Police response time shouldn't determine life or death

The police work very hard to do a good job for the citizens who pay them.  But many people fail to understand that the police are crime orientated.  They stop it if they see it, respond when it is in progress, investigate it after the fact, and help prosecutors convict and punish the bad guys.  That's a lot to do-- in addition to maintaining a general level of public safety (on highways, at crosswalks, crowd control and the like).

The police are not personal security guards for each and every citizen.  They will certainly respond if called, but it is not their job to ensure your personal safety.  You cannot sue the police in civil court if they fail to arrive in time to prevent you from being harmed or worse.  As long as they reasonably attempted to respond to a 9-1-1 call they have done their job. 

In America, individual citizens are their own first line of defense.  That's been the idea since the founding of our nation.  We are responsible for protecting ourselves until the cavalry -- the men and women in blue -- get there to secure the situation, investigate what happened, and so on.

Those who wish to do away with legal firearm possession (because they will have as much success with illegal firearm possession as they have had with illegal drug possession) had better be prepared to formally change this concordat, placing the police firmly in charge of the personal protection of every resident, vastly increase budgets and taxation to pay for this, and allow individuals to bring civil actions against government when it fails to protect them.  This would be a reasonable starting position in any discussion about "swapping" government protection for the rights and duties under the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States of America.

Unfortunately, this is not the starting position advanced by those who profess "gun control."  They are fixated on the bad that firearms can do and ignore their necessity as part of that first line of defense, possibly because they mistake what the police are there for.  As the number of lawsuits brought against government for "failing to protect" (all tossed by the courts) shows, many do not understand the role of the police and what the citizens' role is in his or her own self-protection.

Like the automobile, the firearm is a piece of technology -- a tool.  It should be used safely, but how it is used depends on the user.  Misuse either and you can lose your freedom.  But some in the so-called "gun control" movement would extend "misuse" to simple possession, ignoring the absolute need for firearms as the best means of self-protection, the duty of which falls to all of us as individuals.

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Unfortunately, in New Jersey the state has thrown up regulatory and legal hurdles to self-protection -- while its courts have insisted that state, county, and local governments are not responsible for the lives of the people who live there.  There have been a number of well-publicized cases where vulnerable members of society have been denied the right to protect themselves or the implementation of that right was held up in red tape, and they ended up as victims of homicide.

That is why new federal legislation is so important.  Introduced in the US House of Representatives as HR38 and the US Senate as S446, these bills will allow people licensed to carry a concealed firearm in their own state to do so legally in all states.  Among New Jersey's congressmen, Tom MacArthur is taking the lead.

Legislation proposed in the New Jersey Legislature by Assemblyman Parker Space,  AR-221, memorializes Congress and the President of the United States to enact HR38.  Space and Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce are the prime sponsors of this legislation.  Joining them are Assemblymen Anthony Bucco and Ron Dancer.   Below is the text of the Space-DeCroce legislation:

An Assembly Resolution memorializing the Congress and the President of the United States to allow reciprocity for the carrying of certain concealed firearms.

Whereas, There exists a public interest in individuals maintaining the ability to protect themselves and their families from violence; and

Whereas, The right to keep and bear arms is enshrined in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and recognized by the Supreme Court of the United States; and

Whereas, The ability of law-abiding citizens to legally carry concealed firearms to defend themselves is a fundamental right; and

Whereas, It is in the best interest of our nation that citizens be able to travel freely from state to state without sacrificing the right to protect themselves and their families; and

Whereas, States currently may decline to recognize permits to carry concealed firearms issued by other states, thereby causing our citizens to forego the ability to protect themselves and their families when traveling outside of their home states; and

Whereas, Requiring all states to recognize a concealed carry permit issued by another state would rectify this inequality; and

Whereas, H.R. 38 of 2017-2018, the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017,” has been introduced in the United States Congress in an effort to protect our citizens’ Second Amendment rights, allowing them to travel between states without sacrificing the ability to protect themselves and their families; and

Whereas, H.R. 38 permits a person carrying a valid identification document containing a photograph of the person and a state concealed weapons permit to carry a concealed handgun in any state, so long as the individual is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law or from carrying a concealed firearm in the individual’s state of residence; and

Whereas, At present 22 states recognize other states’ permits to carry concealed firearms or allow law-abiding non-residents to carry a firearm without a license; and

Whereas, Enactment of the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017” will enhance citizens’ Second Amendment rights by permitting reciprocity among all the states for the carrying of concealed firearms; now, therefore,

     Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

     1.    The Congress and the President of the United States are respectfully memorialized to enact H.R. 38, the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.”

     2.    Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly, to the President and Vice President of the United States, the Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate, the Speaker and Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States House of Representatives, and each member of the United States Congress elected from this State.