My name is Jay Factor. I am currently working with Mark Cheeseman and John Jillard on the brief to take "urgent necessity" out of the Administrative Code and to take the Siccardi Rule out as NJ Court precedent in 2C:58-4 Handgun Carry Permits.
I would like to start my first post off by thanking everybody at CNJFO for meeting with us last week and giving us a chance to explain the case, asking questions and actually listening to what we were saying. Great Group of People who are truly stewards of the RKBA.
"New Jersey allows you to keep guns, but the State has no bear arms clause in the constitution allowing you to carry arms." That is what my County Judge told me when I was denied my 2C:58-4 Permit in 2008. (If you want to look me up see IN THE MATTER OF THE DENIAL OF THE APPLICATION OF JAY FACTOR FOR A PERMIT TO CARRY A HANDGUN App. Div. Docket No. A-5202-08T4. Decided April 21, 2010.) Is that true? How can that be if the term militia is used in the constitution seven times?
When discussing our rights as NJ citizens to Carry Handguns with 2C:58-4 Permits, my thought (to properly explain the right as it existed in NJ "at the time of the founding", (which is how Heller interpreted the right) was for a first post to go back to the beginning, more or less, in NJ, to see what our NJ founders thought the Second Amendment meant to them.
William Paterson was a member of the Provincial Congress of May, 1775, signer of the New Jersey Constitution of 1776, first Attorney General for the State of New Jersey and compiler of Paterson’s Laws, which re-codified all of NJ's Laws after separation from Great Britain.
We all know what the Federalist Papers are. The US Supreme Court would say "(t)he opinion of the Federalist has always been considered as of great authority. It is a complete commentary on our constitution; and is appealed to by all parties in the questions to which that instrument has given birth." [Cohens v. Virginia, 19 US 264 - Supreme Court 1821 at 418.]
George Washington himself, would appoint William Paterson to the Supreme Court where Paterson took his Judicial Oath on March, 11th 1793. Like a Federalist Paper, writing under the surname Aurelius, Paterson’s Essay on a Well Regulated Militia was printed in the New Brunswick Guardian February 13, 1793 , just twenty six days before he took the oath of the Supreme Court. The only logical deduction is that Supreme Court Justice Paterson held the same opinion of the militia as Aurelius, his pseudonym as author of Essay.
The original draft is in Archibald S. Alexander Library Special Archives section at Rutgers. There is a printed transcription available at Journal of the Rutgers University Libraries June 1955, Volume XVIII, #2, pages 41-43 find in special archives @ Rutgers University Library Journal, call number 16-20, 1952-1957. ALEX, NJ, Z, 733, .R955. There are no pictures allowed in Special Archives and this hand transcribed by me. Outside of my private Facebook page 2C:58-4, Paterson's Essay has never been online before. With the exception of the readers of the Rutgers Library Journal in 1955, this has not been read since 1793. Enjoy.
Essay on a Well Regulated Militia
A well regulated militia is considered as essential to the preservation of civil liberty. What, indeed, is a militia but the people themselves prepared to act as soldiers for the purpose of resisting oppression and securing their rights. To be prepared for war is the way to prevent it; to be ready in arms to meet and resist tyranny never fails to deter it approach. Tyrants dred freemen, when freemen not only have arms in their hands, but know how to use them. Discipline, aided and enforced by the energy and impulse of freedom, is irresistible. Even men untutored in the art of war, but resolved to be free or die, have achieved wondrous things. Witness Switzerland and the Netherlands; witness America and France. The citizens of New Jersey are too enlightened to stand in need of any dissertation upon the utility and importance of well-organized and disciplined militia. Congress have begun this interesting work, the legislature have pursued it; but it depends on you my countrymen, to finish it.* By the constitution it is ordained, that the men of every company shall elect their own officers; shortly you will be called upon to execute this important duty. Much depends upon its proper discharge; your own honor, your own liberty, and the transmission of that liberty to generations unborn. What persons should be the object of choice, with what vices uncontaminated, and with what virtues and talents adorned? Pause; the questions are weighty; think upon them carefully and often, for well they deserve your most serious consideration. Choose not the drunkard; he is wedded to his bottle and glass, and fit for nothing but to swallow whiskey and grog! Call upon him to forsake his beloved liquor, to foreswear the bowl, and to resume his original manhood; the call is in vain; he would sooner forsake and forswear friends, and relations, family and country, than forego one drop of the intoxicating draught; he is useless to society, worse than useless, his example is bad, and, if in office, dreadfully influential and contagious. More is to be feared from a drunken officer than any host of foes. Alas! that so many promising parts and amiable dispositions should fall a sacrifice to this debasing and dead-doing vice. Avoid, therefore the drunkard; shun him in pestilence. Choose not a man of indolence and sloth. The life of an officer, when in the field, is a life of activity, of vigilance, and toil; he rises early and late takes rest; duties are continually pressing upon him, when one is discharged, another waits; he is always doing and never done. Is a man, made up of nature’s heaviest mould, to whom thought is labor, and activity is death, fit for a station, which requires unremitting diligence, constant energy, and the most strenuous exertions? Choose not an ignorant man. Can he teach others, who stands in need of being taught himself? A person of an over-easy and indulgent temper is not formed for an officer; his pliability, and, perhaps, fondness to please, relax discipline, and destroy subordination; ductile and obsequious, his men work him into any shape; he yields to their solicitations, grants what they ask, and wills what they wish. What an inversion of order! Instead of leading, he follows, and instead of commanding, obeys. Avoid such a character, if you wish to be a expert in military exercise, to be useful to the public, or respectable in the eyes of your fellow citizens. Above all, shun and despise the man, who attempts to gain votes by dealing out bottles of brandy and bowls of grog, or other improper means and base arts. Can the spirit of freemen endure such conflict, or suffer the perpetrator to rise into office by the profuse distribution of spirituous liquors and strong drink? Every attempt of this kind resent and indignantly repel. Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. Baser ye, if you barter your suffrages for a glass of brandy, or a can of grog. Choose the sober and sensible, the cool and brave, the steady and prudent man; the man who knows or is capable of knowing his duty, and will discharge it faithfully; the man who is collected in the midst of danger, and firm and decided in every state of things; the man who has a becoming degree of pride, and is ambitious to excel, who courts distinction, has the honor of soldiery at heart, and makes their glory his own; the man who possesses an elevating fervor of sentiment, whose spirit animates, and whose ardor warms. Bear in mind, I beseech, that on the selection of proper characters for the office depends [sic] the formation and discipline, the arrangement and evolutions of military bodies. A mistake in this particular is ruinous beyond repair. With you rest the power of Choice; with this power are intimately connected the honor & safety, the military state and frame of every corps; in short, the establishment of an effective Militia depends upon the election of proper officers or, in other words, upon your own suffrages. Highly then, it becomes every individual to examine the qualifications of the respective candidates before he proceeds to vote. Permit me to conclude with a short address to such as are exempted from militia duty on the score though beyond the age** prescribed for military life, still much is in your power and effect. By advice you can aid, and by your presence encourage. Readily impart both. The military spirit beats strong and high; suffer it not to abate. Interest and duty unite in the call and say catch, oh! catch! the rising ardor, cherish and fan it into a general flame. Contemplate, again and again contemplate, the late revolution, in which you bore an active part; arduous and bloody, and dubious was the conflict, and many and gloomy were the hours, that past over your heads. Dark days may again return; clouds may again obscure our political horizon; again may the oppressor arise and attempt to enslave. Your sons may be called upon to act the part, which you have so gloriously performed. You have given them freedom; instruct them how to preserve the inestimable gift. Bid them, arm; bid them learn the use of arms. Say, with these weapons we fought our way to liberty and independence; gently sinking into the vale of life, we now resign them to our sons; and, sacred to freedom! May they never, never tarnish in your hands. No never to tarnish, reiterate and vow the generous and ardent youths.
* Congress provided for the establishment of a uniform militia system in the act of May 28, 1792. The corresponding New Jersey law was enacted November 30, 1792.
** Enrollment for militia duty was required of men between the ages of eighteen to forty five.