Saturday, June 25, 2011
I've Decided To Break The Law
All the concealed carry permits that NJ has issued in the last 25 years (to non law enforcement officers) can be counted on a single hand, and you'd still have enough fingers left to not have to worry about spilling your drink. While the rest of the country has been bringing their firearms laws in line with the latest crime data and in sync with the voting public, NJ is still right on the cutting edge of the 1970's. But it's where I live - so that, as they say, is that.
When friends have asked me in the past, I always told them that if I felt the need to carry a firearm then I'd simply carry one and the law be damned. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. But as it stands, my primary pistol is a Beretta PX4 in .45 caliber. It's a full sized gun. I can carry it concealed with the right holster, (and I have the right holster). But while most people won't see it, any policeman certainly will. They know what to look for and it's simply too big to hide completely.
With that said, and with NJ's firearms laws unlikely to change soon (Christie remains fervently anti-gun) I've decided that the situation outside is getting serious enough now for me to be prepared to carry on occasion. Crime is soaring, especially violent crime. And with Greece due to default on July 15, and the US at least possibly to follow on August 2nd, we're getting a little too close to the edge for me. I have no intention of becoming a crime victim simply because NJ want's to keep Carter Era regulations in place.
So I've decided to buy myself a little pocket pistol; the kind of thing that you can put in a wallet holster and no one will ever know it's there. They are small, thin, light, and completely concealable. They typically will deliver 7 shots of 380 (9mm short) ammo, which is considered the minimum by many in terms of 'stopping power'. And they are designed for use at the kind of 'up close' distances that crime usually happens.
That isn't to say they can't shoot at a distance too. The model I have in mind is the Ruger LCP (pictured above), which is the same weapon that Texas governor Rick Perry shot and killed a Coyote with last year when it came upon him while jogging. And the gun boards are alight with exclamation of how accurate a weapon it the little Ruger is.
The law doesn't allow me to protect myself. If I carry a concealed firearm and I'm caught with it, it will mean years in jail for me. But at this point things are looking like they're getting risky enough that I don't think that should stop me. In effect, I've decided to break the law. So if you see me in transit someplace, there is at least a chance that I'll be armed when you do.
I won't carry everyday. In this neck of the woods it's simply too risky. There are random DUI roadblocks, spontaneous subway searches, and every time you turn around there is a new building with a metal detector. But if I think the need is there, then my new pistol is going to be too. If the cops are coming for one and the coroner for the other, I know which one I'd rather be.
Mrs. RFNJ objected pretty strenuously to this blog post. She has no problem with me carrying a concealed weapon; I wouldn't seriously consider it unless she was willing to sign off on the idea. But she has a big problem with me announcing my intention to do so. She survived communism you see, where you can be arrested for the suspicion of having seditious thoughts. And apart from the scars she still carries from her experience, she's also a very private person by nature.
I tried to explain to her that announcing my intention to do something is not the same as actually doing it. I can't be arrested for saying that I'm going to rob a bank... I have to actually rob it first (or at least take concrete steps in that direction). And I tried to explain that if I were to use a concealed weapon to defend myself, that I had carried it would become a foregone conclusion and the fact that I had announced my intention first would be the least of my problems. She understood all that, but she had a purely emotional reaction to the idea.
"If it's going to be a concealed weapon" she said when we were arguing about it, "then conceal it."
She has a point. But I'm weighing that against the potential benefit of talking about it. The idea of this blog is to add another straw to the camel's back of injustice. NJ's gun laws are profoundly unjust. So much so that even someone like me, a law abiding citizen by any measure, has to seriously consider breaking the law in order to keep himself safe. And a law that perfectly law abiding citizens feel they have no choice but to violate, is a law that should be changed.
But for the record though, and to ensure my domestic harmony let me say this. I'm buying the gun. The gun is designed for concealed carry, but that doesn't mean I have to use it that way. Maybe after I get the gun in my safe I'll come to the conclusion that I don't actually have to carry it after all. Maybe just having it close enough to carry will mean that I never have to. I'd always rather obey the law if I can. And things will have to get pretty hairy out there before I'm willing to risk a felony conviction.
I already have a pistol that I can conceal, and I don't ever carry it. In fact, the only time I've ever worn it in the holster was at a range - in order to practice with it a little. So I've really risked nothing by making this public. But if the risks change, then I want to retain the ability to change how I react to them... nothing more.
That's my story, and I'm sticking with it.