Man gets seven years (allow me to repeat that number) SEVEN YEARS for carrying an unloaded and locked pair of handguns in the trunk of his car that he legally owned.
Update: Free Brian Aitken page here.
When Mount Laurel police arrived at the Aitkens’ home on Jan. 2, 2009, they called Brian – who was driving to Hoboken – and asked him to return to his parents’ home because they were worried. When he arrived, the cops checked his Honda Civic and, inside the trunk, in a box stuffed into a duffel bag with clothes, they found two handguns, both locked and unloaded as New Jersey law requires.
Aitken had passed an FBI background check to buy them in Colorado when he lived there, his father said, and had contacted New Jersey State Police and discussed the proper way to transport them.
“He bought them at Bass Pro Shops, for God’s sake, not some guy named Tony on the street corner,” his father said.
New Jersey and Colorado are on opposite ends of the gun-control spectrum. In Colorado, all he needed was the background check to own the guns.
In the Garden State, Aitken was required to have a purchaser’s permit from New Jersey to own the guns and a carry permit to have them in his car.
According to 2009 Florida statistics, the average cost of imprisoning a man for a year is around 20,000 dollars.
Clearly Brian represents a 140,000 dollar threat to society.
But the real cost to society is faaaaaaaar greater than the 140,000 dollars of direct imprisonment costs. Let us also not forget that Brian was a productive member of society. Society will no longer benefit from his talents while he is behind bars, nor will the State benefit from the tax revenue they stole from his paychecks.
Further we must consider the cost of the trials, the attorney fees, and other legal costs which at least amount to 50,000 on their own (probably more).
The real cost to society for imprisoning Brian for seven years is probably closer to a quarter million or more. If Brian was an extremely productive individual, the cost to society is probably well over half a million.
Of course, the only victim in this case is Brian.
This is what victimless crime gives us – massive waste and injustice.