“Can’t you see me growing, get your guns. The time has come… to follow me down.” – The Doors
Gov. Murphy says he’s happy most of the state’s residents and non-essential businesses are complying with edicts to practice “social distancing” and to close.
But, as he noted at today’s coronavirus briefing, you always have some “jerks” and “knuckleheads.”
The first “jerk” that we heard about was the guy who allegedly said he had the virus after coughing on a supermarket worker in Manalapan. He was arrested.
And today, the governor said a man who tangled Tuesday with police in New Providence, Union County, after a domestic violence incident also claimed to be infected, presumably to alarm the officers.
Additionally, Murphy said police in Lakewood recently had to break up two large gatherings, one of which was a wedding, in defiance of social distancing orders.
How these orders will be enforced has been a question since they were formulated last week.
The governor’s verbiage is strong. He said the orders are not mere suggestions and in regard to who he calls jerks and knuckleheads, “We don’t have time for that.”
And there is also help from the public, who he urged to reach out to state officials if they know of non-essential businesses staying open.
Which bring us back around to guns.
For the second time in the last three days, Murphy was asked why gun shops are considered non-essential business, meaning they must close.
This is a political issue that may be percolating to the surface in what is a down time for traditional partisan politics.
A lawsuit has been filed challenging the status of gun shops and some Republican lawmakers and candidates are starting to speak out about it.
“People have a constitutional right to bear arms and to defend themselves and their families during these uncertain times,” said state Senator Michael Testa (R-1) (pictured, above).
Murphy doesn’t sound like he’s going to budge.
He said his philosophy is simple: “A safer society to my taste has fewer guns,” he said.
The questioner pointed out that the governor has “armed guards.”
Murphy said his protection is determined by the state police, not him.
Moreover, he said those are the types of people who should carry weapons – trained professionals.
Murphy’s critics say people need guns to protect themselves if law and order breaks down if the crisis continues.
The governor shrugged that off, saying that since the crisis began – about two weeks ago – crime in the state is down. That’s a pretty small sample, but still, down is down.
And in a further shrug off, Murphy said political statements aside, no one has personally complained to him about gun shops being closed.