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Katy Grimes

‘Guns as a public disease’

SACRAMENTO — California politicians have added more anti-gun laws, but have yet to offer any real violent crime solutions.

Anti-gun lawmakers in the Senate and Assembly have been busy with legislation aimed at guns and ‘gun violence,’ whatever that is.

Is ‘gun violence’ similar to ‘SUV violence, knife violence or drug violence?’ After all, SUV’s, knives and drugs are responsible for killing many people each year, according to lawmakers’ definitions.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks 16 ounce sodas kill.

Another ridiculous bill, SJR 1

The Senate passed a resolution Thursday by Senator Lois Wolk, D-Davis, urging Congress and President Barack Obama to enact a comprehensive gun violence prevention policy, including prohibiting the sale of military-style assault weapons, “high-capacity magazines,” and encouraged strengthening criminal background checks.

But mostly, the resolution is another silly California finger-wagging measure aimed at shaming the rest of the country into following the Golden State’s tarnished lead.

It is apparent Wolk and colleagues are feeling emboldened by President Barack Obama’s recent executive order purportedly aimed at reducing gun violence. Obama even called the issue a “public health crisis.”

“The president is determined to resurrect a previously failed Clinton tactic to build public support for stringent gun control gun regulations premised upon trumped-up “guns as a public disease” rationale based upon federally-funded medical pseudo-research,” Forbes’ Larry Bell recently wrote.

Obama declared: “While year after year, those who oppose even modest gun-safety measures have threatened to defund scientific or medical research into the causes of gun violence, I will direct the Centers for Disease Control to go ahead and study the best ways to reduce it.”

“Perhaps the president has forgotten that the CDC has previously been funded, then later defunded, regarding medical research for gun violence. His directive, if funded again by Congress, would end a virtual 17 year ban which stipulates, quite appropriately, that none of CDC’s federal financing can be used to advocate or promote gun control…exactly what CDC was originally doing,” said Bell.

Meanwhile, back in California…

“SJR 1 doesn’t change California law. Rather, it aims to bring federal law in line with California law, which already prohibits the possession of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, requires universal background checks, and a 10-day waiting or ‘cooling- off’ period for the purchase and transfer of firearms,” said Wolk.

SJR 1 “urges” the President and Congress to take necessary steps to ensure all states report to the federal background check system. But the resolution is just a resolution, and doesn’t specify how to enforce this requirement. It “urges.”

“Since few states regulate assault weapons and high-capacity assault magazines, and because California’s borders are porous, Californians continue to be victimized by weapons purchased elsewhere and brought illegally into our state,” said Wolk, using the same tired ‘porous border’ argument as her colleagues who oppose gun ownership.

Wolk said she is authoring the resolution at the behest of Napa area Rep. Mike Thompson, D-CA 5, a Vietnam veteran and sport hunter, and appointed by Nancy Pelosi to head the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Thompson likes to tout his firearms bona fides: hunter, gun owner and a tour in Vietnam with an assault rifle,” wrote my CalWatchdog colleague Dave Roberts. “But theNational Rifle Association doesn’t consider Thompson a gun rights supporter, scoring him just 17 percent on gun rights votes in 2012. There’s also not a lot of gun rights support on the rest of the task force — eight of its 12 members received scores of zero by the NRA.”

“This measure supports the efforts of the President, Congressman Thompson, and others who are working to take comprehensive federal action to prevent gun violence while protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” Wolk said on the Senate floor during debate Thursday. “Without a comprehensive federal approach to curbing gun violence, our laws will fall short of providing the security our citizens expect.”

The San Francisco treatment

The Senate also recently passed SB 140, by Senator Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, which would allow the Department of Justice to take illegal firearms away from convicted felons, the mentally unstable, and parolees.

Isn’t there already a law for this?

SB 140 would appropriate $24,000,000 from the Dealers’ Record of Sale Special Account to the Department of Justice to address the backlog in the Armed Prohibited Persons System.

SB 140 allows the California Department of Justice to use “existing resources” to enhance the identification and confiscation of handguns and assault weapons in the hands of convicted felons, persons who are determined to be mentally unstable, and others who have criminal backgrounds that prevent them from legally possessing guns.

That’s how the Democratically-controlled Senate wants this bill described.

However, the Firearms Policy Coalition describes SB 140 a little differently:
“Takes millions of unconstitutionally-collected Dealer Record of Sales funds to compensate for the failure of more than 500 local law enforcement agencies not enforcing existing gun laws. Uses Dealer Record of Sales funds to pay for CA DOJ expansion, including raids and confiscation of weapons from those whom the State deems to be prohibited based on unreliable data from an untrustworthy list.”

“Our reinvestment in this statewide identification program will help eliminate a troubling backlog and growing mountain of illegal weapons, which threatens public safety in our communities and prevents us from enforcing existing firearms laws,” Leno said.

“This bill would require DOJ to create reports politicians would use to advance their anti-gun agenda and does not set limits on how DOJ may use the re-appropriated funds,” the Firearms Policy Coalition said.

There has been no talk among Democratic lawmakers about going after criminals or gangs who possess firearms illegally. 

Banning weapons as a solution to stop gun violence is no solution, and about as effective as banning cigarettes, booze or even certain foods. It is a certainty the underground market will thrive.

Banning guns and “high-capacity magazines” does nothing to reduce gun violence statistics, and merely serves to reduce the ability of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves from the criminal element so prevalent in California.

There already are laws aimed at preventing criminals from possessing and misusing firearms. It would be far more effective to work toward better mental health crisis management, in order to effect fewer gun related deaths and injuries.

According to the California Department of Justice, it has identified 19,784 Californians who illegally own firearms. Until there is a sincere effort to prevent criminals, the mentally ill and gangs from possessing firearms, nothing will be solved. And law-abiding Californians will eventually be prosecuted for defending themselves.

cross posted at CalWatchdog

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