If there is one thing that this political season has shown is that people are sick and tired of business as usual. How else do you explain the rise of a reality-TV star and billionaire businessman on the Republican side and an obscure, not even elected as a Democrat, self-avowed socialist on the Democratic side of the ticket. Both Trump and Sanders would be long gone in years gone by.
In the midst of all of this comes a proposal from New Jersey State Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen, Passaic) that would allow legislators and municipal and superior court judges to obtain carry permits to protect themselves. Nevermind that it takes an Act of God and then some for ordinary New Jerseyans to get carry permits or even a pistol purchase permit. Witness the death of Carol Bowne who was still waiting for her permit when her stalker killed her.
Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen, Passaic) introduced a bill that would allow legislators, as well as judges at the superior and municipal court levels, to obtain permits to carry handguns provided they complete at least eight hours of firearm safety training.
“Judges and legislators face a greater risk of falling victim to violent attacks, simply because of their easily identifiable position in public life,” Senator Cardinale said. “This measure will ensure that public servants have the means to protect themselves from those who might violently disagree with their viewpoints or decisions. A judge should feel safe returning home each night no matter how they ruled or what they ruled on that day.”
The bill (S-1982) was inspired by attacks, such as the 2011 shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Giffords was shot in an assassination attempt during a meeting with constituents at an Arizona supermarket. More recently, a Texas judge was wounded in a shooting outside of her home in Austin.
Judges and legislators would be exempt from New Jersey’s requirement to show “justifiable need”. They would merely have to show that they took an 8-hour class.
Alexander Roubian of the NJ Second Amendment Society is correct when he calls Cardinale’s proposal completely hypocritical.
Judges and politicians are generally well-guarded by security and they have easy access to police, Roubian noted. And, he argued, they’re already more likely than average citizens to pass the “justifiable need” test because they’re friends with the judges who issue the permits.
“Basically, this is a clear-cut example of how New Jersey operates as a fiefdom. The politicians’ and the judges’ lives, they truly believe, are more valuable than those of average citizens like you and I,” Roubian said.
I would add that Sen. Cardinale, in this of all years, just doesn’t get it. Given that he has been in one house or the other of the New Jersey legislature since 1980, maybe it is time for the 82-year old dentist to go home.