What’s wrong with California? Hmmm, where to start…. Fiscally speaking, this is as good a place as any: “Today (Gov. Jerry Brown) will unveil his revised budget and explain what additional spending must be cut. Tax collections have run $3.5 billion below what he calculated four months ago. Spending has grown $2 billion above projections. The federal government and court ruling blocked some savings he expected, while his fellow Democrats in the Legislature balked at others.” The solution? Well, besides higher taxes nothing’s better than convening an economic summit, of course. Basically, a 500-strong circle jerk whose sole contribution to “solving” the state’s problems is bland statements like “We believe that continued success requires public and private sector leaders taking signature actions that simultaneously promote economic vitality, equality of opportunity and environmental quality.” What does all this have to do with guns? Just ask Rico Tedjakusuma . . .
Rico wants to do something that’s damned hard in the Golden State these days – he’s trying to get a new business up and running. An enterprise that will produce income, profit and tax revenue in a state that’s hemorrhaging all of the above. But you’ve probably already guessed what the problem here is, right? Rico wants to start a gun business.
Don’t worry, though. LNC Arms – which doesn’t seem to be operating yet – will be an online business so no one in the East Bay has to drive past a purveyor of violence and death and be forced to explain to the children in the car why the world is such a terrible place. In fact, Tedjakusuma’s plan is to run the whole thing from his home, a condo in the idyllic sounding community of Pleasant Hill. Just think how small his carbon footprint will be!
The good news: Rico already has approval for his little enterprise from the city. On his application for a business license, he took pains to note that he won’t be selling retail guns out of his home. And while he also noted that he won’t be “a stocking dealer,” local law allows him to store as many guns in his home as he wants.
But, as mercurynews.com details, Karen Arntzen (who’s described as “a Pleasant Hill resident and a member of the Contra Costa Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence”) got wind of the new venture.
“We still feel that Pleasant Hill should ban home occupation gun dealers whether they’re operating over the Internet or not; it still creates a situation where guns are being brought into the neighborhood and more guns in a community creates more opportunity for gun violence,” Arntzen said.
Tedjakusuma may be hearing from his condo association, too.
“I’m really shocked that the city even allowed this, because what happens when someone breaks in and steals all the guns?” said Christopher Stanley, community manager with Bay Area Property Services.
Stanley said he will consult an attorney and the homeowner’s association board of directors to find out if the complex can do anything about LNC Arms.
“I will do what I can to stop this,” he said.
Surprisingly, city councilman Michael Harris is taking a more measured approach to the kefuffle.
“If it’s simply an office and he’s not storing guns and ammunition and simply using that as a place to take orders, I don’t see an issue with that,” Harris said. But Harris is willing to look into the matter if Tedjakusuma’s neighbors raise concerns with the council.
“If there’s no risk to the heath and safety of the neighbors, the City Council shouldn’t be involved,” Harris said. “But if there is a risk, the City Council should take appropriate steps to reduce that possibility.”
God knows the last thing California needs is another profitable, growing company on its hands. Except that they do. Badly. If the state really wants to take some “signature actions…that promote economic vitality,” maybe they could eliminate some of the structural impediments to establishing a business in one of the very few truly bright spots in the national economy.
If they did – and I hope no one is holding their breath – that would allow Mr. Tedjakusuma and other intrepid souls to take a risk and help fund all of the spending the state’s Legislature’s so fond of. Then again, maybe Rico’s tax money isn’t the right kind of revenue for a state like California.