California Bites the Bullet with Background Checks

On the heels of the San Bernardino massacre, where terrorists entered a gun-free zone to slaughter their unarmed victims, California Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown signed legislation making it more difficult for law-abiding Americans to defend themselves. In the liberal mind, that doesn’t matter. It’s “gun violence”, not gang violence or terrorist violence.  So let’s pass laws that would not have prevented San Bernardino:

The Democratic governor signed six bills Friday requiring gun owners to give up magazines holding more than 10 rounds and to undergo a background check before they can purchase ammunition, among other measures…

“Strong gun laws work... What we’re doing in California is a better job of keeping guns out of dangerous hands,” said Amanda Wilcox, a spokeswoman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, whose daughter was killed by a shooter using a high-capacity magazine.

Brown’s action will require people who own magazines that hold more than 10 rounds to give them up. It extends a 1999 law that made it illegal to buy a high-capacity magazine or to bring one into the state but allowed people who already owned them to keep them.

In an attempt to slow gun users from rapidly reloading, the governor signed a bill outlawing new weapons that have a device known as a bullet button. Gun makers developed bullet buttons to get around California’s assault weapons ban, which prohibited new rifles with magazines that can be detached without the aid of tools. A bullet button allows a shooter to quickly dislodge the magazine using the tip of a bullet or other small tool.

If strong gun laws worked, Chicago would be the safest place on the planet. Gun laws didn’t work at Ft. Hood, in Orlando, or in San Bernardino, where the wife of one of those slain noted that the killers knew their victims couldn’t shoot back and a gun in a good guy’s hand would have made a difference:

In the past, California’s gun control laws already closed many of the so-called “loopholes” related to gun purchases. In fact, some of the weapons owned by the San Bernadino shooters, Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeem Malik, were legally bought within the state by a friend named Enrique Marquez. The man is pleading not guilty to providing material support to the two shooters, but he’s also being charged as a co-conspirator in the terrorist plot…

Amy Wetzel is the widow of San Bernardino shooting victim Michael Wetzel and she is also applying for a concealed carry weapons permit. During a recent interview, she speculated that the outcome of the San Bernardino terrorist attack could have been very different if someone had been carrying a concealed gun.

“What if someone in that room (at the Inland Regional Center) had had a permit to carry (a concealed weapon),” she said.

Yes, Governor Brown, what if? Guns used at San Bernardino were purchased legally and so too was the ammo. Making it difficult for the shooters to get ammo or reload quickly makes no sense if you make it impossible for victims to shoot back at all. What if, as Sayed Farouk reloaded his weapon, someone with a concealed carry weapon had used theirs to kill him?

It is not a novel idea -- the notion that the route to gun control is not by attacking the right to bear arms, but to use that old liberal standby, regulation, to dry up the supply of bullets. It was that idea that was endorsed by Fox News host Greta Van Susteren when she appeared on ABC’s “This Week”:

When I practiced law in the District of Columbia, very strict gun laws. And every single one of my clients could get a gun. The guns are out there. They are all over. And you can create all the laws you want, but all the guns are out there. They’re going to be coming in through black markets. And so we’re not being very realistic that all of a sudden putting -- changing the laws is going to change anything.

The guns are there. If you really want to regulate you’ve got to be a little bit smarter, maybe regulate ammunition so that people can’t use their guns. That’s the smart thing.

The Obama administration has already tried this very tactic of achieving gun control through regulation of ammunition and actually it’s a pretty dumb thing. As Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) editorialized:

Attempts to reinstate the ineffective and expired 1994 Assault Weapons ban, which targeted "scary-looking" guns, failed. So the Obama administration decided to go after the bullets that the AR-15 uses, reclassifying AR-15 ammo as an armor-piercing "NATO round" more fit for combat than self-defense or hunting.

The problem is, police don't agree. They dismiss the 5.56mm M855 as not being a significant threat, with no record of use in violent crime.

"While this round will penetrate soft body armor, it has not historically posed a threat to law enforcement," according to James Pasco, executive director of the Washington office of the 325,000-member Fraternal Order of Police, the world's largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers.

No, Greta it’s not the smart thing. Criminals will get their guns and their bullets. Perhaps liberals like Gov. Brown and Ms. Van Susteren, who practiced law in the District of Columbia, is unaware of the D.C. crime rates before and after its gun ban was overturned by the Supreme Court in the Heller decision in 2008. As gun researcher John Lott Jr. noted in an essay for FoxNews.com:

When the Heller case was decided, Washington’s Mayor Adrian Fenty warned: "More handguns in the District of Columbia will only lead to more handgun violence."…

But Armageddon never arrived. Quite the contrary, murders in Washington plummeted by an astounding 25 percent in 2009, dropping from 186 murders in 2008 to 140. That translates to a murder rate that is now down to 23.5 per 100,000 people, Washington’s lowest since 1967.

Lott, author of the book, More Guns, Less Crime, also noted in his essay the pernicious effect of Chicago’s gun ban, overturned in the MacDonald Decision:

As shown in the forthcoming third edition of my book More Guns, Less Crime, before the ban, Chicago's murder rate was falling relative to the 9 other largest cities, the 50 largest cities, the five counties that boarder Cook county, as well as the U.S. as a whole. After the ban Chicago's murder rate rose relative to all these other places.

Gun bans don’t work in reducing crime. Bullet bans won’t work either. All they accomplish is creating more unarmed targets for criminals.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.               

On the heels of the San Bernardino massacre, where terrorists entered a gun-free zone to slaughter their unarmed victims, California Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown signed legislation making it more difficult for law-abiding Americans to defend themselves. In the liberal mind, that doesn’t matter. It’s “gun violence”, not gang violence or terrorist violence.  So let’s pass laws that would not have prevented San Bernardino:

The Democratic governor signed six bills Friday requiring gun owners to give up magazines holding more than 10 rounds and to undergo a background check before they can purchase ammunition, among other measures…

“Strong gun laws work... What we’re doing in California is a better job of keeping guns out of dangerous hands,” said Amanda Wilcox, a spokeswoman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, whose daughter was killed by a shooter using a high-capacity magazine.

Brown’s action will require people who own magazines that hold more than 10 rounds to give them up. It extends a 1999 law that made it illegal to buy a high-capacity magazine or to bring one into the state but allowed people who already owned them to keep them.

In an attempt to slow gun users from rapidly reloading, the governor signed a bill outlawing new weapons that have a device known as a bullet button. Gun makers developed bullet buttons to get around California’s assault weapons ban, which prohibited new rifles with magazines that can be detached without the aid of tools. A bullet button allows a shooter to quickly dislodge the magazine using the tip of a bullet or other small tool.

If strong gun laws worked, Chicago would be the safest place on the planet. Gun laws didn’t work at Ft. Hood, in Orlando, or in San Bernardino, where the wife of one of those slain noted that the killers knew their victims couldn’t shoot back and a gun in a good guy’s hand would have made a difference:

In the past, California’s gun control laws already closed many of the so-called “loopholes” related to gun purchases. In fact, some of the weapons owned by the San Bernadino shooters, Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeem Malik, were legally bought within the state by a friend named Enrique Marquez. The man is pleading not guilty to providing material support to the two shooters, but he’s also being charged as a co-conspirator in the terrorist plot…

Amy Wetzel is the widow of San Bernardino shooting victim Michael Wetzel and she is also applying for a concealed carry weapons permit. During a recent interview, she speculated that the outcome of the San Bernardino terrorist attack could have been very different if someone had been carrying a concealed gun.

“What if someone in that room (at the Inland Regional Center) had had a permit to carry (a concealed weapon),” she said.

Yes, Governor Brown, what if? Guns used at San Bernardino were purchased legally and so too was the ammo. Making it difficult for the shooters to get ammo or reload quickly makes no sense if you make it impossible for victims to shoot back at all. What if, as Sayed Farouk reloaded his weapon, someone with a concealed carry weapon had used theirs to kill him?

It is not a novel idea -- the notion that the route to gun control is not by attacking the right to bear arms, but to use that old liberal standby, regulation, to dry up the supply of bullets. It was that idea that was endorsed by Fox News host Greta Van Susteren when she appeared on ABC’s “This Week”:

When I practiced law in the District of Columbia, very strict gun laws. And every single one of my clients could get a gun. The guns are out there. They are all over. And you can create all the laws you want, but all the guns are out there. They’re going to be coming in through black markets. And so we’re not being very realistic that all of a sudden putting -- changing the laws is going to change anything.

The guns are there. If you really want to regulate you’ve got to be a little bit smarter, maybe regulate ammunition so that people can’t use their guns. That’s the smart thing.

The Obama administration has already tried this very tactic of achieving gun control through regulation of ammunition and actually it’s a pretty dumb thing. As Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) editorialized:

Attempts to reinstate the ineffective and expired 1994 Assault Weapons ban, which targeted "scary-looking" guns, failed. So the Obama administration decided to go after the bullets that the AR-15 uses, reclassifying AR-15 ammo as an armor-piercing "NATO round" more fit for combat than self-defense or hunting.

The problem is, police don't agree. They dismiss the 5.56mm M855 as not being a significant threat, with no record of use in violent crime.

"While this round will penetrate soft body armor, it has not historically posed a threat to law enforcement," according to James Pasco, executive director of the Washington office of the 325,000-member Fraternal Order of Police, the world's largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers.

No, Greta it’s not the smart thing. Criminals will get their guns and their bullets. Perhaps liberals like Gov. Brown and Ms. Van Susteren, who practiced law in the District of Columbia, is unaware of the D.C. crime rates before and after its gun ban was overturned by the Supreme Court in the Heller decision in 2008. As gun researcher John Lott Jr. noted in an essay for FoxNews.com:

When the Heller case was decided, Washington’s Mayor Adrian Fenty warned: "More handguns in the District of Columbia will only lead to more handgun violence."…

But Armageddon never arrived. Quite the contrary, murders in Washington plummeted by an astounding 25 percent in 2009, dropping from 186 murders in 2008 to 140. That translates to a murder rate that is now down to 23.5 per 100,000 people, Washington’s lowest since 1967.

Lott, author of the book, More Guns, Less Crime, also noted in his essay the pernicious effect of Chicago’s gun ban, overturned in the MacDonald Decision:

As shown in the forthcoming third edition of my book More Guns, Less Crime, before the ban, Chicago's murder rate was falling relative to the 9 other largest cities, the 50 largest cities, the five counties that boarder Cook county, as well as the U.S. as a whole. After the ban Chicago's murder rate rose relative to all these other places.

Gun bans don’t work in reducing crime. Bullet bans won’t work either. All they accomplish is creating more unarmed targets for criminals.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.