Underneath the headline Gun control bills aim to change California’s gun culture, the San Jose Mercury News writes this:
With nearly 8 million gun owners and hundreds of thousands of semi-automatic weapons in California, Gov. Jerry Brown’s signing of six new gun control bills on July 1 won’t make us instantly safer. But it’s a good step in what should be a decades-long campaign to change the state’s gun culture.
And there you have it: the Golden State’s recently enacted package of gun control laws is a step on the slippery slope to civilian disarmament. Regardless of its impact — or lack thereof — on firearms-related crime.
I suppose it’s not news that the News and its ilk have broken cover. The pattern is set: every time there’s a headline-grabbing, firearms-related homicide, the mainstream media becomes more and more emboldened, gun control-wise. Have they no shame? Actually, a little . . .
The most significant action in the six-bill package Brown just signed makes California the first state to require background checks to buy bullets. The legislation also bans high-capacity magazines — and requires people to turn in ones they already own — as well as banning “bullet buttons,” which make it easy for shooters to detach magazines and quickly reload.
The NRA, prone to hyperbole, calls the new laws “draconian” and “Stalin-esque.” None threatens the right of law-abiding citizens to own weapons, but the organization does have a legitimate point about one element. It outlaws lending guns to anyone but immediate family members without having the borrower go through a background check. Previously, guns could be loaned between people who are personally known to each other for as long as 30 days without a background check.
The Legislature should look at whether this law can be tweaked to make it clear that lending guns will be prosecuted only when a crime is committed with one. That way friends will know they’re taking personal responsibility for legal use of their firearms but aren’t subject to arrest for letting a pal try out a new hunting rifle.
Start with this: if the NRA is “prone to hyperbole” the Mercury News is prone to anti-gun rights hysteria. Then there’s the usual Fudd remark suggesting that the right to keep and bear hunting rifles is somehow different from the right to keep and bear any other type of firearm.
As for the suggestion that the legislature should “tweak” the law mandating a background check when loaning a gun to anyone other than immediate family, where was the News when the law was being debated? In full support, of course.
Mass shootings and gun violence are escalating. California has an obligation to try to stem that tide while protecting the rights of its law-abiding gun owners. The Legislature has approached this responsibly — especially since it has had the foresight to sponsor independent study of the results.
The number of mass shooting in the U.S. are not escalating — unless you believe the stat-bending mainstream media (e.g., The Washington Post) outlets with an anti-gun rights axe to grind. A quick Google search of “are mass shootings becoming more common” tells the tale of an alternative, indeed scientific view.
Equally, how exactly do the new gun control bills — one of which outlaws standard capacity ammunition magazines — protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners? Do California gun owners feel their gun rights are being protected by having to undergo a background check when they purchase ammunition?
Can you say ‘lip service’? Of course you can. And should, at every possible opportunity. And what’s the bet that the “$5 million allocated for research on the impact of gun violence and of state laws intended to curb it” will find that gun control is actually a good thing? The same odds that Americans will surrender their gun rights without a fight.