Second Amendment: a New Jersey experience

The National Criminal Registry would be in keeping with the spirit of the Second Amendment
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I applied for a gun permit in the past year. I believe that it is a privilege for most people to proclaim their Second Amendment right for self-defense for hunting and for sport.

However, it was a lengthy process albeit a very intrusive one. Why the government needed to know my ethnic background among other “interesting” questions to buy a firearm is mind boggling. You also need to get two references. Note to the first-time applicant: make sure you alert your references beforehand of your intentions. Also, if you’ve ever seen a psychiatrist or doctor for any mental health or physical illness in the past be prepared to list and explain. It is possible you’re going to need a doctor’s note as well. Never in my life would I have thought that a visit to a doctor could possibly preclude me from obtaining a firearm, as if the questions, references, fingerprinting and first and second background check would not be enough. The application doesn’t even state which illnesses or diseases may disallow your application from being accepted either. You will be expected to prove your worthiness to claim your rights. The process can take months, as in my case, since one of my reference papers was delivered to the wrong address and my friend had if in her pile of paperwork on her “to-do list” once it was delivered, further delaying the process. Try to be patient, but if things seem to be taking too long, call the bureau where you got your application to see why there may be a delay. As you can see this is not an easy process, plus the second background check can take a few days or a week or so. Be prepared once your application is accepted for long waits to buy ammo and your firearm, as people are hoarding products because of this administration’s stance on gun control. It’s also a great idea after you’ve made your purchase to enroll in a firearm safety course, and make sure your weapon is safe from children and intruders when you’re storing it, plus become a member of the NRA or NJ2AS both Second amendment advocacy groups.

Those safeguards are in place for our own good…aren’t they?

A timeless symbol of the Second Amendment and of freedom.

The battle flag of the defenders at Gonzales. This was their answer to Generalissimo Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana, who demanded a return of their cannon.

Although the whole process was definitely stressful it got me thinking that certainly these safeguards are in place to ensure gun owners are worthy. Right? After all, there are some who should never possess a gun. Of course the procedure is in place to protect citizens from those not capable of owning a gun who have some criminal, evil motives. But does it really work? Those opposed to the Second Amendment believe it’s not enough and more gun-control, more red-tape and the eventual taking away of firearms from citizens is the answer to the violence and evil inflicted upon innocent children and unsuspecting citizens by madmen. What no one seems to look at is the condition of the person’s heart who wants to own a gun. Does anyone consider the integrity and morality index of a person who is a prospective gun owner? Where are they mentally and spiritually; do they have a relationship with God? You don’t see any of these questions being asked in a background check nor a clergyman being asked, “Gee, what do you think?” Unfortunately a responsible person of high moral integrity, who loves God, their family and country are the ones being targeted, and not the anti-social, criminally minded.

Why the Second Amendment should be universal

The cliché “guns don’t kill people, people do,” is still valid. It’s when the guns get into the hands of a criminal who assuredly did not fill out the lengthy paperwork nor undergo a background check that things go awry. It’s when a troubled youth, or adult perhaps from a broken home or has no mentor for guidance who’s filled with rage and anger and has fallen though the cracks, do you have a problem. It’s when you have a culture that is taught to suppress feelings instead of expressing them in a healthy way and instead channels their energy to engage in destructive and abusive activities, playing violent video games or watching violent movies that desensitize evil and promote killing, that you have a problem. It’s when you have schools that criminalize and remove from education the very precepts and understanding of God, the author of morality, resulting in a culture that believes there is no right or wrong nor good or bad and has learned to de-value life in some cases, do you have a problem. It’s when you have a government and group of leaders determined to become gods themselves, dictating that they know better than everyone else while the same rules do not apply to them as they are allowed to be protected with the guns they own and their cadre of armed bodyguards, plus they can hunt or shoot for sport if they want to as long as its not you, do you have a problem. Taking away guns from law-abiding citizens is not the answer. Treating, caring and helping those who are troubled so they don’t react violently, plus making sure a standard for ethics and morality is instilled and taught by the teaching of God’s laws is a better route. Please don’t let your rights be trampled by hypocrites who have the luxury of someone protecting them and their families and stand up for freedoms sake. Write a letter to your legislatures, make a call, have a voice, but please don’t be silent because once your rights are gone they are gone forever.

To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them. (Richard Henry Lee, American Statesman, 1788)

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2 Responses to Second Amendment: a New Jersey experience

  1. DinsdaleP says:

    Ms. Ross, did you get your permit in the end? I’m wondering what the final end-to-end time from application to approval was.

    I have to agree that it’s inappropriate to ask about ethnicity in the application, as well as any other demographic data that has no direct purpose to qualifying an applicant.

    References and medical conditions are trickier. I have a friend who asked if I’d be a reference on his permit application last year, and I told him I would not – he has a drinking problem, and while he only drinks when he’s not driving, that level of impaired judgment combined with a gun in the house is a setup for a tragic accident, and I won’t be an enabler. He just shopped around until he found others who had no problem signing the forms, so as a hard deterrent references have questionable value.

    The medical screening is problematic as well, for a similar reason. There are probably certain conditions that make a person a risk to others if they carry a gun, but if you know what those conditions are, you’d just avoid declaring them or doctor-shop until you can game the application process. When people talk about improving mental health care, the idea that being treated may keep you from getting a gun is likely to keep many of the people who need this help from seeking it.

    In short, the more screening you apply, the more likely it is that people determined to get guns will just do so illegally instead of legally. It won’t keep guns out of their hands.

    Don’t get me wrong, though – there absolutely needs to be screening and a process to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. There are may people driving cars without licenses, registrations and/or insurance because they can’t or won’t do it legally, but that doesn’t mean the legitimate system & safeguards should be scrapped.

    Just as free speech is a “right” that has limits in the interest of public safety, it’s no violation of 2nd Amendment “rights” to deny guns to a person who’s legally too blind to drive a car, or being treated for paranoid schizophrenia.

    The entire purpose of possessing a gun is to have the ability to kill when it’s justified. That is as serious a responsibility as it gets, and there are many people like me who have no desire to take that right away from people. However, a nation of laws focused on “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for all has a moral duty to deny deadly weapons to people who lack the ability to possess deadly force responsibly.

    That still allows the overwhelming majority of Americans to have guns if they want them. Time and paperwork does not equate to a denial of a right.

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