New Jersey – -(AmmoLand.com)- It is nearly impossible to wake up on any given day and not be bombarded by some new crazy and outlandish news story. Every single piece of politics aside, as a country, we’re spiraling into madness. The new soup du jour revolves around an alleged armed protest in Trenton, New Jersey.
Yes, you read that correctly, New Jersey.
If you need to be brought up to speed, sure, there have been all kinds of peaceful armed protests throughout the country. There have also been armed protests that can be viewed as less than savory. The current gold standard of a successful “armed protest” would be the events in Virginia back in January of 2020. Not only was not a single person shot or injured, but the protesters left the area cleaner than it was when they got there. As noted in the cited article concerning Virginia Defense League’s potion on the subject, they don’t advocate armed protest. The ideology of whether or not someone should engage in an armed protest is not what is at debate though, that is a whole other matter.
Trenton Prepares For Potential ‘Armed Protest’ On Jan. 17
Being from New Jersey, this was news to me! I’m actively engaged in nearly all the NJ firearm owner social media groups, and really, the members of those groups were just as perplexed as I was. The fact of the matter is, while once in awhile unruly comments or posts will come about in these groups, violence and illegal behavior are not tolerated nor encouraged in the numerous groups I get a feed from.
From the article:
Following Wednesday’s breach of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, New Jersey State Police officials say they are on high-alert from a new threat.
Trenton is currently preparing for a potentially armed demonstration next Sunday by people protesting the 2020 election.
It’s being fueled by a flyer that has been circulated online. It calls for an “armed march on Capitol Hill & all state capitals.” There is no indication where the flyer came from, but after rioting at the Capitol building, Trenton is taking it seriously.
Chatter on Parler about an “ARMED MARCH ON CAPITOL HILL & ALL STATE CAPITOLS” on Jan. 17th, too.
— Marcus Baram (@mbaram) January 9, 2021
We will ignore News 12’s bias in reporting, the rhetoric from mainstream media in New Jersey is beyond repair. Sans rhetoric, this claim that an armed march in Trenton is laughable. At least from the law-abiding gun owner’s perspective. Any armed protest would be in violation of the law and discussing the subtleties of said law is really not up for debate in this context at this time. Having attended and seen footage of protests in Trenton, never had I ever seen someone armed that was not a police officer.
The idea that an angry “pro-Tump mob” (thanks News 12 for the bias) is going to descend upon the capitol building is ludicrous.
Seeing an increasing number of reports on this story, escalated to the national level not just News 12, Theresa Inacker the Communications Director of The Coalition of New Jersey Firearm Owners was compelled to respond and do some digging. In her piece Fact check: Did NJ 2A plan to storm NJ State Capitol? Group says News 12 story was completely false she outlines many of the same things noted above. She sets the record straight:
Of course, no one in New Jersey’s 2A community had even heard of this protest. But you can guarantee, if things go wrong, you (WE) will be blamed for it.
Inacker is right. Should something happen in Trenton, the fault will fall directly on the shoulders of the law-abiding gun owner. The insinuation that a law-abiding gun owner in New Jersey would do such a thing is beyond tone-deaf to our current plight. From Inacker’s article:
Actually, whoever wrote the flyer demonstrates a complete blind spot, or lack of understanding about how things work here in New Jersey. You all know about New Jersey’s impossible justifiable need standard, required to be to proven before one can be issued a carry permit. What do they think we are doing–Filing a multitude of lawsuits to gain carry just for the heck of it? We are filing litigation non-stop to have the state of the law changed and civil rights restored.
Pulling further from Inacker’s work, she outlines that others have heard of no such planned protest from the New Jersey firearm owning community:
Mark Cheeseman, a Plaintiff who had the gumption to bring a carry case (#19-27; CNJFO filed an amicus brief and raised funds for it AND ANJRPC’s Rogers case!) all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States stated “N.J.s most active pro-Second Amendment page on social media shows that nothing has been discussed or planned. And past rallies were done with permits and NO FIREARMS. And were very peaceful.”
Dan Grdovic, acting President of the Coalition of New Jersey Firearm Owners said: “I have attended several rallies in Trenton supporting the Second Amendment in the past. There were no firearms. Not only have they been 100% peaceful, the city has also been cleaner upon completion of these rallies than before they began. This yellow journalism disparaging otherwise good people in the name of selling ink for tabloid ratings is getting very old.”
None of this is to diminish any possibility of a threat. The FBI, State Police, et.al. should take situations like this seriously. I cannot speak for all the gun owners for New Jersey, however, many of us want to set the record straight…We know of no such plans nor would it be advisable to do such a thing in New Jersey. I’m thankful that our authorities are prepared should something happen.
But don’t start wagging your finger in the faces of New Jersey gun owners, implement more draconian legislation, or vilify us should something occur. There is no buzz in our community endorsing this.
John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use and NRA certified pistol, rifle, and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at www.johnpetrolino.com on twitter at @johnpetrolino and on instagram @jpetrolinoiii .