You strike me as an intelligent and clear thinking man. I know from your past actions that you are not a man who is inclined to pretend that the world works differently than it really does. You have a history as NJ's Governor, of facing down problems rather than shirking from them or playing political 'pass the buck'. And I think you've done your best within the limits of your principles, to make things better for all residents of NJ.
And since that's so, I think new evidence has become available which should compel you to modify one of your past positions. The evidence I refer to is contained in this FBI study which indicates that as gun ownership rises, crime (particularly violent crime) falls. I'm a NJ resident and a firearm owner. Which is to say that I've already demonstrated that I am a responsible and law abiding citizen. Beyond that, I'm also a business professional, a husband, a father, a homeowner, and a man with deep roots in the community. And I don't believe I'm terribly different from any of the other law abiding residents of NJ who have an interest in exercising their rights as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
We are not "deranged psychos" one moment away from an inevitable killing spree. We aren't unstable or unpredictable. We aren't a hair's breath from an act of violence - quite the contrary. We are the people who build civilizations not tear them down. We are the the steady rock upon which our civilization is founded. And given the evidence referred to above, I think it's time for NJ's firearm laws to stop treating us as if we dangerous to others when it's increasingly clear that the opposite is true. Allowing people like me to carry firearms would increase the safety of others, not decrease it.
Of course, I'm willing to meet any reasonable requirement that the state may set to ensure that I am adequately trained in the responsible use of firearms. I'm willing to pay any reasonable fee (even a recurring fee) to compensate the state for its care in ensuring that I've met those requirements. But there is more than enough evidence to support the view that allowing steady responsible citizens like me to carry firearms actually makes all citizens safer not less safe. And since that is reality, I think you should change your position, and should now support my rights and the rights of others.
Almost every other state in the nation allows private citizens to exercise their right to carry firearms in their own defense. NJ's effective ban is an increasingly rare exception. Under NJ's current law a 'need' must be demonstrated to a judge, and NJ's judges have been notoriously reluctant to see such needs as valid. In the last 25 years there have only been a handful of private citizens who were allowed to exercise that right.
So for decades it's been all but illegal for NJ's citizens to exercise their rights under the constitution. This may have been done with the best intentions absent evidence, but that evidence now indicates that it's been to ill effect. And since precious few of our politicians are as clear headed about the real world as you are, I'm writing you this personal appeal.
I am not a 'villain'. I am not a 'nut'. I am not a danger to others in any way. There is no reason for anyone to fear me, irrational or otherwise. My only desire is to be allowed to exercise my full rights under the constitution. And since it's now clear that other NJ citizens would only benefit from my exercising them, I'm hoping you might serve all of our mutual interest, and help to make that possible in the future instead of standing in the way.