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Recently, a young, single, law abiding mom from Pennsylvania made the mistake of driving into New Jersey, while carrying her legally purchased firearm. Shaneen Allen says she did not know that her legally-obtained concealed carry permit was not valid in New Jersey. She got the concealed carry permit (after filling out paperwork, passing a background check and getting mandatory training), because she wanted to keep herself and her children safe. She had gotten robbed several times, and this hard-working young lady, who works two jobs to support her family, now may be facing a mandatory three years in prison for accidentally crossing into New Jersey with her tool of self-defense.
What? How could this be? Why?
During a routine traffic stop, Allen did what she felt was the right thing to do. She told the officer that she was licensed and was carrying her firearm. And because she was honest...
...she now faces prison, charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and of hollow-point bullets which were in the gun - a second-degree felony in New Jersey, which holds a minimum sentence of three-years in prison.
Shaneen Allen is not alone. She's not the only one whose integrity and honesty got her in trouble and now threaten to ruin her life.
In June, a 1st grader accidentally brought a toy gun to school. The boy apparently left his backpack in a friend's car the night before, and grabbed another backpack from home before heading to school. He missed the toy that was in the bag and thought he was doing the right thing by admitting his mistake to a teacher. Darin Simak was suspended for his honesty – a black mark that marred his record.
A 7-year-old child.
Suspended from school.
For being honest.
Darin's honesty did not pay off. Everything his parents apparently taught him about honor and integrity has gotten him in trouble. How likely is Darrin to tell the truth again, knowing that the result will be punishment?
That was in Pennsylvania. If you think that this complete, drooling imbecility is centralized in one vortex of stupid, you're sadly mistaken. Another such incident in Chicago, an 11-year-old boy was suspended for voluntarily turning in a broken toy gun to school officials after finding it in his coat pocket and not realizing it was there when he left for school that morning.
Instead of just tossing the broken toy into the trash, the nitwitted cretin school administrators, proceeded to demand that the child undergo psychiatric counseling for playing with guns. The child was interrogated by school officials for hours without his parents being present. And ultimately, Caden Cook was suspended from school.
For being honest.
As parents, we try to instill the best values in our children – honor, integrity, loyalty, courage, truthfulness. I've always told my kids that honest mistakes will never be punished, and that the best way to judge the value of an action is to ask, "If I do this, would I feel comfortable telling my mom about it?"
The authorities seem to strive to undo every lesson we teach our children.
We teach them that cops are good guys, and that they are there to help you.
We teach them that honesty is the best policy.
How did that work out for Shaneen Allen, who was informed by the cop who stopped her that she should have kept her mouth shut about her concealed pistol?
We teach children to respect their teachers and school administrators. We trust these adults in authority to carry on the lessons we teach our kids at home – to supplement the message about honor, honesty and integrity.
How did that work out for Darin Simak and Caden Cook, whose honesty resulted in suspension, and in Caden's case, outright emotional abuse by the school administrators?
Instead of trusting those in authority to act in our best interest, our populace is being retrained to fear them.
Instead of honor, honesty and integrity, the values instilled in our society include, apprehension, corruption and duplicity.
The goal is not a moral life, but a treacherous one, where we strive to get away with something, rather than facing it head on with honor and righteousness.
Is this what we want our society to become?
The petty tyrants who persecute us for the very values we treasure – honor, honesty, integrity, courage – seek to change the fundamental ideals of our society.
They don't want a strong, honorable, courageous populace, because it is exactly those types of people who question and challenge their authority, their insane policies, and their nonsensical regulations.
They don't want us to question. They want us to obey.
And in order to breed a society of cowardly, duplicitous sheep, worried only about getting ahead in a rigged battlefield – a society of liars, willing to play by the crooked rules these petty despots have implemented – they first must transform honor, courage, integrity and honesty into negative traits to be avoided.
In "Atlas Shrugged," Ayn Rand described perfectly the kind of society these people want to create.
It is this type of society these power seekers want to create – a nation of swindlers, who know that the only way to survive in that type of society is to brown-nose and bootlick and play by the crooked rules, rather than stand up for what is right with courage and conviction.
And this is exactly the type of society we must work to prevent - one where honesty ruins lives, while chicanery improves it.
Nicki Kenyon has been an avid gun rights advocate since she returned to the United States from an overseas Army tour in Germany. She began writing about Second Amendment issues in 2001 when KeepAndBearArms.com published her first essay, "The Moment.". She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Arts degree in National Security Studies from American Military University. Her area of expertise in those fields is European and Eurasian affairs. When not writing about gun rights or hanging out with her husband and son, she practices dry-firing her M1911 at the zombies of "The Walking Dead." Nicki Kenyon's Archive Page.