Shaneen Allen, the mother of two Philadelphia resident who purchased a firearm after being the victim of multiple crimes, is now facing not three but 11.5 years in prison after admitting to police she had the gun in her car when she was stopped while driving in New Jersey. New Jersey is one of several states with strict gun laws and no reciprocity with out-of-state licensing regimes.
A judge refused to place her in a diversion program that would avoid jail time. In fact, it was the same judge, and prosecutor, that decided Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice could enter a diversionary program instead of facing prosecution and possible jail time after getting caught on camera allegedly knocking his then-fiancé unconscious.
Columnists in New Jersey who even bother to cover this horrifying case either make excuses—"this is how the system works" wrote the editorial board of The Press of Atlantic City, arguing only that the three year mandatory-minimum is unjust—or cheering New Jersey's effort to combat illegal guns by trying to throw a single mother with a legal gun in jail for years. "Common sense is not transporting a concealed handgun loaded with outlawed bullets in a state that prohibits same," Bryan Miller writes dismissively at The Courier-Post. The law's the law, he argue, and it was democratically passed and supported. Ignorance is no excuse. Neither, apparently, is the Constitution. Exercising your constitutionally guaranteed right, worse than beating your wife.