People with “good intentions” believe that by doing something, anything, they can fix a problem. Often good intentions have negative consequences. In example, recently the White Plains-based Journal News offered interactive maps of Westchester and Rockland counties which gave names and locations of people with pistol permits that the paper had obtained through the state’s Freedom of Information Act.
The effect of doing something so foolish resulted in criminals having a ready list of homes to break into with the foreknowledge of available guns to steal as well as having the chilling de-facto effect of identifying all area homes without guns, a true boon to the home invasion criminal. This newspaper effectively created a double victim list by its “good intentions.”
Due to recent tragic events the private ownership of guns has become a hotly and emotionally contested issue. Gun violence occurs on a daily basis and locally is often noted in the newspapers of record. Criminals often use hand guns, a semi-automatic or a revolver as they are very easy to conceal.
With a criminal mindset and gang related lifestyle guns are deadly. In order to decrease gun violence the answer is to strengthen and enforce current gun crime penalties. Simply stated, kill a citizen with a gun, life. Kill a cop with a gun, death.
However, the majority of guns in the United States are owned by law-abiding citizens who simply feel the need to keep and bear arms within the confines of their place of residence. Legal gun owning citizens have already gone through the process of all the necessary paperwork set forth by the state/local authorities and are simply exercising their second amendment right.
But why own a gun? As Wayne LaPierre President of The National Rifle Association stated “the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.” Gun ownership is clearly a personal choice and no one should feel compelled to own one. Situations change with venue and Secaucus residents should feel safe due to its fine police agency.
Does Secaucus have the legal right to supersede New Jersey law regulating gun ownership within the township? I will leave that call to the towns’ legal department. Mayor Gonnelli wisely did not take a kneejerk reaction to the issue as so many are prone to do when we are shocked and saddened by a tragic news event.
Feel good regulations never stopped a crime. Secaucus should not overreach in attempting to regulate legal gun possession. It is the responsibility of the citizen to obey already established law. Those with a criminal mindset will not be stopped by any ordinance.