Article I, Paragraph I of the New Jersey State Constitution under the heading RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES states:
“All persons are by nature free and independent, and have certain natural and unalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.” (Emphasis added.)
If the above words are unequivocal and correctly understood by the people of New Jersey, including all elected officials and justices of the Supreme Court, then it is obvious that the “natural and unalienable” right of self-defense and to property including the ownership of firearms cannot be taken away by the State of New Jersey. Thus, the government should not infringe on the right to own a firearm because it allows the people to defend their lives, safety and property. That means the right to purchase a firearm–a way to exercise the above rights–should not be subject to obtaining a “permit” from the State nor should the people have to obtain a permit, which is nearly impossible to get, to carry a concealed firearm.
In other words, while the state constitution recognizes the right of the people to defend themselves and their property wherever they may be, that right, the first right enumerated by constitution is virtually nonexistent in New Jersey.
In the State of New Jersey, the right of people to defend their lives and property is restricted by a multitude of regulations that virtually eviscerate the clear meaning of Article I, Paragraph I.
In light of the mini holocaust committed by Adam Lanza on December 14 at the Sandy Hook elementary school, the drumbeat for more gun control has been nonstop. I deliberately use the term mini holocaust to describe Lanza’s savage rampage. What Lanza did on a small scale, targeting young children and their teachers in a school was no different than what the Hiltlers, Stalins, Maos and Pol Pots and other monsters have done during the past 100 years, slaughter groups of people just because they had a common characteristic.
Carnage by governments around the world have not led to world wide calls for disarming governments, the greatest threat to human life and freedom in the history of the world.
And in New Jersey, which has some of the most anti-gun ownership statues on the books in gross violation of the state’s constitution, one legislator wants the state to restrict the number of cartridges in a semi-automatic firearm magazine to five from the current 10. Not surprisingly, a vast majority of New Jerseyans want “tougher” gun controls in the state, despite the fact that more gun control or confiscation leads to more crime. Incredibly, a third of the respondents would favor amending the US Constitution to ban private ownership of guns.
The right to self defense is a logical extension of the fundamental right to life that we are all born with. In short, the right to defend one’s life and property should be nonnegotiable and respected by lawmakers and judges. But the public’s desire to be free from monsters like Adam Lanza is creating a mass hysteria against the right to protect one’s self and our loved ones or those in our care. We all pray that there will be no more Sandy Hooks. But further diminishing the people’s right to self defense guarantees that the evil ones in our society will not think twice about committing mass murder.
Murray Sabrin is professor of finance at Ramapo College and blogs at www.murraysabrin.com.
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