(short story -- the don't miss link is this: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/02/21/ignored-911-call-turns-fatal-in-berkeley-police-busy-with-occupy-protest/ )
At the risk of ruining a good thing by talking about it here, let me share a few things:
1) NJ police departments are staffed and operate the same way Emily describes the DC police department. The police officers, like Captian Horrach, make up the gun laws as they go along. Long time gun owners like me know it. New comers don't. A co-worker of mine who I introduced to firearms a few years ago has finally taken the plunge into obtaining a FID license of her own and applying for her first handgun permit. It's been 28 days since she submitted her paperwork and paid her fees. She's convinced they are really working hard and she's called a few times and they assure her that her permit is in the "final stages". Truth is, those clowns are waiting until 4:59pm on the 30 day to leave her a voice mail telling her that she has been approved and her permit is available for pickup. Our whole system is a sham and I've yet to read about one armed gang member who has bothered to deal with this process. The process stinks and it's time we change it. This girl is an honest, law abiding citizen with no criminal record, who has a great job with a great resume and pays plenty in taxes and fees every year. Ridiculous.
2) Ammo laws in NJ are equally confusing and nonsensical. The obvious example would be the hollow point ammo laws. I won't explain the details here because I'm lazy and it's late but they are legal to own here, unless you ask a police officer, see item #1. Separately, there is no where in NJ to buy load ammo. I mean, you can buy loaded ammo at some Dick's stores, if you show them your FID (not a law AFAIK) and your driver's license (also not a law AFAIK) and sign some paper (also not a law AFAIK).... and most of the ranges sell loaded ammo, at a price much higher than the market rate. Which leads me to the fun part that I should keep under my hat -- as Emily notes, the online world of ammo sales is endless. So what do "some people" (not me of course) do? Bulk order online for the best price and shipping rates. What ends up happening? I suspect (because I've never had this happen of course) you come home and Santa has left 100lbs or more of load ammo on your front door step. And postal regulations being what they are, I suspect (of course) that the box is CLEARLY LABELED "ORD-M / SMALL ARMS CARTRIDGES" with a blue or yellow sticker so that any passer-by knows not to touch that big ol box on your door step because it might contain "dangerous" ammunition. Makes sense, right?
So anyhow, now Emily has her gun, and has her ammo and she wants to pretend that she's safe and sound and secure in her own home. I suspect that I can predict the future here -- Emily will soon find out that she's supposed to keep that gun, and ammo, locked up in the safe. And if someone breaks into her house, she has a duty to retreat and no legal right to defend herself or her property from thieves and potential murders. To the best of my knowledge, DC, like NJ, has no Castle Doctrine and you and I have no legal authority or right to shoot an intruder in our own home. Some people would say here "rather by judged by 12 than carried by six" and try to sound clever, but being the law abiding, responsible citizen that I am, I of course urge those folks to jump out of their second floor windows and leave their family members and possessions to the whim of intruders rather than play the hero. Besides, surely if you call 911, the police will be just minutes away!
Ignored 911 Call Turns Fatal In Berkeley; Police Busy With Occupy Protest
"Police issued a statement Monday night that said the initial call was for trespassing and that because on-duty officers were being reconfigured for the protest; only emergency calls were to be handled."
That's right -- trespassing (at least in CA, where gun ownership is much like DC and NJ) is not an emergency.... just wait it out... the bad guys will acknowledge your just a law abiding, humble person and move on, no worries.
Of course, if you present any of this to guys like Frank Pallone or Bob Menendez, they will point to a school shooting in Ohio and cry you a river. To them I say, sounds like a few armed defenders could have solved the problem quickly or been a deterent to the crime in the first place. Clearly Pallone and Menendez's positions don't work, don't reduce crime, don't reduce gang membership and don't adhere to our 2nd Amendment rights that are protected by the US Constitution.
It's time to demand changes to our gun laws, both in NJ and in DC. It's time to dump Pallone, Menendez and Obama.