Friday, August 21, 2009

The Paterson NJ Curfew

The Newark Conservative Examiner has published an article by Joe Luppino-Esposito which contains an interesting take on the controversial initiative proposed in Paterson.

Most officials in New Jersey, including Governor Jon Corzine, do not seem to recognize the concept that people commit crimes. Corzine, a beliver in the overused, but still comedic, maxim "Guns kill people," instituted a one-gun-a-month law which he and the state Democrats insist will reduce crime.

Senate President Richard Codey claimed that "This is not about penalizing law abiding gun owners... It's about stemming the flow of illegal guns on our streets, keeping them out of the hands of gang members and drug dealers, and protecting innocent children and families.'' How Codey and others make that ludicrous leap is a mystery.

The city of Paterson, on the other hand, has recognized that perhaps it may actually be people who are out on the street that commit the crimes and rather than objects that do not fire on their own. Paterson's consideration of a curfew on all residents, not just juveniles, has found its way into national and international news, and for good reason.

Mr. Luppino-Esposito makes very strong statements, a bit on the sarcastic side. He says the governor believes in the "still comedic maxim "guns kill people."" And he says Senator Codey makes a "ludicrous leap" when he says the intent of the New Jersey gun control laws is to stem "the flow of illegal guns on our streets, keeping them out of the hands of gang members and drug dealers, and protecting innocent children and families."

I don't agree with those characterizations of the governor and senator, but I am fascinated by Luppino-Esposito's view of the proposed Paterson curfew. Do you agree that this drastic and controversial proposal in Patterson is a confirmation that "guns don't kill people, people kill people?"

The proposal would certainly be challenged as a civil rights violation, and it would probably lose. But it is important to realize what Paterson officials are saying by even entertaining such an extreme proposition. The city, the third largest in New Jersey, may finally be willing to confront its problem with crime without blaming outside forces. Instituting such a massive control over the streets would be a clear assertion of power over the thugs that have come to power and put people in fear for their lives.

"Without blaming outside forces," I suppose is a reference to the false but frequent refrain of the pro-gun crowd as they try to denigrate the gun control argument. Gun control folks don't blame the gun, they don't think an inanimate object has power of its own, and they certainly don't think all crime would disappear with the disappearance of all guns.

Joe Luppino-Esposito is praising the city of Paterson for finally suggesting a solution that focuses on the person not the gun. But doesn't it bring up another famous question? If criminals are already willing to break laws like possessing guns illegally and committing murder with them, are they expected to comply with the curfew law?

No, they won't, and that's the problem.

What's your opinion? Please tell us.


  1. I agree with you Mike. A curfew law will not curtail those bent on crime any more than a gun law would.

    Criminals are criminals which mean they break laws.

  2. Gee MikeB,

    I'm hurt. I talked about this at my site (probably where you got it and then didn't give me a hat tip). I may have to sulk.

    I also made a proposal for new ordinances that you haven't commented on.

    Its satire with a serious question: What price for the illusion of safety?

    The thugs won't obey the law, the law will be used on more non-criminal citizens then the thugs and even you have to admit this is an unconstitutional restriction of liberty.

    So, why do it?

  3. I agree as well, if this passes, it will do nothing.

    In fact, I believe you will see deliberate defiance.

    No jury is going to send people to jail for being out at night. The only reason for this law is short term revenue generation for a corrupt state government before it's tossed out by the courts.

    Then, that same corrupt government will piss and moan that they really tried to curb the crime rate, but the big bad courts won't let them.

    Watch and see.

  4. Bob said, "I'm hurt. I talked about this at my site (probably where you got it and then didn't give me a hat tip). I may have to sulk."

    Sorry to disappoint Bob, but I didn't see it there. I do read your site pretty often though.

  5. I disagree with Fat White Man. I think the curfew will work. But police states are usually pretty safe from crime aren't they? That doesn't make them pleasant to live in.

    Curfews are civil liberties violations. A barely accept them for minors, let alone adults.

  6. The main question for me is still, where are all those guns in NJ coming from? Some reports show they come from out of state, which proves that the local gun laws work. If the other states had similar laws the problem would be greatly resolved. Doesn't that make sense?

  7. Yes mikeb. If we rounded up all 300 million guns in the United States, and another 300 million from overseas, then did a brain wipe of all gun manufacture knowledge (which would basically eliminate all piston related knowledge), then we might see that the majority of violent criminals don't have guns. It wouldn't necessarily affect the crime rate, but you could sleep better knowing that people were getting stabbed, bludgeoned and strangled rather than shot.

    Sebastian, you are correct, the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc were very crime free. It wasn't until freedom took over that their crime rate soared. I'll bet there wasn't much crime in Nazi Germany either. Most of your Middle Eastern countries also have very low crime rates (in fact for homicide, 6 of the bottom 10 are in the Middle East).

    So, if everyone was like NJ, then why are NY and CA listed in the top 15 source states for NJ traced guns? Are their lax gun laws not working? Looking at the ATF data for traced firearms, NJ is in the top 15 sources for guns traced from PA, DE, WV, ND, NH, and VT. And I only looked at about a third of the states. So, it seems that those strict NJ gun laws are hindering the trafficking of deadly NJ guns to commit carnage in other states. (BTW, the trace data is funny to look at. Anyone with a halfway critical mind will see that that the traffic of guns flows based on two primary factors: proximity (guns come from states that are closest) and population (states with more people have more guns to traffic). My rough guess is that this account for 90-95% of the trafficking - sounds like I need to put together a table.)