Every December, in the week leading up to Christmas, I have a long-held tradition to watch one of my favorite Christmas movies, “A Christmas Story.” The classic movie is centered on the main character, Ralphie Parker, and his wish to receive a Red Ryder BB Gun with compass in the stock for Christmas.
Ralphie day dreams about the Red Ryder BB Gun constantly and let’s his wish be known, but his mother, his school teacher, and even the angry Santa Clause at the mall all tell Ralphie the same thing, “You’ll shoot your eye out kid!”
Towards the end of the movie Ralphie receives his Red Ryder BB Gun, from “Santa Clause” and proceeds to nearly “shoot his eye out” during the inaugural use.
If “A Christmas Story” was remade today, there are a few states where the law would stand in the way of production in that state.
One of these authoritarian states is the Garden State, New Jersey. A recent Fox News article shared the idiocy of New Jersey’s Grave Act gun law. This law puts the “crime” of owning a BB gun alongside sawing-off a shotgun, filing serial numbers off guns, and using a firearm to commit a crime. Violation of the act can result in fines and a minimum three-year prison sentence.
What ever happened to getting charged with a crime for, you know, actually committing a crime?
Owning a BB gun in New Jersey could land you with a felony charge and basically ruin the rest of your life. Last week we discussed the implications a felony conviction can have on the rest of your life. Regardless, of the nature of the charge, federal law ensures that felons do not regain Second Amendment rights upon release from prison.
Potentially, a child could be caught with a BB gun at the age of six, and have their right to defend themselves infringed upon by the State for the rest of their life.
According to the Fox News article cited above, judges in some New Jersey counties are willing to issue a waiver or downgrade charges depending on the circumstances of the “crime.” It is a relief that some judges understand the absurdity of the law, but why on earth should owning a BB gun be a crime in the first place?
There are far too many laws on the books, especially pre-crime laws such as this one. The society we live in is moving closer and closer to a full-blown police state. You can either chose to sit back and let it happen, or become a voice of dissent that sounds the alarm and a vessel for change that educates others.
A good way to begin that journey is by listening to the Lions of Liberty podcast. In the most recent episode Marc Clair speaks with John Whitehead, President of the Rutherford Institute and author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State.
Check out our past editions of Felony Friday!