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Aitken Stuff

The fight now to clear his name starts. At first, I was not that excited about his sentence being commuted. But after I realized that it was to set up a legal challenge to NJ’s onerous gun laws, I saw what they did there. Nappen is a smart guy.

17 Responses to “Aitken Stuff”

  1. JP Says:

    Yeah. I think this will come out well for him.

  2. Bubblehead Les Says:

    Fox News just had a segment on this. Turns out the Judge has a history of bad findings, and Gov. Christie has refused to re- appoint him to the bench. Hate to see someone lose their job just before the Holidays, but in this case….

  3. Ian Argent Says:

    Thereby a small hitch, he was charged with illegal possession of hollow points and illegal possession of standard capacity magazines. The hollow point possession is subject to the same exemptions as the handgun charges; but there are no exemptions for the magazines. OTOH, the magazine possession charge is a (relatively) lighter punishment…

  4. Roger Says:

    I fled the Peoples Republik of New Jersistan 11 years ago to the comfort and safety of South Florida. (the Gunshine state)
    I enjoy the climate, my AR rifles with 20 rd mags, my concealed carry permit and the ease of buying firearms.
    At this time, I don’t even like to fly over New Jersistan, much less return for any reason short of a funeral.

  5. Phelps Says:

    Ditto. IF we were sure that Christie would be making with the pardon in the event that the court of appeals has an craniorectal inversion.

  6. Jim Says:

    I think I am willing to give Gov Christie the benefit of the doubt here. He’s proven a pretty straight shooter.

  7. Al Says:

    Ian Argent,

    Heller upended things though. The central reason causing hollow points, standard magazines and a host of other things to be classed as illegal was that the military doesn’t use that – therefore the civilian militia shouldn’t need access.

    But if you’re looking at things from a self-defense standpoint (which is the ‘new’ standard under Heller), “what the military does” isn’t particularly relevant. The test is how effective is it actually for self defense.

    One question I particularly have is about a sawed-off shotgun. As point-blank and house defense it is hard to beat. And yet it is illegal – the military uses them infrequently.

  8. richard40 Says:

    Christie is brilliant. I suspect he gave a commutation rather than a pardon because he realized that it made a challenge to the law possible. I hope Christie runs for prez in 2012. Right now, He does not appear interested, but he might change his mind in a year. If he did run, I think he would win bigtime.

  9. Larry J Says:

    One question I particularly have is about a sawed-off shotgun. As point-blank and house defense it is hard to beat. And yet it is illegal – the military uses them infrequently.

    I trained on the combat shotgun when I was in the Infantry back in 1975. The combat shotgun was a short barrel weapon and was very useful for close quarter combat such as in Vietnam. It’d be good while clearing buildings in Iraq or Afghanistan but not very good anywhere else. That’s why they carry the M-4 carbine.

    A short barrel pump shotgun is excellent for home defense. You can buy legal versions but if someone saws the barrel off beyond a certain point, you could end up getting a visit from the Feds.

  10. Dave R. Says:

    Christie commuted the sentence rather than pardoned because a commutation was all that was requested, and modern pardons are supposed to go through channels now rather than being purely discretionary acts. I like Christie too on fiscal issues, but there’s no sense making him out to be a saint for what was someone else’s strategic decision.

  11. Dave R. Says:

    I believe short-barreled shotguns are properly protected arms, but the idea they’re not is so ingrained I don’t know how we get there from here, at least not quickly.

    Originally, after the 1934 NFA it was the Supreme Court in US vs. Miller that cemented the prohibition on short shotguns. But Miller is kind of a schizophrenic decision: the effect was only to uphold the NFA in general and the ban on short shotguns specifically, but at least in dicta they reasoned in part off a militia test. They wrote that since short barreled shotguns had no military use, they therefore had no militia use or legitimate civil use, implying a strong military test. But the base assumption was flatly false: shotguns did have and continued to have a military use, the court just wasn’t formally informed of that with Miller and his lawyer absent and only the government arguing.

    Of course Heller did reject the military test in favor of self-defense (which I think is historically in error, but about as good as we’ll get). I agree with Al they ought to be protected by a self- and home-defense test, but even Scalia has basically internalized the status quo ante of the NFA and Miller (particularly regarding automatic weapons, but I think including short shotguns also) even while formally ignoring or overwriting parts of Miller.

  12. Byron Says:

    The Heller decision was wrong in denying that short-barreled shotguns had military use. They were issued and commonly used as “trench guns” in WWI.

  13. bmp Says:

    In lieu of a sawed off shotgun, shoot #4 buckshot thru a rifled barrel – 6′ pattern at 20′ is hard to beat.

  14. Justthisguy Says:

    Unc, New Jersey reminds me of you, with your crazy desire to do credit checks on prospective employees. When I was your age, there were no such things as credit checks. If you want to hire somebody for a trusted position, well, you require him to post a bond. If he doesn’t have that many bucks, then he should consult with an insurance company.

    For someone who purports to be a libertarian, you seem like you would be entirely too eager to know a prospective employee’s SSAN before you think about hiring him.

    As far as I am concerned, I’ll not divulge my SSAN until it’s time to fill out the W-4, AFTER I have already been hired. I have always lived in employment-at-will states, so I see no problem here.

  15. Ian Argent Says:

    Hey – I didn’t say I agreed with the law; just that he’s going to need more than just a new trial with the jury hearing the “moving” exemption. (Which covers the hollowpoints as well as the handguns, but not the magazines.)

    I’m very happy he’s fighting it – I want to be able to buy and keep standard mags for my guns.

  16. bob r Says:

    Dave R. wrote: “They [Supreme court] wrote that since short barreled shotguns had no military use, they therefore had no militia use or legitimate civil use, implying a strong military test.”

    That is _not_ what they wrote. This is from the opinion:

    “In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a “shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length” at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense. “

    Saying they do not having any evidence in front of them is _not_ the same as saying what would be shown if there _was_ evidence provided. Lack of evidence just might have been a result of the defendant’s lawyer not presenting _anything_.

  17. Divemedic Says:

    That is exactly what happened. The Defendant in the Miller case was already deceased by the time the decision came out, and his attorney did not appear before the court, so there was _no_ evidence presented by the Miller defense team. People also ignore the rest of the dicta, which went on to say:

    The significance attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. ‘A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline.’ And further, that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.