Why blame the gangs, when we can blame the guns?

Violent gang strikes Trenton all-night festival

Governor Murphy calls for the eradication of lawful gun ownership!

Over the last few years, New Jersey has moved to the forefront in misguided liberal policies towards violent offenders. Bail Reform and Early Release Programs have allowed domestic violence, gang and drug related offenders to receive short, almost meaningless restrictions that have put the entire state in a perilous situation.

Bail reform alone has jeopardized the safety of countless victims of violent crime by allowing obvious offenders back on the street. This social experiment has seen a rise in offenses while awaiting trial and has added undue stress on witnesses and victims as they fear for their safety as they await a trial verdict.

But the tragic shooting in Trenton over the weekend cries foul at ill-advised policies encouraging early release for those convicted of violent crime many years ahead of schedule.

Murphy once again spins criminal violence into anti-firearm rhetoric

According to Fox News; “New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy responded to Sunday’s deadly shooting at a Trenton arts festival by calling for new controls on guns. But a suspect’s gang membership — and early release from prison after Murphy took office — may have been bigger factors in an incident that left one person dead and 22 wounded.

Meanwhile, Murphy — a first-term Democrat in his first elected office — supports shorter sentences for offenders and cuts in prisoner rehabilitation programs.

The suspect, identified as Tahaji Wells, 33, opened fire before 3 a.m. at the Art All Night festival in New Jersey’s capital city, in what appears to have been a gang-related dispute. Wells was reportedly killed by police, and 17 of the 22 people injured reportedly suffered gunshot wounds.

A second suspect, identified as Amir Armstrong, 23, remained hospitalized in stable condition and was facing a weapons charge, while a third suspect was in critical condition.

Less than 24 hours after the gunfire Murphy began calling for gun control without addressing the other circumstances involved in the crime. “It’s yet another reminder of the senseless gun violence, even having signed six stringent gun laws last week,” Murphy said at a news conference Sunday following a service at Trenton’s Galilee Baptist Church. During the service, he said he “and many others around this state are committed to ending this scourge of gun violence” and urged the Congress to take action on guns “as a national matter.”

On June 13 , 2018 Gov. Phil Murphy signed several gun safety bills at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex Atrium in Trenton, N.J.. The half-dozen new gun control laws tighten the state’s already strict statutes, but none of them would have addressed the Trenton shooting.

Attacking 2nd Amendment rights instead of bad criminal justice reforms

But it turns out that Wells had been released from prison in February, despite receiving an 18-year state prison sentence in 2004 on an aggravated manslaughter conviction in the shooting death of a 22-year-old man, NJ.com reported.

Records show that in 2010, Wells — still serving time for the 2002 killing — was sentenced to six more years after pleading guilty to a second-degree racketeering charge following a prosecution by the state Attorney General’s Office. In that case, state prosecutors said Wells had helped David “Duke” Allen, the imprisoned leader of the Bloods’ Nine Trey Gangsters faction, run his gang from behind bars. The Attorney General’s Office has described Wells as an alleged Bloods gang member.

According to records, Wells was released from prison in February. So despite two lengthy sentences that should have left Wells serving time behind bars into the 2020s, he was back on the streets and able to commit Sunday’s crime.

“But that doesn’t deter the anti-Second Amendment governor from organizing a new attack on lawful gun owners instead of facing the real problem; unchecked gang activities and policies that encourage the proliferation of violence within the community.”

Murphy has decried the sentencing and incarceration of people throughout his campaign and time in office as part of his criminal justice reform agenda, which includes a review of sentencing laws in the state. The Democratic governor’s efforts weren’t just promises, as earlier this year he resurrected the Criminal Sentencing and Disposition Commission created in 2009, which never actually held any meetings due to former state Gov. Chris Christie’s reluctance to appoint any members.

“We can and must do better,” Murphy said in a statement announcing the restart of the commission. “A Criminal Sentencing and Disposition Commission can undertake the important review of our sentencing laws and recommend reforms necessary to ensure a stronger, fairer and more just state.”

A sad statement of our times

The Roebling Market parking lot was covered in trash, broken glass and liquor bottles as police processed the scene for evidence, according to the Trentonian. Regular patrons of the art festival told the newspaper it’s usually cleaner than what was seen in the aftermath of the shooting.

“We’ve never seen anything like this,” a woman who asked to remain anonymous told the Trentonian. “This trash is surprising. It didn’t look like this last year.”

Perhaps the solution is to stop disarming the law-abiding good guys
instead of rewarding the bad behavior of the thugs.

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