It’s annoying with a governmental body takes sides in a political debate. It’s especially annoying when they take the side that seeking to undermine a fundamental, constitutionally-protected right like the right to keep and bear arms. It’s something that really shouldn’t happen. After all, the governments are supposed to represent everyone who lives there, not just the people who take one particular side of a debate.
In New Jersey, a gun control group was allowed to paint a mural advocating for their position on the wall of an underpass. No one seemed to raise a fuss.
Now, though, a group wants to paint a pro-gun one on the opposite side.
A group of activists is asking to paint a pro-gun mural on an NJ Transit underpass as a counterpoint to a mural with an anti-violence message recently created by a pair of teens.
The Montclair Republican Club, which is vocal in its support of the 2nd Amendment’s right to bear arms, said it plans to ask NJ Transit for permission to paint its pro-gun rights mural facing the teens’ “Never Again” mural, which they see as “overtly political.”
“It’s a question of equal time,” said the group’s president, John Van Wagner. “If a public agency is going to display a mural that is being used for political expression, it is only fair that there is the opportunity to answer that with another point of view.”
Van Wagner said his group’s mural would not depict guns, but “tastefully” address the Second Amendment and provide a counterpoint to the implied message that more gun legislation is necessary.
One idea, he said, is for the mural to depict a cityscape of Chicago, which has strict gun control laws, along with a display of its high murder statistics, to show the “ineffectuality of gun control laws.”
The next step is for NJ Transit to either approve or deny the request. Should they deny it, Van Wagner said he would request that the “Never Again” mural be painted over.
NJ Transit says they haven’t received the Montclair Republican Club’s request yet.
However, they also said they “approved the mural project, led by a group of Montclair High School students to depict an anti-violence message. NJ Transit supports anti-violence messages.”
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m damn sick of anti-gunners being allowed to pretend they’re “anti-violence” when they’re not. They’re anti-gun and nothing more. They’re not doing anything to curtail violence with knives, bats, chains, or fists. They’re just focusing on guns and gun alone.
What NJ Transit did was approve an anti-gun message. They either need to approve the pro-gun message–a message that is actually anti-violence–or they need to paint over a political message on public property. They’re funded by tax dollars, so to use those tax dollars in any way to support one side of a debate over another means at least some NJ residents are funding political speech with which they disagree.
My hope is that NJ Transit recognizes this and approves the Montclair Republican Club’s request.