Monday, September 9, 2013

Conspicuous Omission

On Wednesday September 4th in San Mateo, CA three men, Edwin Lee of Daly City, Brian Ma & Bunn Vo of San Jose forced their way into a home in a quiet residential area. They held the residents including a pregnant woman at gunpoint. At roughly 11:30pm a gunfight in the home erupted, the homeowner was shot but will survive his injuries. The "suspects" fled in an SUV and turned up at an East San Jose Hospital. Lee was injured in the shootout and is in custody along with Vo. Brian Ma was killed.

So what does this have to do with anything? Later this week CA Assembly Members Nancy Skinner of Berkeley and Rob Bonta of Alameda will hold a press conference in support of their asinine collection of Assembly Bills (AB-48, AB1131, AB180) which are 3 of 19 (down from ~50) such bills currently circulating Sacramento. They plan to speak and offer the podium as well to sympathetic members of Law Enforcement (read PD chiefs with political aspirations), "Community Leaders" and victims of "Gun Crime". Conspicuously absent from their agenda are individuals who have lawfully used a firearm in self defense.

Why? Well, we know why. Because their presence would confound the politicians agenda. Be it at the Federal, State or Local level, "Gun Control" advocates never, ever acknowledge those who lawfully defend their lives with a firearm nor allow their voice in the discussion.

It shouldn't be difficult to find such a person as even the most conservative estimates indicate that there are as many as 800,000 instances of lawful self defense using a firearm in the US every year. By contrast, there are ~11k killed and ~326k injured by the criminal use of a firearm. So for every victim of criminal gun violence in America, there are ~2.3 people who've protected their life and property through the lawful use of a firearm EVERY YEAR. 

Everyone, no matter which side of the "Gun Control" argument they reside on shares the opinion that reducing crime and violence is a priority. Where we differ is in how that is achieved. The bills currently circulating in Sacramento will serve only to make it more difficult for a law abiding person to own a firearm and maintain proficiency in it's use. Three of the bills (SB47, SB347 & SB396) will make continued possession of currently legal, lawfully attained firearms or accessories illegal essentially turning hundreds of thousands of law abiding Californians into potential criminals overnight. Further, many of the bills will make it impossible for owners of legally attained firearms to pass on heirloom or historic firearms to successive generations.

It should be noted that these bills do not focus solely on so called "assault weapons". 13 of the 19 bills will have significant negative impact on hunters and target shooters with restrictions on things such as ammunition purchases, storage, transfer/purchase restriction. So if you are reading this thinking this doesn't impact you because "I'm just a duck hunter", "I'm just a deer hunter" or "I'm just a target shooter". You are mistaken and your rights WILL be infringed upon. 

These bills will not stop criminals from purchasing guns because criminals don't purchase guns by lawful means. The following stats per the US DOJ:
  • 39.6% of criminals obtained a gun from a friend or family member - illegal under most circumstances
  • 39.2% of criminals obtained a gun on the street or from an illegal source - illegal
  • 0.7% of criminals purchased a gun at a gun show - illegal in CA
  • 1% of criminals purchased a gun at a flea market - illegal in CA
  • 3.8% of criminals attained a gun from a pawn shop via straw purchase - illegal 
  • 8.3% of criminals attained their guns from retail outlets via straw purchase - illegal
I urge you to contact your State Senator and Assembly member and let them know you oppose these bills and to contact the Governor to urge him to VETO any and all such bills that make it to his desk. The Firearms Policy Coalition, a collaborative effort of eleven different Second Amendment advocacy groups,  has provided a quick, easy and free means of doing so here:  Send a letter to your Governor & Representatives

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