– It’s time to ask some really tough questions about gun control — an issue that generates angst, raw emotion and even anger. It’s time to look at it differently — not through the lens of fear, but rather through one of objectivity and common sense.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s perversely named “Safety for All” initiative will appear on November’s ballot as Proposition 63, and while he’s working feverishly to exploit tragedy to sway voters to support restrictions on ammunition and gun ownership, we don’t believe for a nanosecond that his rhetoric will sway one evil doer from committing some atrocity. Rather, Proposition 63 will simply further disadvantage those who want to protect themselves, their homes and their loved ones.
We must ask if terrorists are going to think twice about breaking some law on ammunition registration when they have long-planned an execution — at a San Bernardino Christmas party or an Orlando nightclub. We must question, if an inmate can gain access to a firearm while doing time behind bars, whether an initiative will really stop gang members from getting “high capacity” street weapons for the simple reason that it is “illegal.”
We have to ask if the repeated attempts to restrict people from owning guns are working and why we are passing laws that affect only one subsection of society: the law-abiding.
Every component of Proposition 63 begs a question, and we owe it to ourselves to be honest with the answers.
Case in point, central to Proposition 63 is the requirement that ammunition purchases — no matter how big or small — will be conducted just like the purchase of a firearm. All transactions must be reported to the Department of Justice for background checks. Will this stop gun crimes? No — New York tried it, and ditched it because it was too expensive, too cumbersome, and just plain ineffective. In spite of this failure, we’d be foolish to ignore the true intent of efforts to regulate ammunition — after all, New York’s late Sen. Daniel Moynihan said, “We don’t need to ban guns; we need to ban ammunition.”
Proposition 63 would also criminalize Californians who have for years, legally possessed firearms with standard (more than 10 rounds) capacity magazines as a means of home protection. The mere suggestion that these individuals could be imprisoned for the possession of something that was legal one day and illegal the next — when the magazine had never been used criminally, is a reckless abuse of our justice system.
And if we are going to talk about the scourge of gun violence, let’s at least be honest about it. Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact called Newsom on the carpet for his “mostly false” statements on mass shooting data and it’s important to acknowledge that on their own, statistics can provide a biased and incomplete picture. This is true particularly when it comes to who is a victim. It’s an uncomfortable question to ask, but who exactly are the victims of gun violence? How many are “innocents”? How many were killed while committing a crime, whether by another criminal, the police or someone in self-defense? Gun control proponents have a very broad “victim” definition, and it includes cop killers and even the Boston Marathon bomber who was shot by police: from our perspective, he was no victim.
To quote PolitiFact, “Politicians or others who want to make a point about guns choose a set of data and a definition that reinforces the point they want to make. People who want more gun control tend to choose more expansive definitions.”
At the risk of being redundant, the only people who will obey the law are people who already obey the law.
The biggest lie in the gun control debate is that people who disrespect the law will curiously and abruptly begin to respect it. This is nonsensical. Gun laws have done nothing to curb Chicago’s crime infestation; in the first few months of 2016, murder is up over 70 percent and shootings have swelled more than 88 percent.
Let’s not add to the victim list because (yes, it’s true) there are far more who protect themselves with guns than those who commit crimes with one. Until we have a sincere dialogue about the real enemy — the fingers that pull the trigger, the hands on the cord of the suicide vest, or the feet on the pedals that carry the devastation of a car bomb — the horrors will continue.
Source: Laurie Paredes and Ron Godwin, http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/aug/21/tp-gun-laws-only-burden-those-who-obey-laws/