The PJ Tatler

Governor Christie Wants More Gun Control

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced his intention to expand his state’s gun control laws. But there’s some flaws to his logic.

Christie acknowledges there is no way to prevent all violence in our society, but he says it is the job of government to question, to scrutinize and to demand more in an attempt to address the problem.

Christie believes the government has the right to “demand more” from law-abiding citizens, but acknowledges it can’t do the same to criminals. This is standard gun control fare. One of the main features of gun control is making it harder for the law-abiding to defend themselves, while making it easier for violent predators to succeed.

The plan calls for expanding New Jersey’s already strict gun control laws, expanding government-funded mental health treatment, making it more difficult for kids buy or rent violent video games, requiring that would-be gun owners show government-issued IDs and bolstering penalties for gun-related crimes.

According to the Brady Campaign, New Jersey already has the second-most extensive set of gun control laws, after California. Christie shows his big-government mindset: While expanding mental health treatment may offer benefits to society, expanding government programs means higher taxes. According to the Tax Foundation, New Jersey had the second-highest state tax rate in 2010, and the 49th worst business tax climate. Looks like Christie’s going for the big 5-0.

New Jersey already requires gun buyers to have a permit to purchase. To obtain one, prospective buyers must visit the local police station. To buy a long gun, buyers need this state-issued permit plus “one additional form of photo identification.” Purchasing a handgun requires a special purchasing permit plus another form of identification. Each handgun purchase permit is valid for only one firearm. Applicants get fingerprinted and pay a $57.50 fee for the privilege of letting the state decide whether or not to grant the permit.

Christie also wants to ban “future purchases of the Barrett .50 Caliber” rifle. These rifles cost thousands of dollars, and weigh 30 pounds: Not exactly useful to criminals, which is why it’s rarely used in crime.

When running for governor, the NRA graded Christie “?” This grade is for candidates without voting records, who refused to answer the NRA questionnaire. Over the last two election cycles, “?” candidates ended up averaging “C-” after real voting records revealed their beliefs. A few ended up being “A” legislators, but more revealed their hatred of the civil right of self-defense. Christie’s trending towards the latter.