On Monday, the Los Angeles Times declared that Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s Proposition 63 shows the nation how to secure more gun control on law-abiding citizens.
The Times presented Newsom’s proposition or ballot initiative approach as a way to achieve more gun control in a nation otherwise “laden with competing checks and balances.”
If passed, Newsom’s proposition will require law-abiding citizens to acquire a license from the state before being able to purchase ammunition. Individuals who wish to buy ammunition will have to pass a background check and pay up $50 for the actual license. The proposition will also bar law-abiding citizens from owning or possessing “high capacity” magazines and will set terms for felons to follow in surrendering their guns.
The Times sees this as a seminal moment, the fruit of “34 years” of “incremental steps” for gun control. And it is ironic that the Times cites a 1989 mass shooting in Stockton as the impetus behind the gun control push in California. In that incident “a young racist drifter with an AK-47 shot up a Stockton schoolyard…killing five Asian immigrant children and wounding 30 other kids.” The ironic part is that the years since that attack have seen California ban “assault weapons,” institute universal background checks, require firearm registration, put a 10-day waiting period in place for gun purchases, enact gun confiscation laws and Gun Violence Restraining Orders, yet two terrorists had no problem getting the guns they used to shoot and kill 14 people in San Bernardino on December 2.
Think about it: During the pre-gun control era, the Stockton shooting which killed five was horrendous. But during the gun control era, the attackers took far more lives.
Or think about it like this: Before “assault weapons” were banned, a Stockton attacker used such a weapon to kill five people. After the guns were banned, two individuals in San Bernardino killed three times as many people. And this is why the Times is wrong. California is a not trendsetter for gun control but a testimony to why more gun control is not the solution.
Of course, San Bernardino is not the only attack since California waded heavily into gun control waters. On May 23, 2014 they had the high profile Santa Barbara attack, where the gunman only used 10-round magazines. On June 1, 2016, they had the murder-suicide on UCLA’s gun free campus and, on October 8, 2016, the ambush killings of two Palm Springs police officers. All of these attacks were firearm-based attacks.
The bottom line: The state has some of the most stringent gun controls in the nation, yet criminals still have guns. This is not a pattern for other states to emulate. Rather, it is an approach they should avoid.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.