Massachusetts Gunowners Protest AG’s ‘Copycat’ Gun Ban

By Joseph P. Tartaro,
SAF President

Hundreds—maybe thousands—of gun rights activists lined Boston’s Beacon Street in front of the State House on the morning of July 30 to denounce Attorney General Maura Healey’s recent restriction on “copycat” assault rifles.

The number of gunowners who turned out to protest the non-legislative change in what they believed was the state’s law varied depending on which media covered the event. “Hundreds” in several reports became “more than 2,000” in a CBS News report. And some sources claimed the crowd was even bigger.

The demonstrators were joined by about two dozen state legislators, including one Democrat, Sen. Anne Gobi, who promised to fight in the closing days of the legislative session against what they called “reinterpretation without representation.”

The Boston Herald reported that State Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) had filed a bill the previous day that would remove Healey’s authority to issue rules and regulations on firearms sales under the state’s consumer protection statute.

But the Associated Press and CBS News reported that the Bay State’s House Speaker Robert DeLeo says he expects the dispute over Attorney General Maura Healey’s crackdown on so-called copycat assault weapons to ultimately be decided in court.

DeLeo earlier he had ruled out any House action on the gun issue as lawmakers held their final formal sessions of the year.

The Democratic speaker also said Rep. John Fernandes, a Milford Democrat who chairs the Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Healey asking her to clarify under what authority she acted when she recently sent an enforcement letter to gun dealers.

(Boston,MA 07/23/16) Attendees hold signs on Saturday,July 23, 2016 at statehouse rally in opposition to the recent actions of attorney general Maura Healy. Staff photo by Patrick Whittemore.

DeLeo also told AP and CBS that he’s not sure if Healey overstepped her authority and expects the courts to decide.

A week earlier, Healey sent the notice to the state’s 350 gun dealers, effective on July 27, requiring them to stop selling copycat, or slightly altered, versions of common semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 or the AK-47. She argued that gun manufacturers and sellers were exploiting a loophole in the state’s 1998 “assault weapons” ban in order to sell functionally identical firearms, 10,000 of which she claimed were sold last year.

“The gun industry doesn’t get to decide what’s a compliant,” she said at a press conference. “We do.”

Gun advocates have responded that Healey acted unilaterally, bypassing the state legislature while it was not in session, a move they say is an overstep of her powers.

But gun sales surged after Healey ordered the heightened ban, with many people also suspecting that they might be charged for violating her order. According to some reports, Massachusetts gun shops sold more than 2,500 of the guns at the center of the controversy in one day—nearly a quarter of the total sold in all of 2015. Sales dropped the following day, but were still above the same day total a year earlier.

The State House rally was led by the Massachusetts Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL) but included gunowners from local gun clubs and associations across the state, wielding “Don’t Tread on Me” and American flags and signs depicting Healey with a Hitler mustache.

Legislators and advocates who took the microphone said Healey had transformed legal gun owners into “felons-in-waiting” overnight. They acknowledged that Healey had promised not to prosecute those who purchased the guns legally before her order, but said they did not trust her word.

“She could change her mind tomorrow,” Gun Owners’ Action League executive director Jim Wallace said.

“We don’t believe that anything in the Constitution is optional,” said Senate minority leader Tarr, to roars of approval. “Not the First Amendment that allows you to be here, and not the Second Amendment that allows you to defend yourself.”

The crowd erupted in chants several times, from “Blue Lives Matter” to “Charlie! Charlie!” calling on Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, to join the rally. When he did not appear, the chant changed to “Coward! Coward!”

Billy Pitman, the governor’s press secretary, has said Baker believes Healey has the authority to crack down on guns that skirt the “assault weapons” ban.

France Reeling After Latest Terror Attack

 

France is again reeling after another night of carnage in Nice left at least 84 Bastille Day revelers dead and dozens more injured.

While the suspect, identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, was armed with a pistol, his weapon of choice for mass murder was a large truck, not explosives.

While it may be too early to speculate on his motivation, or possible affiliation for driving a truck into a crowd celebrating the French equivalent of our Fourth of July, it is the latest in a series of bloody attacks since the murder in the Charlie Hebdo offices in January 2015.

After November’s Paris attacks, the French government put in place a state of emergency, which restricts civil liberties. It allows police to conduct searches without a warrant and place people under house arrest outside the normal legal process.

A French parliamentary investigation into last year’s terrorist attacks on Paris has identified multiple failings by France’s intelligence agencies. According to the British newspaper, The Guardian, the commission highlighted a “global failure” of French intelligence and recommended a total overhaul of the intelligence services and the creation of a single, US-style national counter-terrorism agency.

SAF Sues Illinois over foster parent 2A rights

By Dave Workman,
Senior Editor

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) is back in court in Illinois, this time filing a lawsuit against the State on behalf of two foster parents, alleging deprivation of civil rights under color of law.

The lawsuit is joined by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) on behalf of Kenneth and Colleen Schults in US District Court for the Central District of Illinois. Plaintiffs are represented by attorney David Sigale of Glen Ellyn, IL. He has been involved in several SAF cases over the past eight years.

Named as a defendant in the case is George H. Sheldon, in his official capacity as director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS).

The lawsuit, which was filed in mid-July, contends that Mr. and Mrs. Schults have been denied their rights because IDCFS policy substantially prohibits foster parents, and those who would like to be foster parents, from possessing firearms for the purpose of self-defense. This violates their constitutional rights under the Second Amendment, the lawsuit alleges.

“After the number of times we’ve had to take legal action in Illinois, including our landmark US Supreme Court Second Amendment victory in McDonald v. City of Chicago six years ago, one would think the state would have wised up by now,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “But here we are again, working with ISRA, fighting for the rights of law-abiding citizens in that state.”

Anti’s Try Kidnapping NRA’s Eddie the Eagle

The National Rifle Association’s Eddie the Eagle gun safety program that has taught important gun safety rules to some 28 million school children since it was launched in 1988 may be the target of a kidnapping by the Michael Bloomberg anti-gun crowd.

The NRA recently reported that “if there’s any truth to a recent blog post appearing in the New York Times, that’s what Shannon Watts—head of the Bloomberg-backed gun control group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America—is now promoting a safety course that looks suspiciously like NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program.”

The blog post in general discusses ways for parents to broach the subject of firearms in the homes of their children’s playmates. But one surprise to come out of the blog post is a paragraph. Even if you do not own a gun, it’s important to have a conversation with your children about what to do if they ever see a gun, said Watts, who claimed to have co-founded a gun safety program that it claims works with PTAs around the country.

In other words, NRA noted, Watts was giving her own spin on NRA’s trademarked and much respected Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program.

From the Editor

When I’m taking Augie the wonder dog for his 6:30 am walk I am always amazed at the number of people who are out and about—and on their phones. If I didn’t have an adorable little mixed Australian Cattle Dog-Dachshund, I would be fast asleep at that hour.

This morning we narrowly avoided a woman who was walking down a residential street with her eyes glued to her phone, obviously on her way to work at a nearby hospital. As we skirted her—and I’m pretty sure she never saw either me or Augie, who is friendly, but prone to jumping—I shook my head at the “modern world,” and looked back.

The woman crossed the street—still with her eyes glued to her phone—and passed another woman, also garbed for hospital work—and also on her phone. This time the first woman looked up and said good morning to the other, who replied in kind. It didn’t seem as if they knew each other, but were merely acknowledging their respective presences.

I live in a safe, urban neighborhood and this time of year, it was fully daylight at that early hour.

But “safe” is a relative term. We are not immune to car break-ins, home burglaries and the like. Go not too many blocks further, closer to the action (and late hours) that bars and restaurants bring, and more serious crimes are not uncommon.

It’s my general policy when walking my neighborhood—whether “armed” with Augie or not—to say hello to everyone I pass. Most times it is an actual neighbor, sometimes armed with their own dog. (I think it is possible we have more dogs than people on my street!) In that case, we may stop and chat briefly, about weather, poor parallel parking skills of others, gardens or whatnot. What the dogs talk about, I could not say.

If I say hello to a stranger, I usually continue walking. But I almost always make eye contact and some verbalization that says, in effect, “Hey, I acknowledge that we are on the street at the same time and we are both going about our business.”

More and more, however, I note how many people, younger than I and older, too, are walking with their heads bent into the small screen of their cellphone, intent on a text, or possibly surfing the web. Other folks, young and old, are carrying on conversations, mostly loudly enough for a passerby like myself, to hear what they are talking about, whether I want to or not.

I could rant for several paragraphs about the aforementioned “modern world,” or I could bemoan a world in which a person can’t walk her child to the bus stop or his dog to the corner without using his or her phone simultaneously, but mostly what disturbs me about it is the complete and utter failure of these folks to have any awareness of their surroundings.

Those of us with even the most basic self-defense training learn about the threat continuum. In many cases, it is expressed in a color scheme that starts with Condition White—when you are absolutely safe, to Condition Red—when you are in grave and immediate danger. We are taught to live our lives in Condition Yellow—safe, but alert to our surroundings and changing conditions, which can escalate quickly.

Watching people on their phones—and I have seen people cross busy intersections, texting while they maneuver their skateboard—I wonder if trainers around the country shouldn’t nudge Condition White over a space and slide in Condition Bubble.

In Condition Bubble, the belief that you are absolutely safe takes precedence over any actual conditions you might find yourself in—such as being on a quiet, residential street early in the morning. In Condition Bubble, it really wouldn’t matter if the middle aged woman and 20 pound dog you kind of see in your peripheral vision is there or not, or whether it’s actually a 20-year-old body builder with an 80-pound pit bull, off leash. You are so far into cyber world that you don’t have any clue about the real one.

Sadly, Condition Bubble seems to exist for drivers as well—many of whom are breaking the law, by being on the phone and endangering everyone around them. It doesn’t seem to matter to them, though, because they are in their own cocoon. A dangerous place to be.

 

WaPo “Fact Checker” Awards Obama Three Pinocchio’s on Guns

By Dave Workman,
Contributing Editor

Continuing a string of admonishments for Barack Obama in the pages of the Washington Post (WaPo), the newspaper’s popular “Fact Checker” recently awarded the president “three Pinocchios” for his assertion that it is easier for a teen to buy a Glock than it is to get a book.

During his remarks at the July 12 memorial for five murdered Dallas police officers, the president contended, “We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book.”

However, according to the Fact Checker, that’s not true. The column noted, “It reminded us of a similar claim by Obama in March 2015, when he said, ‘There are neighborhoods where it’s easier for you to buy a handgun and clips than it is for you to buy a fresh vegetable.’ In fact, he said a version of the comparison of guns and books at the time, as well. We awarded Three Pinocchio’s to a series of his odd exaggerations about guns, including the comparisons to buying vegetables.”

That’s the same rating that Obama received back in 2013 from the Fact Checker after he repeatedly insisted that 40 percent of gun sales are conducted without background checks.

The Fact Checker uses from one to four Pinocchio images depending upon the seriousness of the canard. Pinocchio was the wooden puppet character from a Disney cartoon movie whose nose grew when he told a lie.

As the WaPo Fact Checker explained, “Federal law prohibits licensed firearms dealers from selling a handgun, such as a Glock, to people under 21 years old. It prohibits unlicensed people, like family, from selling or transferring handguns to anyone under 18. In most states, you need to be at least 18 to purchase and own a handgun.

“Public libraries, on the other hand, generally don’t have an age limit or a background check for children to get a library card and access books and computers for free,” the newspaper added.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation weighed in on this, because the gun industry, and particularly firearms dealers in Arizona, were both used and then abused as a result of the scandalous Operation Fast and Furious debacle that, to paraphrase Obama, flooded Mexico with illicit guns now being used by drug cartel killers.

That “gun walking” scandal occurred because the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed known or suspected gun runners to purchase some 2,000 firearms, and smuggle them into Mexico. Many of those guns have subsequently been recovered at Mexican crime scenes.

Obama provided cover to former Attorney General Eric Holder by extending executive privilege to thousands of subpoenaed documents related to the Fast and Furious operation until a federal court ordered their release. However, by the time those documents were turned over to Congress, the public had all but forgotten the story, and the media ignored it.

W&G

 

Gun Controllers “Winning” Emoji War

Gun Controllers “Winning” Emoji War

An August Washington Post online feature detailed a campaign by anti-gunners to remove a realistic looking gun emoji from the cyber world.

Emoji’s are pictorial images, often cartoonish, which depict “emotions” or thoughts and are used in texts or emails in place of a word or words for emphasis. Perhaps theapple-removes-handgun-emoji-ios10-waterpistol most famous is the ubiquitous smiley face.

The Post began the story, “Gun control measures have stalled in the legislature repeatedly. But there does appear to be one place where gun control is catching on: the ever-more-political world of emoji.”

On August 1, Apple announced that the next update to its emoji catalog would style the “gun” icon as a toy, rather than a pistol. That follows the recent, unusual decision by the Unicode Consortium,

the tech industry group that approves emoji, not to include glyphs of a rifle and a man shooting a pistol in its next release, the story continued.

“If guns are to be controlled, then they need to be marginalized, not mainstreamed,” said Gill Marshall-Andrews, the head of the U.K.’s Gun Control Network and one of many advocates cheering the disarmament of emoji. “I think it’s a good move to take them away … It’s a small step, but it says something,” in the story.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Post story continued, the nonprofit New Yorkers Against Gun Violence has spent the past year waging a high-profile PR campaign against Apple’s pistol emoji. The campaign, called #DisarmTheiPhone, urged Apple to nix or redesign the icon in order to draw attention to the toll of gun violence and continued

"Emoji" of realistic looking gun being replaced by Apple and new "toy" version that replaces it. Anti-gunners have claimed it as a gun control "victory" in a year that has seen them try and fail at legislative approaches.

t”Emoji” of realistic looking gun (above) being replaced by Apple and new “toy” version (top image) that replaces it. Anti-gunners have claimed it as a gun control “victory” in a year that has seen them try and fail at legislative approaches.

legislative inaction. While Apple has declined to release any statement on its new pistol emoji design, making it unclear what prompted it, NYAGV has already taken some credit.

“We welcome Apple’s decision to dump the pistol emoji,” the organization’s executive director, Leah Gunn Barrett, said in a statement. “We believe that Apple, a socially progressive company, was influenced not only by our campaign last summer but also by the horrendous toll gun violence continues to take on American society, with over 33,000 dead and 84,000 maimed each year at a cost of $229 billion.”

Gun-rights advocates shouldn’t fret too much, the Post said, explaining that the very moment Apple was disarming its gun emoji, one of its competitors was doing the exact opposite. Microsoft has long represented the “gun” emoji as a toy on its devices; in the Microsoft 10 Anniversary release, however, the character will become more realistic.

International Business Times’ website advised “iOS users who want to continue using the revolver emoji have three options: avoid the iOS 10 update for as long as they can, take a screenshot of the emoji and manually send a pixelated version when they want to, or gamble a bit by saving the emoji in the Notes app and hope that the new update won’t automatically update all revolver emoji’s with water guns. And those who want to get a head start squirting water guns can download the public beta of iOS 10 now.”

The decision by Apple executives to replace a cartoon revolver emoji with one of a squirt gun is a “combination of childishness and anti-gun demagoguery,” commented Alan M. Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. The Second Amendment Foundation said in response to the announcement.

“While this story seems ridiculous on its face,” he continued, “it raises alarms about the totalitarian mindset behind this kind of decision. This is no longer just about the Second Amendment, it’s about First Amendment rights, too. It shows that the gun prohibition lobby is so strident that they want to ban images of fake guns.”

“Maybe gun owners should think twice about buying any more Apple products,” he concluded, “unless they include a rotten Apple emoji.”

W&G

 

 

Post Orlando Gun Control Battle now Raging over Due Process

By Dave Workman,
Contributing Editor

Congressional gun prohibitionists have launched a full court press to pass some kind of legislation ostensibly designed to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, but failing that they will use whatever setbacks they suffer as campaign issues heading into the November elections.

That appears to be the prevailing wisdom from pundits in the aftermath of a defeat of legislation proposed on both sides of the aisle in the US Senate as a response to the Orlando slaughter. Surprising to some, the concern was not so much about the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as it was the Fifth Amendment right to due process.

Explaining legislation that she proposed to prevent people whose names show up on a no-fly list, anti-gun Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told PBS that people could petition “and prove your innocence.” The remark streaked across social media at warp speed, with gun rights advocates calling foul, reminding the senator that under our justice system, it is the government’s responsibility to prove someone guilty before stripping them of a civil right.

After the initial bills were rejected, Sen. Susan Collins began working on a compromise proposal.

Gun rights leaders have been quick to respond.

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, told WND Radio that “A gun doesn’t have a brain to hate with or a finger to pull its own trigger. The question we have here is: How do we get those people off the streets without infringing on people’s rights to own a firearm for legitimate lawful purposes, including the right to protect yourself from a terrorist?”

“It’s not just gun rights we’re talking about here,” he added. “You take people’s due process rights away; you’ve got a tyrannical government.”

National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that the legislation, which was defeated, would not accomplish a thing. He recalled that “Laws didn’t stop them in Boston. Laws didn’t stop them in San Bernardino, where you had every type of gun control law that you could have. And they didn’t stop them in Paris, where people can’t even own guns.”

And LaPierre added a warning that terrorists are coming, and law-abiding Americans need to plan for their own security.

“No one wants terrorists to have legal or illegal access to firearms,” added NRA chief lobbyist Chris Cox. “Keeping guns from terrorists while protecting the due process rights of law-abiding citizens are not mutually exclusive. Unfortunately, Senator Collins and others are focusing their efforts on unconstitutional proposals that would not have prevented the Orlando terrorist attack. The American people want Congress to stop playing politics and pass policies that will keep them safe from terrorists.”

The discussion created some revealing moments, especially where anti-gunners are concerned. One of those came when Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) was interviewed by “ABC This Week.” When he resisted talking about how the gun control measures proposed by his colleagues would not have prevented the Orlando attack, he asserted that by doing so, he would be falling into “a trap.”

“We can’t get into the trap in which we are forced to defend our proposals simply because it didn’t stop the last tragedy,” he stated.

Many Second Amendment activists contended that this was proof positive that anti-gunners like Murphy know their positions are indefensible and do not want to be held accountable.

W&G

 

OH Sheriff Tells Staffers with Permits to Carry at Work

A county sheriff in southwest Ohio is reportedly encouraging his non-commissioned staffers who have carry licenses to pack their side arms at the office, according to WLWT and the Associated Press.

The Hamilton Journal-News also noted that Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones encourages those same employees “to carry their weapon while operating any department vehicle away from the headquarters.”

This comes in response to recent attacks on law enforcement that have cost the lives of several police officers. The Associated Press story quoted a memo Sheriff Jones sent to all non-commissioned employees.

“Everyone should exercise some extra caution at this time concerning their own personal safety,” the sheriff reportedly advised.

The sheriff also advised employees to “plan their attire appropriately and carry their weapon discreetly when in public view.”

Support among newspaper readers appears to be very strong, but not unanimous. Some readers contend that the sheriff’s suggestion is a violation of the state carry law. Others argue that Jones is acting within his authority as sheriff, and that the policy is for department employees.

Jones told WXIS in Cincinnati that he issued the memo after one of his civilian employees was threatened with a gun while driving their personal vehicle. He suggested the threat came because the employee had a Fraternal Order of Police emblem on the car’s license plate.

While it is not unusual for sheriffs and even some police chiefs to encourage private citizens to “arm up” for their personal protection, this may be something new.

Commissioned deputies apparently did not receive the memo, which was reportedly written only for the non-commissioned department employees and volunteers. Those staffers who do decide to carry defensive side arms must comply with all state carry laws when outside the building, published reports said.

Law enforcement agencies across the country are on alert following the ambush shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge, and attacks on individual officers in Missouri and Milwaukee, WI.

W&G

 

A Sweep of Every House

By Dr. Timothy Wheeler

 

On Independence Day weekend California Governor Jerry Brown, with the stroke of a pen, created several million brand new criminals in the once-Golden State. Before jumping on a plane for a European vacation, he signed six of the eleven gun control bills sent to him by the one-party lynch mob that California’s legislature has become. All six laws will go into effect next year. They create new crimes that will be committed simply because of Governor Brown’s signature, not by any actual misdeeds of hapless Californians against person or property.

Especially alarming is Senator Loni Hancock’s (D-Berkeley) magazine confiscation bill, SB 1446. This new law is notable in that it creates a new crime out of what the legislature previously declared perfectly legal—owning magazines that hold more than ten rounds. They had outlawed the manufacture, sale, and importation of greater than ten round magazines, even as the rest of the country continued to allow them. But the ones currently owned were still allowed.

No more. In a classic and calculated plunge down the slippery slope, Senator Hancock, whose contempt for gun owners is legendary, has taken the gun prohibition movement another giant step toward their goal. And we all know what that is, because they’ve told us more than once.

Senator Hancock was quoted in a July 11 Los Angeles Times opinion article regarding enforcement of her new law:

“We don’t have the resources to make a sweep of every house in California. There’d need to be a warrant to search your house or car for another reason, or if you’re stopped on the street and have one.”

califimage

It seems the only thing holding back Hancock and like-minded legislators is a lack of enough SUVs full of armed DOJ agents to do a Soviet-style door-to-door search of every California home.

The criminals-to-be mostly don’t even know their fate yet. That’s because decent people believe that the law is intended to prevent and punish bad deeds, such as wrongfully injuring or killing another human being, or robbing or raping them. The key concept, which enjoys wide consensus among the citizenry, is that righteous laws preserve order by penalizing harmful conduct.

But most California gun owners, like most people, don’t follow politics. They simply try to live their lives unmolested. And so it will come as a rude surprise when the increasingly long arm of the law reaches them at last. Maybe it will be at the shooting range, when an off-duty cop notices she’s using the 15-round magazines that came with her pistol when she bought it back in the 1980s. Maybe it will be when he puts an old rifle up for sale, and in the process it’s discovered that the rifle isn’t registered with the California Department of Justice.

Or maybe it will be when armed DOJ agents show up at her door with a search warrant, because every law-respecting Californian who submits to the rigorous government scrutiny required to legally buy a gun has a dossier in Sacramento. The Department of Justice and every law enforcement agency know exactly how many firearms she has and what kind they are, and will be able to convince a judge (especially one who wants to be convinced) to issue a warrant to seize her now-illegal contraband. And to haul her off to jail.

The new criminals will be the hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of Californians who own firearm magazines that hold more than ten rounds. They will be the owners of rifles specifically manufactured to comply with the last round of design restrictions (the bullet button). They will be sportsmen and women who lend their firearm even momentarily to a hunting companion or fellow target shooter who is not a family member.

The gun prohibition movement takes full advantage of public ignorance of previous gun control legislation. In the case of SB 880, the bullet button ban, it took Gun Owners of California’s legislative representative to remind legislators that they had specifically approved rifles that required the use of a tool (i.e., the bullet button) to remove a magazine for reloading.

But what the legislature (and then-Attorney General Jerry Brown) once anointed as perfectly legal they now denounce as a “loophole.” Moving the goalposts of what is and is not legal is part of the long-term strategy of incrementally increasing restrictions. The “endgame” of that progression, as Chicago Congressman Bobby Rush said in 1999, is “to see the manufacture and possession of handguns banned except for military and police use.”

Like other gun-grabbing urban Democrats, Rush himself is a paragon of hypocrisy, having advocated criminal violence, and having been imprisoned for violating firearm laws.

So it is with South Central Los Angeles state senator Isadore Hall. Among the gun control bills Governor Brown signed was his SB 880, the bullet button ban. Hall wants to make a name for himself as the legislator who banned “assault weapons.” This too is an example of breathtaking hypocrisy, since Hall’s district includes the most violent crime-ridden section of Los Angeles.

If Hall wanted to follow the faulty logic of banning guns to stop violent crime, he would go after the tool preferred by thugs everywhere, including those in his district—high quality handguns. But instead, he demonizes the modern rifles most favored by 21st century American gun owners for hunting, marksmanship competitions, and self-defense. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, rifles of any kind are used in fewer than 3% of murders, and modern rifles are an even smaller fraction of that number.

So Hall, posing as a crusader against “gun violence”, diverts attention from the hardcore daily violence in the district he’s responsible for and condemns sportsmen and women and other innocent Californians who next year will become criminals because of his deception.

We can expect such sleaze from the majority party that runs California. It’s how they’ve done business for years now. But Governor Brown knows better. As a former mayor of violent Oakland and having served as California’s Attorney General, Brown has dealt with criminals. He knows the difference between criminals and good citizens. Had he followed his better instincts he would have vetoed every one of the bills.

Successful democratic government requires that laws be just and consistently enforced. To the degree that laws are capricious and unrighteous, the people’s respect for them is weakened. Governor Brown’s vacation will afford the former seminarian the time to reflect on the damage he has done to California.

About the author: Timothy Wheeler, MD, is director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership (drgo.us), a project of the Second Amendment Foundation.

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