NJ Governor's Push For Reparations Ignores Harm Done By Gun Laws

Chris Pedota/The Record via AP, Pool

Governor Phil Murphy (D-NJ), recently went on the record about discussing the possibility of reparations to New Jersey’s African American community. The concept of reparations is not a new one. I’m not an expert on the subject, so I cannot comment on the idea by bringing up facts and figures. I’m fairly certain that Murphy, who is batting around the idea, also cannot bring up facts and figures. From a Shore News Network piece we can get some information about where this is coming from and where it’s going.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is rolling in taxpayer cash after realizing a $10 billion budget surplus in 2021 and another $10.2 billion in federal stimulus aid. Now, as Republicans are urging the governor to fix the flawed school funding formula and start funding non-urban schools fairly once again, Murphy has another plan for that money.

He’s entertaining the idea of slave reparations to New Jersey’s African American community. Let’s forget that the country’s most progressive liberal Democrat governor lives in a mansion built by a former slave owner, Richard Stockton for a second and take a look at what’s happening.

Murphy, a wealthy white former Wall Street executive from Massachusetts lives in a mansion built by former slave owner Richard Stockton named Drumthwacket is actually considering proposals from Newark legislators who are demanding a “Reparations Task Force”.

There is so much to unpack there concerning fiscal policy. I’d rather agree with people that lean towards investing this surplus into the school systems fairly. Or I don’t know, fixing the screwed up pension system in the state. What did Murphy have to say about this idea?

“This is looking at all reasons, particularly in black and brown communities why the gap in net worth is as staggeringly wide as it is. It’s all-encompassing. This is a far-reaching endeavor,” Murphy said. “The numbers are staggering, so this is a huge piece of unfinished business that has been building for centuries. 402 years, I believe, since slavery first came to our shores in that respect and also the decades of the carnage created by the war on drugs, but if folks don’t know the numbers, they need to understand the numbers as a first step, and you’re talking about gaps in net worth that are 40 to 50, not percent off, times off.”

Governor Murphy, who is up for reelection is walking a fine line. Between his failures through the pandemic, draconian orders, and overall hubris, it’s going to be interesting to see how he does at the polls come this November. One place that Murphy’s failures come in the form of more so-called gun control laws. Since taking office Murphy has signed laws that limit the magazine capacity of firearms down to 10 rounds. Murphy also had the administrative code written into law concerning people attempting to obtain a concealed carry weapons permit. Just to get everyone up to speed, usually this happens the other way around, a statute is created and then code/rules made based off the law.

The digression may seem silly, but in Murphy doing this, he attempted to “right a wrong” in way of New Jersey’s illegal policies going back to the 90’s. I’d say the code was never based on the spirt of law, therefore the law is beyond null and void. Post-Heller interest balancing was deemed unconstitutional when it comes to enumerated rights, so they actually put into law a provision which can and probably will eventually be stuck down.

What does this have to do with reparations? Murphy is quixotically attempting to pull in “his base” and get the votes he needs. Dangling a carrot in front of minority communities in the spirit of trying to help these citizens is quite misguided, though calculated. Penalties and arrests related to the freedom limiting gun control laws are disproportionally levied against minorities and people of color. To be succinct, gun control is racist. A 2016 federal study on the subject corroborates this fact:

• In fiscal year 2016, Black offenders were convicted of a firearms offense carrying a mandatory minimum and subject to that penalty more often than any other racial group (52.6% and 53.8%, respectively). Hispanic offenders comprised the next largest group at 29.5% and 28.5%, respectively.
• Black offenders accounted for approximately 70% of offenders convicted of multiple section 924(c) counts and ACCA, which carry the longest average sentences (327 months and 182 months, respectively).

If that’s not enough for Murphy, perhaps a 2009 University of Rhode Island paper on the subject will help him see the policy he supports is targeting the very same people he’s looking to make whole:

Gun control in the United States is based on a long history of discrimination which continues to this day. While blacks were the first targets of gun control measures, different racial and ethnic minorities have been targeted over time, and today the poor now face economic discrimination in many gun control laws. Gun control may be portrayed as a measure to reduce crime,1 but even in its earliest forms firearms regulation has been used as a means to control specific societal groups by keeping them from possessing weapons.

The history of gun control in America is undeniably racist and discriminatory. Modern gun control laws are less overtly discriminatory, but they certainly have a disproportional impact on the poor.

The discriminatory effects of gun control are clear, but its positive impact on violent crime is not. Gun control in the United States is based on a history of racism, classism, and discrimination. Even the most well meaning measures implemented today are still based on a pattern of “pre-judging” gun control issues based on false beliefs or without knowing the real facts and circumstances of gun violence. In its earliest forms, gun control existed to keep firearms out of the hands of African-Americans, especially free blacks, who were a perceived threat to white supremacy.

Murphy pointing to the “gap in net worth” between minorities and non-minorities does lean towards what one could describe as “the poor” the study references. Murphy has already squandered away enough money that the New Jersey tax payers have brought to the table. The Rutgers NJ Gun Violence Research Center, another pit where Murphy has tax payer dollars going to, should maybe focus on the very topics that the federal government and University of Rhode Island did in their studies.

To add insult to injury, Murphy has proposed several times increasing the permitting fees in order to purchase firearms, not just to carry, to a rate that would be astronomical. Forget that the fees should be deemed completely unconstitutional because they are akin to poll taxes. These fees would also disproportionally affect the Black community negatively based on his assertions.

Given all this, what is Muphy’s modus operandi? A big press event and funding to research reparations is exactly what he needs for his numbers. Is his hatred for firearms and firearm owners so deep that he’s willing to ignore the racist polices that he keeps advocating for? It would appear to be so.  The Hill sums it up pretty good:

Too often ignored in the popular debate is the relationship between stricter gun laws and structural, institutional racism. Advocates of gun control are guilty of abstracting the policy itself from the people and institutions that will ultimately enforce it.

There you have it. One manicured elitist hand is stretching out to give handouts, while the other slaps at said base via institutional racism. This of course ignores the other millions of people affected by his bad policies.