I’ve previously written about Shaneen Allen in “Shaneen Allen: The Cruelty of New Jersey Authorities,” and “Shaneen Allen: An Update.” Allen, as regular readers will surely recall, is the Philadelphia mother of two who was stopped for a minor traffic violation in New Jersey by a New Jersey State Trooper. That unremarkable incident might have ended with nothing more than a citation had not Allen, an honest young single mother working two jobs to support her two young boys, told the trooper she was carrying her handgun in her glove compartment.
You can imagine the rest. Allen had a Pennsylvania concealed carry license and thought it would be honored in New Jersey. Of course the trooper immediately arrested her. She has subsequently lost her medical job, and is facing up to three years in prison. Ashe Schow at the Washington Examiner has an update:
Shaneen Allen, the Philadelphia mother of two who faces at least three years in jail for carrying a licensed firearm into New Jersey, explained to a Philadelphia news station the state of law in the Garden State.
‘You can beat up your wife, you can beat up anybody and get away with it,’ Allen told NBC 10. ‘And if you’re a law-abiding citizen and you want to protect your family, and you cross that line and you come into the Garden State, you’re a criminal.
Allen refers to former Ravens football player Ray Rice who knocked out his wife (they weren’t yet married at the time) in a New Jersey elevator. The Atlantic County Prosecutor, Jim McClain, put Rice in a pre-trial diversion program, but refused to do the same for Allen. The recent release of a surveillance video of Rice hitting his wife has caused substantial public outrage and is poised to cause the commissioner of the NFL to be ejected after he apparently falsely claimed the NFL did not see that video until it was publically released.
NBC 10 revealed that Allen was recommended for Atlantic County’s pre-trial intervention program by the program’s director. This would have allowed Allen to avoid jail time since she was a first-time offender, but Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain denied her acceptance.
That same prosecutor filed an application for now former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice to enter the pre-trial program after surveillance cameras revealed the NFL star punching his then-fiancée in an elevator.
Following outrage over Rice’s seemingly light sentence, which includes counseling, McClain finally broke his silence in an interview with the Press of Atlantic City.
‘Even if they disagree with why I did what I did, I just want people to know the decision was made after careful consideration of the law, careful consideration of the facts, hearing the voice of the victim and considering all the parameters,’ McClain said. ‘I want people to have confidence in this agency, even if they don’t agree with everything we do.
Ah! So McClain heard the voice of the victim and considered the facts and parameters. Let’s examine those factors in Allen’s case.
Allen was lawfully exercising her Second Amendment rights. She had no criminal intent. She carried her handgun—in her glove compartment—to protect herself and her children because she had been twice robbed in the past. There was no victim of her “crime.” Technically, the state is considered the victim of such offenses, but certainly no one was suffering—not even the state—at the hand of Allen, particularly considering New Jersey’s laws are surely at odds with the Second Amendment.
Other parameters commonly considered by prosecutors are the record of the accused, the severity of the offense and any aggravating factors. Allen has no known record, her only crime is the mere possession of her firearm and ammunition (imagine that: ammunition in a firearm). There are no aggravating factors; Allen actually assisted the officer to her detriment. Consider McClain’s calculus in the Rice case:
People need to understand, the choice was not PTI versus five years’ state prison,’ McClain told the Press. ‘The choice was not PTI versus the No Early Release Act on a 10-year sentence.
He added: ‘The parameters as they existed were: Is this a PTI case or a probation case?
The Allen case is why pre-trial diversion programs were established. Allen is no criminal. She is no threat to the community. She is a woman with no prior record. She’s a solid, law-abiding member of the community. Rather than being a drag on society’s resources, she works hard and contributes to society. Also, because she represents no probability of future criminal acts, the cause of justice is not served by prosecuting and imprisoning her. However, the cause of anti-liberty zealots is, which is apparently McClain’s intention in the Allen case.
I’m not one to cry “racism,” but there is an unmistakably racial element in this case. Anti-gun laws are, at their heart, and in their inception, racist. They were designed to deprive black Americans of arms, and so to keep them subservient, as this excellent article by Clayton Cramer reveals.
It is a warped, and common, way of thinking, but to some statists, any black person daring to arm them self, particularly a woman, is an enormous threat to statist belief and practice. A single black woman not dependent upon the largess of the state cannot be trusted to vote for Democrats, and one that has a concealed carry license is almost certainly not going to vote for politicians and a party certain to want to disarm them and force them into dependency on the government. Such people must be punished; examples must be made of them. How else can the rational person understand what McClain is doing?
Allen is not a criminal. She will almost certainly never become a criminal. Her only mistake was naively trusting that New Jersey would behave as rationally and lawfully as Pennsylvania in upholding the Second Amendment rights of Americans. But she is a black, female gun owner, and that, more than being a convicted felon almost certain to reoffend, is a threat to Jim McClain and the tyrannical mindset he represents.
I do not want all of this,’ Allen told NBC 10. ‘I just want my life back for me and my kids.
The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office does not post e-mail addresses that I could find, but they do list this phone number: 609-909-7800.
It might be helpful to give Mr. McClain a call and politely remind him of his obligation to the Constitution, and to the protection of law-abiding citizens like Shaneen Allen, a single, black mother—not a wealthy, infamous professional football player–of two who deserves much, much better.