.

His voice breaking with emotion, he added: “I hope the state will forgive me. I will work very hard to set the right kind of example.”

Here at Snowflakes in Hell, we have a loathing distaste for the politics of Governor Corzine, but we’re glad he’s OK, nonetheless, and hope he makes a speedy recovery (no pun intended).  Oh, but wait:

No one in the motorcade used emergency lights, as his driver had been doing at the time of the accident. They kept to a pace of about 70 miles per hour, even though the posted limit is 55 on the stretch of Interstate 295 that leads to Drumthwacket, the governor’s official mansion in Princeton, where Mr. Corzine will spend the next stage of his recovery.

Doing 70 in a 55 eh?   Well, I guess by New Jersey standards that’s really sane driving.  Doing 55 anywhere in Jersey would generally make you a traffic hazard.

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell got into a bit of hot water for having his motorcade do 100MPH down the PA turnpike between Philadelphia and Harrisburg.  It gave new meaning to his nickname “Fast Eddie”.  No news since on whether the Governor has slowed it down.  I suspect after Corzine’s trouble, he has.

Terror Watch List Purchase Prohbition is Back

The Senate’s token Dinosaur, Frank Lautenberg, who was well on his way toward fossilization when the NJ Democrats brought him back to life to run in place of Robert Torricelli, is pushing more gun control again. This time, adding the terrorist watch list to NICS:

The Justice Department proposed legislation on Thursday that would give the attorney general discretion to bar terrorism suspects from buying firearms, seeking to close a gap in federal gun laws.The measure, which was introduced by Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, Democrat of New Jersey, would give the attorney general authority to deny a firearm purchase if the buyer was found “to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism.”

Suspects on federal watch lists can now legally buy firearms in the United States if background checks do not turn up any standard prohibitions for gun buyers, which include felony convictions, illegal immigration status or involuntary commitments for mental illness.

So Bush’s Justice Department is proposing this? More evidence that Bush is a turd when it comes to this issue. The problem with this legislation is that you’re depriving someone of their constitutional rights administratively, without any due process. Lautenberg isn’t treating gun ownership as a right here, he’s treating it as a privilege that’s granted or revoked at the whim of a federal bureaucrat.

Dean Boyd, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said the process took time because it involved delicate issues, including “the protection of sensitive information upon which terrorist watch listings are based, as well as due process safeguards that afford the affected individual an appropriate opportunity to challenge the denial after it is made.”

We call this “prior restraint” and it usually doesn’t fly when it comes to constitutional rights. It’s time to remind the Justice Department, and Frank Lautenberg of another part of the constitution they seem to have forgotten:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Sorry, some government bureaucrat deciding you belong on a list does not qualify as due process in anyone’s dictionary. Frank Lautenberg should retire. Clearly he’s forgotten the oath he took to uphold the passage stated above.

Hat tip to The Ten Ring

The Twelve Mile Circle

A few months ago I came across this Wikipedia Article describing a portion of the border of Delaware and New Jersey:

Its existence dates from a deed to William Penn from the Duke of York on August 24, 1682, which granted Penn:

all that the Towne of Newcastle otherwise called Delaware and All that Tract of Land lying within the Compass or Circle of Twelve Miles about the same scituate lying and being upon the River Delaware in America And all Islands in the same River Delaware and the said River and Soyle thereof lying North of the Southermost part of the said Circle of Twelve Miles about the said Towne.

The fact that the circle extends into the Delaware River makes for a fairly unique territorial possession. Most territorial boundaries that follow watercourses split the water course between the two territories by one of two methods, either by the midpoint of the watercourse (the Grotian Method, after Hugo Grotius) or, more often, midpoint of the main flow channel, or thalweg. However, due to the text of the deed, within the Twelve-Mile Circle, all the Delaware River to the low-tide mark on the east (New Jersey) side is territory of the state of Delaware.

I’m not sure that type of water border is really that unusual though, because if I’m not mistaken, the entire portion of the Potomac River belongs to Maryland and Washington, D.C., with Virginia and later West Virginia not starting until the shore. The interesting thing here is there’s a small piece of land on the New Jersey side that actually belongs to Delaware:

The Twelve-Mile Circle

That’s not a mistake. I’ve seen it on other maps too. I’ve always thought it would be great fun to have a “shoot trap with a shotgun that’s illegal in New Jersey” party on that little bit of land, plant a Delaware flag and lay claim, and just generally annoy the hell out of the anti-gun ninnies in New Jersey by taking Delaware’s “weak” gun laws over to that side of the river, and having a fun time.

Of course, this could also increase an already tense situation:

Regardless of the Supreme Court’s admonition to the two states against further litigation on this subject, they were back before the court as late as November of 2005, when New Jersey’s desire to approve plans by BP to build a liquefied natural gas terminal along the New Jersey shore of the Delaware River fell afoul of Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act. The court on January 23, 2006 appointed a special master to study the border dispute, a process likely to take years. Meanwhile the Delaware House of Representatives considered a (symbolic) bill to call out the National Guard to safeguard the State’s interests, while New Jersey legislators made comments about the Battleship New Jersey, moored upriver from the site.

Hell, I’ll join the Delaware National Guard in that case. I’m pretty sure Delaware could take New Jersey in a gunfight ;)

More Crap From Across the Delaware

Jeff Soyer has the digs on New Jersey’s plan to ban 50 caliber rifles. Sadly, this will likely pass; there’s just not enough people left in the Garden State that are willing to fight this stuff. Two hundred people showed up to fight Maryland’s Assault Weapons Ban. I’d be hard pressed to believe we can’t find 200 dedicated gun enthusiasts in New Jersey? Come on folks, show these people who they work for!

Backers of the measure insisted the bill was about public safety rather than gun control. The .50-caliber weapons could fire bullets through a police officer’s protective vest, or could give a terrorist the ability to shoot down an aircraft or touch off a devasting fire at a chemical plant, in an oil tanker or in other settings, Miller said.

Bryan Miller, you are a fucking weasel! Any centerfire rifle cartridge can penetrate police body armor or punch holes through airplanes. Do you want to ban deer rifles too? You say you don’t, but the same thing could be said for any of them. It’s also known that rail car companies test their cars against various small arms, including the fifty. They are impervious to small arms fire.

Ammunition Control

New Jersey is laying the groundwork for ammunition control. I can’t say this shocks me, because to be honest, I’m surprised they haven’t gone for an outright ban yet. New Jersey continues to provide me with reasons to support global warming, namely that, if the climate models are to be believed, it will return portions of the Garden State to the sea from whence it came. Can’t happen soon enough if you ask me!

I am not optimistic about the future of New Jersey for our 2nd amendment rights. It’s a lost cause. The only way they will be saved is for the courts to remind them that they are part of the United States, and are thus subject to the Bill of Rights, including the second and fourteenth amendments.

It struck me this weekend, that what I legally do regularly in Pennsylvania, which involves throwing a bunch of evil black rifles in the back of my car and disappearing for weekend, could land me in prison for years in New Jersey. The only difference being on one side of a river or another.

Since I’ve been involved in the shooting community, I’ve become much more aware of state borders than I was in the past. I envy the folks in the West and Southwest, who can drive for days and not really have to think about it. We don’t have that luxury in Pennsylvania. We’re surrounded by states that want to lock up law abiding gun owners on three sides. The real question for us, as gun owners and shooters, is explaining to folks that don’t ever give this much thought, exactly how absurd this sorry situation is. But in my experience, most people really don’t have a commitment to freedom. Freedom is lip service for most people; something you say you’re in favor of, but when the rubber meets the road, suddenly it’s suggested “Oh, no. I don’t like that. Freedom certainly doesn’t mean that”. To the folks in New Jersey, it seems to boil down to whether you have the right to cut a fetus out of your body or marry someone of the same sex.

I’m not trivializing these concerns, just that, there’s a lot more to freedom than the standard bullshit that the left cares about. I’m not convinced that either party has a monopoly on supporting or eroding freedom, but if New Jersey is the left’s example of how they view freedom, you can count me the hell out. I’ll move to Arizona. Better weather anyway.