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 States that NJ recognizes for concealed carry marked in green (courtesy

“What’s that?” the third-grader asked, pointing to the Kydex holster poking out from under my apron. I kneeled down next to the table so we were eye to eye and could talk privately. “It’s my gun holster,” I said, covering it discreetly as I spoke. “But it’s empty. We’re not allowed to carry guns in the school.” “We don’t need one here though, right?” he half-asked, half-stated. “We’re safe here, right?” I nodded my head. What else was I supposed to do? Tell him the crowded lunchroom is a potential free fire zone? That the nearest good guy with a gun is God knows where? Of course not. It’s not his job to vigilant. It’s mine. And I am. Vigilant and unarmed, surrounded by life so precious that contemplating its violent extinction threatens to make me violently ill. And yet, what can I do? Well . . .

I do what I can. For one thing, I write the truth about guns seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year. I crank-out more than a million words per annum, all aimed at defending and extending our natural, civil and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Well, most of them. Some of them are crafted just for fun. Because guns are a hoot and TTAG’s readership revels in its firearms expertise—even as it senses storm clouds on the political horizon.

Yes, there is that.

We’re in a strange period right now. The post-Newtown push for civilian disarmament brought us to the edge of radical new federal gun control. The People of the Gun pushed back with sufficient strength to defeat Uncle Sam’s designs on their firearms freedom. But even as a federal law mandating “universal background checks” hit the skids the Democratic machines in California, Connecticut, Colorado, New York, New Jersey and Maryland tightened the screws on gun owners. But good.

The post-Newtown gun control legislation is just now being implemented. Badly, of course, as state governments once again prove that prohibition is a bloated bureaucracy’s best friend (in terms of creating more bloat). But there’s no question that the tension between gun owners living in these states and their duly elected government is rapidly increasing. Not to put too fine a point on it, they are girding themselves for battle.

Anyone who believes that most New Yorkers will register their AR-15s, for example, is dreaming. This lack of compliance will inevitably lead to the nightmare of SWAT-led gun confiscation gone wrong (for all concerned). Empire State gun owners—who are now legally restricted to seven rounds in their pistols—can see it coming. If things don’t get better—politically, culturally and/or in the courts—they’re going to get a lot worse. You can almost hear them wondering: what then?

I’m not sticking around to find out; you know, personally. I’ve left the Rhode Island for Texas where gun ownership is much more of a right than a privilege. But I’m not abandoning hard-pressed gun owners in my old stomping grounds. The flame of firearms freedom is flickering in New Jersey. As I write this I’m flying into the Garden State to debate a former gang member about gun control. And I’m nervous. Not about the debate. About being unarmed.

Permit applicants must “specify in detail the urgent necessity for self-protection, as evidenced by specific threats or previous attacks which demonstrate a special danger to the applicant’s life that cannot be avoided by means other than by issuance of a permit to carry a handgun.”

Like little Rhody, New Jersey doesn’t recognize any other state’s concealed carry permit. So I’m traveling without any of my firearms. The antis may laugh and call me paranoid for even mentioning it but people who value their lives above everything (I can’t look after my children if I’m dead) will understand my anxiety. Should trouble find me, I have a plan A: avoid, evade, escape. And a plan B: fight for my life with whatever tools fall to hand. Am I wrong to miss the best tool for the job, even if I pray that I’ll never need it?

The girl sitting next to me on the plane is a bright, beautiful, 20-year-old home-schooled Texas Christian studying politics in New York City (of all places). She can’t understand why anyone would want to disarm Americans. “Look at Chicago,” she said. “Look at all the shootings there. Why can’t people defend themselves?” It’s the lunchroom thing all over again. How do I tell her that— “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,” she says.

Well I’ll be damned.

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  1. Exactly how Clinton and Obama like it…unarmed children…so when a crazy does the unthinkable they have their gun ban poster children…. Obama: Sacrificing your youth for his political agenda…

    • as Dennis Miller once said, the only time liberals won’t use children as a protest prop is at a pro-choice rally.

    • Archer come out West one day… or not.

      Welcome to CA, where our gun rights were stripped by a Republican Governor named George Deukmejian who was elected by gun owners and conservatives. He past the Roberti-Roos AWB in 1989 after a school shooting. Prior to George, Ronald Reagan passed the Mulford Act while serving as CA governor. Then we had the Governator, Arnie, who passed anti 50 BMG legislation in the early 2000s. Looks like the DNC is finally joining the GOP, b/c Gov. Brown passed anti open carry laws in 2012 and it just got a lot worse with more mag and ammunition restrictions that go into effect on January 1st, 2014. I shouldn’t ignore Gray Davis’ (D) contributions though, he lent a helping hand in stripping down 2A as well. Hell, are yah just gonna ignore what Bush Sr done did while he was President?

      While it’s oh so enjoyable to read the typical partisan rhetoric, it would be far more enduring to have gun owners realize that the “liberal commies” ain’t the only people who will readily erode 2A. In fact, it is incredibly negligent to assume and propagate the fallacy that the DNC is solely responsible for such tyrannical activities!

  2. While your in New Jersey try to go to RTSP ( Right to self protect)in Randolph in Morris county. They are without a doubt a magnificent range and I would love to send them the great press you guys can bring them. They fight hard for the 2A and well deserve their success.

    • I’ve been meaning to check these guys out, but I don’t drive through Randolph much anymore.

      Would have been a good stress reliever on my old commute to Florham Park.

      It’s cool they have indoor rifle and shotgun. My club is pistol and .22LR rifle only on the inside…

  3. Camden, the city with the highest violent crime rate per capita, do they even have their own police force anymore?
    Carry permits be damned.

    • Nope, Camden does not have their police force anymore. It was replaced by the county’s sheriff’s dept I believe.

    • My grandparents live in West Depford, NJ, and we’ve been through Camden a few times during the day. No way would I want to go through there at night… Even with those militarized police APC’s or whatnot.

  4. Welcome to New Jersey. If you decide you like it so much that you want to stay I’ll gladly take your ticket back to Texas.

    • I pay the bridge troll every night driving home from work. It’s funny how when I’m half way across the Delaware, I feel like I’m entering what is left of the United States

    • Quote from The Long Kiss Goodnight:

      Charly Baltimore: Easy, sport. I got myself outta Beirut once, I think I can get outta New Jersey.

      Mitch Hennessey: Yeah? Well, don’t be so sure. Others have tried and failed. The entire population, in fact.

  5. Godspeed, RF. Look me up if your pursuits ever take you to SoCal, there are lots of anti-gun people to debate here, although Frankenstein et all would rather talk at you than with you.

  6. What youve experienced is transitioning from the First America to the Second America.

    The First America is the one we all know and love-the nation which cherishes the Constitution, hard work, and common sense.

    The Second America is the one found in New Jersey, among other places. This country considers hard work unfair, material wealth a social disorder, and individual thought and expression hazardous to the good of the Collective.In the Second America, everyone is expendable for the good of the many. If 20 kids are ruthlessly killed in a gun free zone, at least the Collective in the 2nd America can feel good about THEIR kids being in a similar gun free zone. Self defense? That means the individual’s life is worth protecting, a notion Second Americans find distressing to the point of anxiety attacks. After all, only an anti-social terrorist thinks HIS family is so important to require firearms to protect them.

    Worse, the Second America cannot rest until the First America is outlawed or physically conquered. “Live and Let Live” does not exist to the protectionist collective, not when even the farthest flung individual in Wyoming poses an idealogical threat to the urbane New Jersey resident.

    One of these days the illusion of a United States will end, and probably violently. I hope none of us alive today will be around to see that sad conclusion in person.

    • This nation has survived 1 invasion, a civil war, 2 world wars, a cold war, the sexual revolution, a great depression, a few deep recessions, terrorist attacks, and various bombings shootings and preztards. I doubt this will destroy it, but if there must be armed conflict let me be the one to fight it so my sons can live with peace and without knowing what fighting for your life and taking another feels like.

      • The main reason why this generation is so taciturn about its liberties ebbing away is that they have not had to fight for anything. Peace and prosperity without threat of invasion or overt oppression is all they have ever known.

        • We could solve that… but no one will like this proposed method.

          Bring back conscription make everyone serve 2 years let them see what soldiers sacrifice for their freedoms( sleep, time with family, choosing your own haircut, freedom to keep and bear beards tattoos and piercings, and choosing where to live.) Maybe then people would stand up for their freedom, like many veterans do. While in all those frredoms listed plus a few others are on the shelf while we fight for yours oh and if the government and UN could stop using us as a global police force that’d be great.

        • That’s not all true , after coming back from fighting Communism in Viet Nam, I and a few others were helping the CONTRA freedom fighters , It cost me big, and I fight for Liberty every day, TRUE only a very few are in the gun rights fight, had a church leader tell about how a dinner gave BIG TIME MONEY for the NRA, the FIGHT is on going , AWAKE AMERIKA!

    • Well said sir. My musings are often consumed by similar thoughts. I hope Americans choose reason over madness, but every day I become more and more disheartened. I think that one of the reasons I often return to this site is to prop up my sense of optimism that the second America is not winning and the prevailing ideology in this nation is one that harkens back to the ideas that this nation was founded upon. Reading the posts and comments here reminds me that there exists still in these 50 states a sense of what it truly means to be an American. Not a European, African or Asian, but American.

      Americans regardless of ethnicity are self reliant, we value our freedom and individualism above all else. We are not dependent upon an omnipresent, deity like government to ensure and guarantee our liberty. We have the right to defend what is ours and protect what we hold dear. The second amendment exists to ensure that every person has the self contained ability to be and feel secure in their freedom, to be safe in their own land, be it from those who wish to take what we have earned with our sweat and blood by force, or through legislation.

      To steal a quote; “When the common good of a society is regarded as something apart from and superior to the individual good of its members, it means that the good of some men takes precedence over the good of others, with those others consigned to the status of sacrificial animals.”

      I personally refuse to be a sacrificial animal at the alter of collectivism/progressivism. The iron in my safe ensures that if I don’t want to, I don’t have to.

  7. Everyone is absolutely safe without a weapon… until they’re not. It’s a game of odds, and some people get the short straw, end of story.

    Some people think guns are bad because: bad people always have guns…

    Best wishes, RF.

  8. The next blood and there will be unfortunately sooner or later.
    Will be on Obamas hands.
    As long as the libatards push for disarmament.
    Criminals and nut cases who don’t or cant obey laws will do what they do and it will be the fault of the Cuomos and Obamas of the world.
    Yes they will wave the bloody shirts again but it will be their collective idiotic fault.
    Keeping kids in a gun free zone is just asking for it.
    Having a gun free zone is just asking for a disaster to occur.
    What better place for it??
    Its getting closer to a little bit of civilian non compliance time.
    If I still were living in NY.
    Id volunteer to be at the head of the line.
    Enough is enough already………..God help me and let me be wrong for a looooooooong time.

  9. While it only takes one house of a legislature, or a governor to block a law, you need both houses and the governor to pass one. Thus I don’t see CT repealing its unjust laws any time soon. We pretty much have to hope that the grabbers went to far and that Kennedy wakes up on the correct side of the bed.

    Yup, Anthony Kennedy is our last, best hope for freedom.

  10. They want all our Rights, everything the whole Bill of Rights, Why They have become Communist/Socialist and HATE the American WAY.

  11. You are not wrong to be nervous about being unarmed. Period.

    After Sandy Hook happened, I took a couple of friends of mine to the range to test out some 9mm pistols (both were looking to buy). I made the mistake of expending the very last of my ammunition to show my friends a good time while simultaneously bolstering the 2A cause. I couldn’t sleep for a week straight after. My S&W SD9 was laying empty on my nightstand, and literally for the life of me, I couldn’t find ammo for it anywhere. Laugh at me. Call me paranoid. I don’t give a sh*t. I’m a firm believer in Murphy’s Law. The ONE time I need my pistol to be loaded is going to be the ONE time I’m completely out of ammo. Never again.

    • The one time I’ve ever been unloaded at home (I got bored haunting the range and shot the last ammo I had) WAS the one time I’ve ever had someone try to break down my front door. You’re not paranoid, you’re right.

  12. Listen carefully and spread the word in case I’m silenced. The anti’s are an advance cadre sent to disarm us before the full zombie revolution attacks! Think I’m a tin foil hat wearing wacko? Take a look at Diane Feinstein. Take a really good look and tell me she doesn’t look like the undead!

  13. I had to run across the river into NJ to take care of some personal business today. Total elapsed time spent in the villain’s territory: approximately 45 minutes.

    Of course my P6 was left in the safe when I walked out of the house this morning. The consequences if I were caught-with over there are so severe I simply can not take the chance.

    Not only does NJ’s onerous and unreasonable firearm laws disarm me while in their enemy sector, I am also left defenseless for the two hour trip each way between my home and the border. Thanks Chris & Co.

    You would have to hold a… well, you know, for me to even dream about spending a night in that state.

  14. The question that remains, RF, is: Did you get that phone number? 🙂

    When I was in Texas, which was twice and was only in Austin, I didn’t find it to be super gun-friendly. But that might’ve been Austin. You go to a bar and you’re greeted by a huge sign with the ‘no concealed guns’ legalistics. The company I visited had some “no guns” policy written so hugely on their windows that I didn’t even notice it anymore (6×8 yards or something), but that’s probably my advertising-blindness.

    It seems as if TX is in some ways getting used to concealed carry, especially with, from what I read, the clenched buttock-ness towards open carry (and even printing?).

    Granted, it’s not all that great ‘here’ (WA) either, with most NFA toys banned and a state pistol registry (if you buy through an FFL, you register a pistol with the state as well, no mandatory update though when transferring), but the differences between the states, especially one that’s perceived as so pro-gun as TX, are interesting.

  15. Nj guy here. My carry permit is the 2nd amendment. I never want to have the regret of “if I just carried…” I never want to think “I could have saved (insert family member or friend)”

    I only go unarmed where I will be frisked (sporting events lik a Devil’s game)

  16. Sadly, here in NJ the joke is that you need to prove you’ve already been killed before being considered for a carry permit. And then denied of course.

  17. The best chance we have for neutering NJ anti-self defense and anti-second amendment laws is national reciprocity. We would have it already if there were anyone but an anti-gun zealot in the White House, or if we had a Republican Senate.

    The votes are there in the House and Senate.

    We could also use the enemies tactics and threaten not to send federal law enforcement money to New Jersey if they do not respect second amendment rights. We can effectively change New Jersey law at the Federal level without the courts.

  18. This is why I’ll home school my children. Schools are nothing but murderer friendly zones…no defense for children. My home, there would be defense.

  19. RF, in meeting your young home-schooled patriot, you met someone whose parents made some decisions about how to raise her, and the fruit of those decisions gave you cause to step back and take notice. We are approaching a time when parents may not have the freedom to make those decisions.

    Do you think you have specific rights as a parent to make decisions for your children? More and more, you would be wrong about that assumption. Just as the assumption that the people of this country have a right to keep and bear arms is under attack, your right as a parent to make decisions for your child is eroding.

    Traditionally U.S. case law applied the “best interests of the child” to situations where the parent has been convicted of abuse or neglect; in other words, the state used to assume that the parents are fit to make decisions for their children until they have been proven otherwise. Recent laws, court rulings and UN treaties are changing that, putting the rights of parents beneath the power of the government using the intentionally vague standard of “the best interests of the child.” Essentially, you parent at the permission of the state.

    Bringing this closer to home to this readership, if the irrational fear of firearms continues to grow, then we may see a situation in which the children of gun owners are taken from their families by the state, because it is not in “the best interests of the child.”

    I would recommend going to to find out more about this attack on our fundamental rights.

  20. I think the most important point in this article is the third graders actions:

    He saw a mysterious object, and openly asked about it. He understood what it was and what its purpose is. He had not fear, but curiosity. He questioned the safety of the school grounds; he was aware that horrible people are out there.

    Fear of guns is not a rational, organic, or normal thought. Fear of guns is instilled through the non stop propaganda.

    Children are intelligent, often more so than adults. They are blunt and honest. They see the world as it is.

    Our government run education system is destroying our children. It is breaking them down into mere figments of what they used to be.

    • AMAN ! love the kids and get them out of the government HELL HOLE called public education. Home schooled kids score in the upper 10 % at collage and Christian Schooled kid score higher that public ed. too.. Public schools are nothing but a Communist training camp , NO THINKING ALLOWED!


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