Two years ago I wrote about an idiot politician publicly making a fool of himself at his own scripted press conference. The politician was California State Sen. Kevin de León, and his topic was “Ghost Guns.” The press conference was to publicize de León’s latest gun control bill, a proposal to require anyone making a gun in his or her garage to register it with the state Department of Justice and engrave a DOJ-supplied serial number on the gun. His primary justification for this proposal was that a mentally disturbed young man who had been denied purchase of a firearm had subsequently manufactured a firearm from purchased parts and fabricated components, and used that homemade gun to murder several people before committing suicide.
As disturbing and compelling as that story might be, de León’s “solution” was absolutely laughable. Could he possibly believe that his law would have prevented this tragedy? Is it remotely conceivable that this disturbed young man, having been turned down for a firearm purchase at a dealer based on his mental history, would have then requested permission from the DOJ to construct a gun from parts in his bedroom?
As idiotic as that idea is, de León’s manic performance at the press conference overshadowed any obvious flaws in his reasoning. Along with repeated mispronunciations and misapplication of words, de León consistently conflated “detectability” with “traceability” as he tried to demonize both homemade 3D-printed guns and homemade guns manufactured with more traditional machining methods. But the money shot came when de León explained the awesome firepower of one of his prop “Ghost Guns.” Holding up one of the guns, de León declared;
“This is a ghost gun. This right here has the ability, with a .30 caliber clip, to disperse with 30 bullets within half a second.” He then reiterated, to drive home the point, “Thirty magazine clip in half a second.”
The reason I bring up this 2-year-old news conference now is that Sen. de León, this stellar example of a politician whose only apparent noteworthy skill is that of being elected, is now, along with being one of the most rabid – if poorly informed – proponents of radical gun control, the president pro tempore of the Senate, the highest ranking and most powerful role in the California Legislature.
This is as irrational and inexplicable as the elevation of “Groping Joe” Biden to the office of vice president. At least Biden serves the security function of being a deterrent to anyone considering assassination of the president. Sen. de León doesn’t even have that going for him. What he does have is good looks and impeccable Spanish. He’s probably also really good at remembering names and asking for money, and he is an extreme radical on a variety of political topics. An avowed “liberal progressive” and Hillary Clinton supporter, de León is a champion of massive restrictions on carbon emissions, a tireless advocate for citizenship rights and benefits for immigrants illegally in the country, and a supporter of the environmental policies that mandated diverting millions of metric tons of water from reservoirs and farmers in favor of an ineffective effort to improve habitat for a subspecies of smelt, resulting in the current severe water shortage. He is also a vocal advocate of additional restrictions on tobacco smokers, additional rights for marijuana smokers and a strong proponent of raising the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour. That the people of California and their elected representatives would, during a time of economic struggle and budget challenges, when the state is effectively beyond broke, select such a radical destroyer to lead their Senate is beyond comprehension.
In May, de León helped to push through yet another round of gun control tightening in the state, on top of some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. Included in the package is a blanket ban on possession of any magazine capable of holding over 10 rounds. Unlike the current law, which forbids the sale of such magazines, this law criminalizes possession, requiring that all existing magazines of greater than 10-round capacity be sold, destroyed, or surrendered without compensation.
Tell me again that confiscation is not the eventual objective of gun control.
Another bill in the package passed by the Senate requires a background check and record-keeping for ammunition purchases. This is probably the most sinister in the group because it not only adds complication and expense to a protected constitutional right, but by retaining records of ammunition purchases it creates a de facto gun owner registration system. You can be sure that de León and his ilk would use this information to further harass gun owners.
The rest of the package includes de León’s “Ghost Gun” registration bill, a bill banning so-called “bullet button” magazine systems – effectively outlawing numerous currently legal rifles – a bill that makes the victim of a firearm theft a criminal if they fail to report the theft in what some bureaucrat considers a timely manner, a bill that makes simply loaning a gun to a friend or even a family member in most cases, a criminal offense, a technical correction that moves theft of a firearm back up to felony status, and a bill creating a Firearm Violence Research Center at the University of California.
The whole package is designed to compete with an even worse ballot initiative Lt. Gov. (and gubernatorial candidate) Gavin Newsom is championing. The gun control package is now in the hands of the State Assembly where even more gun control legislation is already pending.
We should probably be grateful to California’s gun control zealots for proving that control freaks are never satisfied. No matter how many laws they pass, they will always come back for more. We in the rest of the country need to recognize the warning and understand that gun control is back on the front burner as a political issue. We must mobilize to shut this nonsense down.