During the 2008 Financial Crisis, Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel famously stated “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” It would seem that both history and rhetoric repeat themselves, as Emmanuel echoed his own statement regarding the current Covid-19 pandemic. California Democrats seem to be following his advice; they are using the opportunity to push for bans on sales of guns and ammunition in the Golden State.
On April 14th, California Assemblymember Miguel Santiago drafted a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom demanding the immediate and indefinite suspension of guns and ammunition sales to all California citizens except Law Enforcement and authorized Peace Officers. In a comical display of ignorance regarding how exponents work, Santiago supports his claim that firearm sales have surged exponentially with evidence that some retailers have seen 70% increase in sales over an 11 day period.
In a puzzling choice of rhetoric, Santiago contrasts “public safety” with “personal safety” as if somehow a society can be considered safe when the lives of its constituent citizens are imperiled. Moreover, he introduces as supportive evidence the allegation that some “22,424 firearms are still in the hands of prohibited persons in California,” while failing to observe that the proposed ban would affect only law-abiding citizens from legally acquiring firearms since these prohibited persons are already prohibited from purchasing new firearms.
Santiago concludes his letter to Governor Newsom with the suggestion that undue public safety risks can be mitigated by “suspending guns and ammunition sales and arming Californians with strong safeguards on public safety reinforced by state peace officers.” Yet on March 31st, California Governor Gavin Newom ordered the release of 3500 inmates. The state continues to real from 2014’s Proposition 47, which reclassified as misdemeanors property thefts of less than $950. California law enforcement officers believe this reclassification may have caused the immediate spike in vehicle break-ins and shoplifting in the years after Prop 47 was passed. Meanwhile, California’s already overburdened law enforcement officers have the additional task of enforcing the statewide shelter-in-place order.
With more criminals on the streets, fewer police to catch them, minimal arrests made for property crimes, and most of those arrested not receiving jail time, California’s Covid-19 response has increased risks to citizens at the same time it has diminished law enforcement’s ability to protect those citizens. These pressures underscore why Californians have joined citizens of other states in buying firearms to protect themselves. Santiago’s proposed restrictions won’t “mitigate undue risks to our public,” they will make law-abiding Californians more vulnerable to the risks the state has created through its years of weak law-enforcement and release of thousands of criminals from prisons last month.
If you think Assemblyman Miguel Santiago’s plan to keep law-abiding Californians from being able to purchase new firearms or purchase ammunition for the guns they already own makes them more vulnerable to predation by the thousands of criminals the state released from prison last month, please consider letting him know. His number is (916) 319-2053.