Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Friday, February 22, 2013

Assembly takes up gun measures

Plainfielders following the responses of lawmakers -- state and national -- to pressures for legislation promoting responsible and accountable gun ownership can draw some comfort from the fact that the NJ Assembly yesterday took up and passed a series of 22 bills on this front.

The newspapers have given good summary accounts of the bills (see the Ledger's here; and Gannett's here).

There is much that is worthwhile, though I don't see any mention of creating a registration process for all firearms -- a move that would help expose the points at which guns seep from 'legal' to 'illegal' uses. Chicago Police Commissioner (and former Newark police head) Garry McCarthy holds that that is one of the weakest links in the fight against illegal guns: that guns are 'lost' or 'stolen' as a fiction, when in fact they are being supplied by individuals to a criminal element.

In any event, the passage by the Assembly may get headlines and cheers from some, but it is just the first step in a long march.

Senate President Sweeney has promised the bills will be taken up, but also noted that some will not be passed and others may be modified (see story here).

And then, of course, there is Gov. Christie, who must sign any legislation that passes. Christie has not been enthusiastic, to say the least, even though it is an election year for him (as well as all of the Legislature).

One of the most important accountability measures would be for Congress to unfetter the CDC's ability to collect and disseminate gunshot incident data. For a country that is data-obsessed, it is unbelievable that Congress was bullied by the gun lobby into muzzling information gathering agencies.

One agitated gun owner complained that if information on gun ownership and gunshot incidents were widely gathered, his homeowners insurance might go up if he owned a gun.

Boo hoo!

Now that would be a fair fight: the gun lobby versus the insurance industry's lobbyists and actuaries.

I would pay money to watch that!

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

Dan -- I think published lists of homeowners could cause other issues besides just insurance.

If criminals know who has guns, then it's easy to pick the non-gun owners as easy targets to rob and rape.

Right now a criminal doesn't know the capabilities of their targets. Grandma could be packing -- they just don't know.

But, if the government gathers data and it's published, then those without guns now become target number one.

If the government is going gather and disseminate this information, then mabye all of us should get a a gun, just to be "on the list" -- and criminals will not target us.

Criminals and people determined to do harm with ALWAYS be able to get guns. I agree that the average person shouldn't need assault weapons.

But, I do believe owning a gun, being able to defend yourself, should be a choice everyone can make.


Blackdog said...

Make it unconscionably tougher on the law abiding citizen and give the creeps and criminals more of an advantage than they already have. We don't need gun control, we need a way to put down, once and for all, the vermin in our society!

Dan said...

Olive -- I am not speaking of making names and addresses available, but in letting the CDC aggregate the info, which they are not even allowed to do at the moment. But registration databases should contain the names/addresses of owners and those to whom and from whom weapons are transferred -- tho these need not be made public. If the insurance industry feels the data is actuarially useful, they will find a way to get the aggregated (anonymous) info.

Dan said...

Blackdog -- good to see you back, but you are not advocating every start being a 'Dirty Harry' character, are you?