Because Gun! Hollowpoints!

Shaneen Allen and her family
Shaneen Allen and her family

The Shaneen Allen case is breaking all kinds of cultural and political boundaries. Regular readers no doubt recall Editor Bob Owens’ recent article on the case: “What Passes for ‘Justice’ In Anti-Liberty New Jersey.” 

To review, Shaneen Allen was arrested by New Jersey State Police and charged with possessing a handgun and hollow point ammunition.This vicious criminal dared to have her handgun in her glove compartment while on a brief trip through New Jersey, and is now facing years in prison.

There is an update in the pre-trial maneuvering in the case:

“According to her attorney, she is eligible for a diversion program for first-time offenders that would avoid a felony conviction and mandatory 42 months in prison. But for reasons he has yet to articulate, New Jersey District Attorney Jim McClain has refused to allow her to take advantage of that program.

Now, New Jersey Judge Michael Donio has denied Allen’s request to have the charge dismissed.

The words common sense were mentioned quite a bit during Shaneen Allen’s hearing yesterday in Atlantic County Superior Court.

Allen, 27, cried for a moment in the hallway with her son Naiare and his father after a judge denied her motion to dismiss weapons charges filed against her in October and refused to overturn a prosecutor’s decision to deny her entry into a first-time-offender diversion program.

So Allen walked back into court, turned down a plea deal that would have given her a 3 1/2-year sentence and decided to go to trial in October, hoping a jury would use some common sense and not send a working mother of two to prison for not knowing New Jersey’s gun laws.”

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The political elements in this case are as relevant as they are disgusting. Certainly, not everyone whose political philosophy is left of center is an enemy of the Second Amendment, but normally, those that style themselves Progressives–denizens of the Left–are very much anti-gun. They oppose the right to self-defense, seeing it as an affront to government, which must have a monopoly on arms. As a result, they are more than happy to see anyone accidently violating even the most inflexible and draconian anti-gun laws be imprisoned, their lives ruined. This is not so much a desire for law and order–such people also tend to be very much soft on crime and supportive of genuine criminals–but an expression of what they believe to be the proper power relationship between “the people” and the government: government has it all, “the people” have none. An example:

“Fortunately, the notoriety of this case will make it less likely Pennsylvanians will carry concealed and loaded handguns in New Jersey, thereby making them and the Garden State safer from gun violence,’ said Bryan Miller, executive director of Heeding God’s Call, a faith-based movement to prevent gun violence.”

Perusing the “Heeding God’s Call’s” website,  it appears that those congregations and denominations involved are centered in the East–particularly Pennsylvania and Washington, DC–and are those commonly associated with anti-gun sentiments and activities. Their “movement” however, would seem to care much about policy, and little about individuals such as Shaneen Allen. Those thinking Christian theology is primarily focused on changing the lives of individuals and on being of help to them are apparently mistaken where gun control policy is involved.  To these people, God is apparently calling us to reject self-defense, and they’re heeding the call.

Progressives are also generally very vocal and stalwart in their unswerving support of minorities, women, the economically disadvantaged and victims of at least some kinds. New Jersey is certainly a blue state, a state controlled for decades by the Left. Its laws and general culture obviously reflect Progressive thinking, particularly those relating to self-defense and gun ownership in general.

Prosecutors have near-total discretion in these matters. Any man with a heart would surely authorize a pre-trial diversion program for Shaneen Allen. She has no criminal record, she had no criminal intent, unaware of New Jersey law–she lives in Pennsylvania–she merely made the mistake of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She is a hard-working single mother of two young boys, a medical professional, working two jobs to support them. She bought her gun only because she had been twice robbed. Honest to a fault, when she was stopped for a minor traffic violation, she told the New Jersey trooper she had a gun. Who is more deserving of a pre-trial diversion program?

Even the Huffington Post, not known for fondness for the Second Amendment, adds some useful, and particularly ironic, information:

“The same judge and prosecutor who let professional football star Ray Rice avoid a trial after beating his wife unconscious are pushing forward with the prosecution of Shaneen Allen, a single mother who carried a gun into New Jersey without realizing her Pennsylvania permit didn’t apply there. [skip]

Allen tried to avoid a trial and jail time by applying to a pre-trial intervention program in New Jersey for first-time offenders. Ray Rice, the Baltimore Ravens running back who knocked his then-fiancee unconscious during an altercation in Atlantic City in February, was accepted into the program in May.

But Superior Court Judge Michael Donio and New Jersey District Attorney Jim McClain, the same judge and prosecutor who allowed Rice to avoid prosecution, denied Allen’s application to the program on Wednesday.”

It appears New Jersey diversion programs are for black woman-beating football players, not women who carry a gun to keep men from beating and killing them. But is that all that’s wrong with Shaneen Allen?

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At first glance, Allen would seem an ideal candidate for the full support of Progressives, but the factors weighing against her overwhelm usual Progressive preferences. Yes, she’s a young, photogenic, single, black mother, but she’s not a government dependent single black mother. She is a medical professional and works two jobs to support her children. She is a black female crime victim, but she refused to remain a helpless, government dependent victim. This is a women who owes nothing to government and can’t be manipulated by government, and the most shocking, horrifying evidence of that–to progressives–is that she chose to buy a gun, and to carry it to protect herself and her children. That, to New Jersey Progressives, wipes away all other factors that would make her attractive to them and their philosophies. Shaneen Allen must be crushed because gun! Hollowpoints!

Is racism involved? That can reasonably be inferred because Allen is clearly not the right kind of black person. Whether she is politically conservative or not–and I have no idea, nor do I care–the mere fact of her gun ownership is more than enough for her to earn the scorn of New Jersey Progressives, and for them to do anything to destroy her and her family. The kind of support and latitude under the law that would normally be accorded any black person, is denied her because she is, to progressive thinking, daring to assume personal responsibility, reject government dominion, and reject progressive dogma, which holds as its greatest sin, gun ownership in the defense of self, family and liberty.

By any possible rational analysis of the law, Shaneen Allen should be in that diversion program. It is impossible to imagine a better, more deserving candidate. Such programs exist for people like Shaneen Allen.

Any rational, practical prosecutor or judge, whose goal was the administration of justice would spare not a moment’s indecision about placing Allen in that program. To do otherwise would demonstrate not only a total lack of common sense, but an inability to follow the law and the intentions of the legislature, and an inhuman lack of compassion.

Considering the existence of that diversion program, what could justify keeping her out? What could justify imprisoning her and destroying her life and the lives of her young children? What benefit would that outcome have for the cause of justice and the citizens of New Jersey?

None. Her incarceration would not make anyone safer. It would not deter actual criminals. It would not prevent a single crime, and since she doesn’t live in New Jersey, it would not so much as remove a single gun “from the street,” if one believes that to be a good thing.

What irony that it is primarily conservatives, those evil, heartless, money-grubbing God and gun clingers, that are supporting Shaneen Allen with their thoughts, words, prayers and money. Indeed, they care about policy, particularly the policy that all men–and women–have an unalienable right to self-defense and the means to accomplish it.

They care nothing for Allen’s race. They see that New Jersey has a diversion program, and know it exists because honest, law-abiding, worthy people sometimes make mistakes. They know that it is impossible to live and work in the world without violating a multitude of obscure laws. And they don’t care what color she is; they recognize that she deserves the benefit of the doubt, the out to the criminal justice system established by the legislature of New Jersey.

But in New Jersey, Shaneen Allen and her family face ruin because gun! Hollowpoints!

Mike’s Home blog is Stately McDaniel Manor.