When Sussex, NJ Mayor Jonathan Rose was first elected, it didn’t take long for Mayors Against Illegal Guns the group launched by anti-gun New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Tom Menino “ to invite Rose to join.He turned them down flat.Rose, 32, is an independent computer consultant and serves only as a part-time mayor of Sussex,a community in northwest New Jersey. He grew up in that area, and became something of a true believer in firearms ownership for defensive purposes after purchasing his first house. He told Point Blank that about eight years ago, he bought a fixer upperhouse and began working on it. He arrived one day to work on it and found that someone had broken in and stolen his mechanics tools.He notified the police and learned of other residential burglaries in the neighborhood, and he also got a warning: The thieves would probably come back for his valuable tools. So, Rose decided to spend the night in his new home, and found himself kept awake wondering what he would do if the burglars showed up.I borrowed my fathers 12-gauge shotgun, he recalled.According to Rose, For the first time, I realized the comfort that could come from knowing that you can defend yourself, and I saw that firearms were for more than just hunting.Thus began a transformation for Rose, who was familiar with firearms from his days as a youth when he went hunting. But the use of firearms for personal protection had never before been on his mind.Now, he proudly reports, Mayor Rose has concealed carry permits from both Florida and Connecticut I don’t have one in New Jersey,he lamented, because it is virtually impossible to get one here.Instead of a membership in MAIG,he has opted for memberships in national gun rights organizations.Mayor Rose was born in Sussex County, about an hour from New York City. When he was 10 years old,he passed the New Jersey hunter education course with help from his parents and his aunt and uncle. That Christmas, hidden behind the couch,just like in A Christmas Story, he recalled, was a single-shot Winchester Model 370 shotgun in 20-gauge. Fora young Jonathan Rose, it was the greatest Christmas ever. Rose attended High Point Regional High School, graduating in 1997. He was active in Boy Scouts and earned his Eagle Scout rank and became a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow.He put himself through Rutgers University in New Brunswick,N.J. earning degrees in Physics,Mathematics and Computer Science.After graduating, he started several businesses including a construction firm that specializes in historic renovations. He founded the computer business he now runs,calling it Farious Net Solutions. This business specializes in setting up networks for mid-size businesses,and also does cabling and general computer sales.At age 24, Rose was appointed to fill an unexpired term on the Sussex town council, where he served for eight months. Defeated in the general election, he ran again the following year and won. He served two three-year terms on the council and last fall, he defeated the incumbent Republican mayor in the primary, and went on to win the general election unopposed.Soon thereafter, he got an invitation to join the anti-gun Mayors group.Sussex Mayor Jonathan Rose may seem the rare public servant in New Jersey, but he noted that in his region, neither the rural townspeople, nor their politicians, are afraid of guns in the good guys hands. Though he has a busy schedule both a businessman and mayor,Rose still sets aside time for shooting,hunting and working with his hands.He even traveled to Hungary fora pheasant hunting excursion that was one of his most memorable experiences.He is committed to supporting the gun rights cause, which makes him a logical recipient of this months Gun Rights Defender award.