Last week a woman was raped at gunpoint in broad daylight at the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park in South Brunswick.

New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, yet shootings occur every month in our cities here in this state. These gun crimes, in the vast majority of cases, are committed by career criminals and gang members.

Yet, if a law-abiding citizen buys a gun legally, registers it and gets the mandatory background checks, they cannot use that weapon to defend themselves in public.

Jack Ciattarelli brought this subject up in both the primary and recent gubernatorial debates. He cited that he's heard from female real estate agents that sometimes have to show homes in fairly dangerous neighborhoods, yet they can't legally arm themselves for protection.

Our gun laws ONLY affect law abiding gun owners, who've gone through registration, background checks and in most cases, training.

Criminals who seek to do harm don't care about gun laws. All the empty rhetoric about gun violence, designed to get more votes, actually make innocent people more vulnerable.

If this woman had been packing heat, as many women do in a large portion of the country, perhaps she could have prevented this horrifying act.

Gun sales last year were way up for women around the country. That doesn't help you if you're a woman in New Jersey and want to protect yourself outside your home.

My daughter just moved back from Texas where many of her female friends owned and sometimes carried their firearms. It was no big deal.

It's a big deal here in New Jersey. Most people are afraid of guns and know very little to nothing about them or how they save lives every day in many other parts of the country.

However, if you do legally buy and own a gun in New Jersey, you'd better read and study the laws.

There are strict rules about when and how to even take you firearm out of your house with serious legal consequences, including significant jail time.

Horrible crimes like the sexual assault that occurred last week in a state park may not all be prevented by revised common sense gun laws, but it sure would make a criminal think twice the first time one of them gets some lead right between the eyes.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis Malloy's own.

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