New Jersey has strict gun controls. I’ve had readers reach out to me, at least in part, to vent about the draconian laws in their home state and how it keeps them from defending themselves.
In New Jersey, you need to define a clear need for a concealed carry permit, for example. Saying you’re concerned about mass shootings isn’t enough. You have to have a real, viable reason to fear for your life.
That’s too bad. Someone might have been able to stop a couple of rampaging lunatics from shooting 17 people at an all-night art gathering early Sunday morning.
The gunmen were identified in a mass shooting that left 17 people shot, 22 injured and one person dead at an all-night art celebration in Trenton early Sunday, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. Authorities are calling it a “mass casualty shooting” on Father’s Day.
Four people – including a 13-year-old boy – were initially in extremely critical condition on Sunday, according to the MCPO. Three of those people, including the boy, were upgraded to stable condition by late Sunday. A third suspect is in critical condition.
A 33-year-old gunman Tahaij Wells, 32, is dead (pictured left), and another, Amir “Mir” Armstrong, 23, is in police custody and charged with unlawful possession of a handgun (pictured right). Both were identified as Trenton residents. One of the shootings was labeled “officer-involved.”
Wells was just released from prison on homicide-related charges, according to the MCPO.
“Devastated by last night’s shooting at Art All Night Trenton,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said. “We must eradicate the scourge of gun violence from our communities.”
The Art All Night festival was an opportunity for local artists to present their works, and some ironically used it as an opportunity to protest gun violence. The shooting reportedly started near a booth that said: “Imagine a world fee of gun violence.”
I’m not sure if that last bit has a typo or not, but I’m going to assume the booth said: “Imagine a world free of gun violence.” Honestly, it’s a noble sentiment. I wish there weren’t any kind of violence in the world. But there is, and the Art All Night Trenton got to witness it first hand.
So much for noble sentiments.
A police officer apparently put down Wells, but I can’t help but think about how this would have been different if this had been in a state that doesn’t automatically distrust its citizens when it comes to guns. I promise you the chances are damn good that both bad guys would have been put down long before 17 people were shot.
Remember what happened when terrorists showed up at an art show in Texas? They had AK-47s and didn’t even make it through the door for crying out loud. I somehow doubt these two yahoos would have lasted much longer.
Keep in mind that New Jersey also just passed a whole slew of new gun control measures, but guess what? None of them would have stopped this rampage, especially since it appears that Wells was a convicted felon and couldn’t legally own any firearm.
It’s almost like the bad guys don’t obey gun laws any better than they obey other laws. Go figure.