New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) thinks she has an offer that gun owners can’t refuse. I think she has been watching too many re-runs of The Sopranos.
In an exclusive interview with MSNBC (which should tell you something right there), Weinberg said she will introduce legislation to repeal New Jersey’s so-called “smart gun” law if the National Rifle Association will agree to not stand in the way of the technology.
Weinberg said that if opposition to the New Jersey law is stopping smart guns from being sold, she will seek to have it changed – if the NRA agrees to stop standing in the way of smart gun technology.
“If, in fact, the NRA will make a public commitment to not stand in the way of the manufacture, distribution or sale of any gun that is limited by technology to the use of only its owner,” Weinberg said, “then I will ask the New Jersey legislature to amend the law.”
Weinberg said she was taking the position in an attempt to meet smart gun opponents “right on their own ground,” since “whatever goalposts they set for you, they move them.”
“I have never been involved in an issue that results in the kind of vitriolic pushback that I get both personally and professionally when I’m involved in something as simple as gun safety,” she added.
Weinberg makes the same mistake that many in the gun prohibitionist community makes. She assumes that the NRA is a monolithic organization that merely needs to snap its fingers for gun right supporters to fall into line. That may be the case with the astroturf organizations that support gun control but it doesn’t work in a movement where you have genuine grassroots. The NRA is led as much by the grassroots as the grassroots is led by the NRA. In other words, they both exert influence.
As to Weinberg’s comments about the pushback she gets on “something as simple as gun safety”, it is because it isn’t about gun safety. It is about control and interfering with an enumerated Constitutional right. If it was really about safety, then the first group to have so-called smart guns would be cops as so many of them have been shot with their own firearms. That said, the New Jersey law specifically exempts law enforcement and the military. Their new handguns are not required to be “personalized handguns” as they are called in the bill.
So Loretta, thanks for the offer but no thanks. It is an offer that we can refuse.