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Posted: 2/15/2013 4:20:23 AM EDT
Will gun control backfire on the Democrats?
By Paul Mulshine/The Star Ledger The Star-Ledger
on February 14, 2013 at 10:42 AM, updated February 14, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Nicholas Purpura of Wall speaks out on a bill which reduces maximum capacity of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds.
The Assembly Democrats are pushing a package of 24 gun control measures in the aftermath of that school shooting in Connecticut last year — and in anticipation of that election in New Jersey this year.

They’d better hope it works out better for them this time than it did last time.

That was in 1990. Jim Florio had just been elected governor. His allies in the Legislature promptly passed an assault weapons ban so sweeping that it began a backlash that eventually swept the Democrats from office by 1993.

It was the gun-rights crowd that formed the nucleus of the anti-Florio movement. When the anti-tax crowd joined in, the governor’s goose was cooked.

The Democrats made a mistake by energizing the Republican base for little political gain. They seem to be doing their best to repeat that error. That package heard in the Law and Public Safety Committee meeting yesterday may sound complicated, but let me boil it down for you in terms any gun owner would understand: The New Jersey Marlin is on the verge of getting outlawed in New Jersey.

The "New Jersey Marlin" is the nickname for one version of the Marlin Model 60, a .22 caliber plinking rifle. The only thing that rifle’s good for assaulting is cans and bottles. Yet that 1990 law classified the rifle as an assault gun because it had a built-in tube that could hold more than 15 bullets.

With the passage of that law, anyone owning the Model 60 was guilty of a felony and could spend five years in prison. This was no idle threat. In 1996, an appellate court upheld the felony conviction of a Sussex County man who had won a Model 60 in a police shooting competition and who had kept it locked up in a safe and never fired it.

The Marlin company eventually built a model with a 15-bullet capacity, the so-called "New Jersey Marlin." But one bill in the package would reduce the capacity for any gun to 10 bullets. Anyone who owned a New Jersey Marlin would be eligible for five years in a New Jersey prison.

Gun-rights advocates are often portrayed as paranoid. Frank Fiamingo of the Second Amendment Society employed that example to describe why that description applies to him.

"People ask why am I so paranoid," Fiamingo told me. "I’m paranoid because of cases like that."

This package of bills would adds dozens of similar technicalities that could land an otherwise law-abiding person in prison.That brought the pro-gun forces out by the hundreds to the hearing. But someone forgot to mobilize the anti-gun forces. Hearings in prior years were often attended by dozens of gun-control advocates, many of whom brought children along for added emotional impact. But yesterday just a handful of gun-control advocates testified.

Meanwhile the gun-rights people had a field day pointing out all the unforeseen complications of the bills. Several argued that a measure to ban the purchase of ammunition over the internet could create a monopoly for in-state dealers, who charge as much as $5 more per box of bullets. And a ban on weapons in excess of .50 caliber could be interpreted to ban deer hunting, another testified.

At one point, a pro-gun lady who said she used to serve in the Navy gave the chairman a lecture for holding a sidebar conversation while she was testifying. Chairman Charles Mainor responded, "This is my hearing." Big mistake. The room erupted in howls and the Hudson County Democrat was soon mollifying the mob.

This was a less-than-auspicious beginning for bills that are designed to rally the Democrats for the November elections. The Democratic strategy was to put the popular governor on the spot by forcing him to either sign the bills or alienate the gun lobby. But before those bills can get to Christie, they have to get past Steve Sweeney.

At the moment, the Senate president from South Jersey is more popular than the governor with many gun owners. That’s a real plus for any statewide ambitions he may hold. But when it comes to future ambitions, Christie’s could easily survive vetoing these bills. But could Sweeney’s ambitions survive if he passed this package?

Maybe the Democrats have some brilliant strategy concerning guns here. But yesterday they gave every appearance of having formed a circular firing squad.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 4:36:47 AM EDT
Did I read correctly this was in the Star Ledger? Hell must be freezing over as I type.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 5:30:38 AM EDT
IT GOES TO SHOW THIS PUBLIC ACTION IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE! IMO this article would never have been printed if we hadn't shown up in droves on Wednesday.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 5:33:44 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 11:48:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By YourMomma:
Did I read correctly this was in the Star Ledger? Hell must be freezing over as I type.

It's written by Mulshine, who's a Libertarian. It's the other 99.9% of Star Ledger employees who hate guns.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 11:52:04 AM EDT
I hope gun control becomes their political waterloo. Fuck those fuckers
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 12:43:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By YourMomma:
Did I read correctly this was in the Star Ledger? Hell must be freezing over as I type.

Mushline is the one Non-Screaming Lib on the staff...and even he IMO isnt a friend...notice the liberal useage of "Gun Nut" in his writing
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