If you ever wanted to know how stupid people think, go no further than a politician with a firearm phobic disorder. Idiot Representative Josh Zepnick (D-Milwaukee) introduced Assembly Bill 406 which will make it a crime for licensed concealed carry permit holders to have guns at gas stations. A classic WTF moment for genius Josh. This guy definitely qualifies for the NJ legislature. The Journal Sentinel quotes a Zepnick email:
"This is a serious pattern of crime that has escalated,
presumably due to tough economic times and the 'ease'
of getting in/out of a gas station for criminal activity"
So let's follow his logic as it were. A law abiding individual who's passed a criminal & psychiatric background test is a danger to gas stations why? Tough economic times increases the chance of a licensed individual becoming a gas station holdup criminal because of why? Your garden variety dumb person seems to think when there's a problem with criminal activity, the best solution is to target the people who are not committing the crime. So let's create an analogy that even a stupid representative from Milwaukee could understand. Here we go.
The city of Podunk is having a problem with Ferrari's speeding in school zones. The chief of police sets up road blocks and speed traps across town by the Walmart. Cops begins arresting soccer moms in the parking lot. A casual observer asks the local constable why are you at the Walmart trying to solve the Ferrari problem over at the school. “Well we can't be everywhere and a Ferrari is too fast to chase.” Tada, problem solved.
See, in the mind of these types of people, the problems of society (real or perceived) are always solved with laws. The byproduct is that they oft time end up only burdening law abiding citizens. It's already against the law to rob people but let's make another law so we can double stop them. We can't really catch the bad guys so let's inconvenience everyone else. In the mind of a dope it's not necessary to actually prevent criminal activity so long as you pass a new law. The key requirement is that it's remotely associated with the problem you're trying to solve. In this instance, have the word “gun” or “firearm” in the bill. Then you stand in front of the cameras and tell us how much you care and that your legislation is the most important bill ever signed into law. When the problem doesn't go away, you blame something else. “Those darn criminals keep breaking our precious gas station law, we need another law that is even tougher!” And so it goes.
Compounded with legislative stupidity are the courtroom dummies who can't seem to keep criminals in jail. “Darn it, we told you to stop robbing gas stations, why won't you listen to us? I'm going to have to put you back in prison for a while and then you can get an early release. If you ever come before this court again I'll really get tough and lock you up a little longer.” Of course the economy is slow and we may have laid off a few too many corrections officers. That and our prisons are a wee bit crowded. Dude only spends the summer in the slam. “Well he never actually shot anyone so he's not that dangerous, you can go now, just don't do that again.”
The politics of “low hanging fruit” & “kicking the can down the road” are in full force here. The squirrels causing the problem are too hard to catch in such a tall tree so let's collect some apples at arms length. When a squirrel does get caught, put him in a wet cardboard box so he can gnaw his way out in a few minutes. Does that pretty much sum up what's going on here? Instead of getting in my face about a social problem that I'm not the cause of, why not go after the problem? How about criminal control for a change? The admittedly dangerous inanimate object (firearm) in the hands of a law abiding citizen is not the problem. The dangerous inanimate object in the hands of a criminal isn't even the real problem. It's the criminal stupid. The potential lethality of a gun is not the cause of criminal activity. You need a person to commit a crime. Guns don't commit crimes and never do jail time.
A gas station robbing guy who's locked up is no longer a threat to gas stations. There, problem solved. If you let him out early or let him out at all, how is the gun in my pocket at the Hess station the problem? Prohibiting me from keeping a self defense tool at my side when I exercise commerce in the community is never going to stop criminal activity. The opposite is true. When you create a gun free zone at gas stations, there is less reason prohibiting a gas station robber (one you let out early) from doing what he does best? Does your silly law prevent him from his criminal activity? Do criminals obey the law? Only law abiding people do that and they aren't the one's robbing the place. Is there some sort of reasonable expectation that when this guy got caught and locked up the first time, that he wouldn't do it again when he got out? How many times do you have to “catch and release” before someone recognizes the pattern?
Then there's NJ. Prohibiting people from carrying a firearm at the gas station is a moot point. The only guy with a gun at the gas station is the robber. As a NJ resident I can't defend myself at a NJ gas station. The guys pumping gas are not the owners so they can't carry at work. The owner of Wawa or Luk Oil could legally carry at work but they're probably at the home office somewhere and not taking your credit card through the window. Representative Josh Zepnick (D-Milwaukee) stands as a fine example of what we've had in the Garden State for decades. The ruling class solves the woes of society by burdening the law abiding with crap intended to stop law ignoring criminals. It's worth repeating, we already have fine laws on the books that make the act of robbery a crime so how will another law make it any more of a criminal activity? If you (meaning dumb lawmakers) want to dog pile on criminals with the intent of creating longer sentences, do that. If robbing a gas station gets you 10 years, change that to 20 years. Just amend the law, simple and done. But no, they feel that they must do something extra special. Let's ban an activity for everyone in the hope that it stops law ignoring criminals. Once you deconstruct it all and apply some common sense, firearm laws that prohibit non-criminal from exercising their civil rights are just stupid.