Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

David Codrea, a gun rights columnist for, was alerted by a reader to the plight of Brian Aitkin, in a New Jersey jail “for seven years for owning legal guns.”

Codrea looked into it. And, unfortunately, it seems that Mr. Aitkin has indeed been incarcerated for the crime of . . . well, of driving from one place to another in a perfectly legal manner.

Aitkin’s real sin? Bad luck. The bad luck to be stopped on the road by police ignorant of or indifferent to the law. And the bad luck to have a judge knowledgeable about but indifferent to the law, and unwilling to tell jurors about it.

Also unluckily, his jurors reluctantly went along with the vicious charade even though they weren’t getting straight answers.

Atkins was moving from Colorado to New Jersey with firearms in his possession, and which he had purchased after passing relevant background checks. The firearms were disassembled and locked in his trunk in accordance with New Jersey state law. Atkins had even contacted the New Jersey State Police to make sure of his compliance. Alas, as reported at, “The jury returned from deliberation three times practically begging the judge to tell them the law that protects an individual’s rights to transport firearms — [but] the judge outright refused to tell them!”

There’s much more to learn about this disturbing case. Codrea has the links. And no corrupt judge can stop you from clicking on them.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Nelson Page says:

    So … why didn’t you publish the names of the judge and the cop who are at fault here? Bright light often helps in cases of this nature.

    Nelson Page

  2. Patrick O says:

    An excellent (though tragic) example of why citizens should be well aware of the rights and power they have by being a juror. I would have voted Not Guilty as soon as the judge refused to inform the jury of the law. Actually, I would have voted not guilty before that based on the 2nd Amendment; which would have kept me off the jury in the first place.


  3. Charlie Seng says:

    Although it sounds like my comment is unimportant to the case, the person to be upset with is the mother who reported her son to the authorities that he might be suicidal. In my book, if the mother thought he was suicidal, it means he had exhibited actions in the past making his mother think he might be suicidal. That sounds to me like grounds for his having been stopped by police. Of course, all the wrong things done by the judge and jury are contributed to his being jailed, but none of that would have happened if the mother had kept her mouth shut.

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  5. Paul Jacob says:

    Good question, Nelson. The judge is James Morley. The police officer was not mentioned in press reports.

  6. Jake Witmer says:

    Patrick O is right.

    100% of the battle for individual liberty is the battle to reinstate proper jury trials in the USA. Most people can’t name the 5 major ways jury trials have been eroded, and hence, they are simply tools of tyranny. [[1-“voir dire” “prosecutorial jury selection” (1851-present), 2-licensing of lawyers (1832-present), 3-false judicial instruction of jurors (1895-present), 4-silencing of constitutional arguments with threat of “contempt of court” citations and “motions in limine” (gag orders) 1800s-present, 5-high pressure plea bargains combined with the threat of cruel and unusual punishment if they are not taken “carrot and stick” greatly increased from 1970s-present with the “war on (some) drugs”).]]

    Until we regain control of our court system, we will be more tyrannized than the early American colonists were, under King George III. What is necessary is localized jury rights activism in all 50 states. 10% of the membership of the libertarian Party is roughly 4,000 people. There are 3,143 counties (including “boroughs” in AK, and “parishes” in LA) in the USA.

    Now, let’s say that 1/10 of that membership wanted to get serious about winning individual freedom, and –not knowing anything about how to actually win that individual freedom themselves– they decided to hire a number equivalent to 10% of themselves who did know something about that subject. That would be 40 people, paid to win individual freedom for the USA.

    Let’s say it takes 2-3 people per courthouse to “interfere with” the prosecution of victimless crimes. (My experience has borne this out. One person must videotape the attempted violation of free speech, covertly. One person must engage the public.) Let’s say it costs around $150/month for a 4G data plan that will stream video to a server. Let’s say it costs $3,000 for a car, and $40 gas per day (since this can’t happen right away, and many counties are rural).

    OK. 40 people isn’t enough for the entire USA, all at once. But it is enough for any given low population State. A sortable list of average county populations is given here:

    There are two ways a county’s jury rights activism can be organized:

    1) selecting for people who are being tyrannized + people who show up for jury duty who are being asked to tyrannize them. (people who show up to the courthouse)

    2) gradually reaching every single person in the entire county, door-to-door. (This has the added benefit that territory can be won according to political districts –from city council districts and then mayor, then county districts, and then State legislature. Once a 51% majority has been won on the state legislature, the governor’s race can be won, and nonviolent offenders can be reliably pardoned, and federal statutes can be nullified. Unfortunately, this approach costs more, and likely takes longer to reach emergent order, unless the county population is small. For ultra-low county populations, such as SD, ND, and Loving County, TX this might be the way to go.)

    The “Free State Project” (a plan to move 20,000 libertarian freedom-lovers to one state, and take over its government) is therefore an admirable idea. But there are severe problems with it: NH (the state chosen) has the largest state legislature in the entire nation (over 400 seats!). Also, libertarianism is not likely to ever “take off” there, because most people are bigots who support what they (correctly or incorrectly) perceive to be “the status quo”. (And the culture of tyranny and corruption –that is, state employment– are both very great in NH.) A return to the actual jury system of the USA –upon showing people how it’s been subverted by judges and prosecutors– is somewhat more likely than a political return to individual liberty on an issue-by-issue basis at the polls (which require 51% to win, and the more pro-freedom positions a candidate has, the less likely he is to win).

    But on any individual issue, at least one person in 12 is highly likely to disagree with unnecessary punishment of another individual (unless that individual actually did violate someone else’s rights).

    To that end, here are some excellent websites, pamphlets, and fliers you can download and use to spread the message in your area:
    —What I consider to be the best pamphlet to show the average specimen of “Boobus americanus” that he is no longer living under a constitutional government.
    —Comprehensive knowledge and hundreds of links about the rights, duties, and power of the jury.
    –An emphasis on how the openly racist “war on (some) drugs” has destroyed the African American Community, and how jury rights activism can reverse this sad, sad trend in the USA.

    The United States is –like the Weimar Republic– a doomed church of state. People now hold government as a solution to problems, without recognizing that government, by its nature is coercive. Without this recognition, the system will trend toward sociopathy, over time. Since we’ve had 131 years of government “education” of our young (when they tend to uncritically accept what they’ve been told), our system is now completely corrupt.

    Luckily, as tech-philosopher Kevin Kelly notes, “A system is anything that talks to itself”. Systems tend to self-correct, or self-destroy. They remain in motion, (or cycle in motion, as even a stupid system such as a toilet does) caused by continual communication (feedback). The smarter the system, the more complex the interaction of the system nodes. (Flocks of birds with birds reacting to the birds around them, are intelligent. Human brains’ neocortices reacting to neurons around them are vastly more intelligent still, especially when they are highly-self-educated with directed feedback. Superhuman intelligences modeled on neocortices will be vastly more intelligent still, since they will not be limited by cranium space.)

    The Lilburnian (Jeffersonian, in the USA) jury system exhibits a wonderful emergent order. It is an emergent order that allows human compassion and forgiveness. It is anarchic, because it places the government below optimal human intelligence and judgment (See movie: “12 Angry Men”). Proper juries exhibit remarkable intelligence.

    But right now, in the USA, proper juries don’t exist. That’s the one single problem that allows all other manners of tyranny and oppression to exist. When we solve that problem, all the other problems will solve themselves.

    Do you really think that if juries existed, for instance, not one in 12 people would sympathize with peaceful ownership of firearms or marijuana? The USA currently has 2.4 million people in prison, with 73% of them there for first time nonviolent drug offenses (according to former NM governor Gary Johnson, in his radio interview with Free Talk Live).

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