Photo Credit: Washington Times
It’s time … well past time … for us, as a nation, to have an intellectually honest conversation about these so-called “common sense gun laws” that are so frequently mentioned in the wake of tragic events.
In the most recent round of rhetoric, President Barack Hussein Obama suggested that preventing individuals on the “No Fly List” – who have been adjudicated of … absolutely nothing in most cases … be prevented from legally purchasing firearms. Of course, that doesn’t prevent them from illegally purchasing firearms as the perpetrators of the San Bernadino shootings did. (The long guns used in the shootings were acquired illegally through what is called a “straw purchase.”)
Since this most recent event took place in California (home to the nation’s most Draconian gun laws), let’s take a look at some of California’s “common sense.”
California’s gun laws make all of the following illegal in the state:
- Carrying a concealed firearm without a license to do so – which is nearly impossible to obtain – is illegal
- Carrying a loaded firearm on one’s person or in a vehicle while in a public place is illegal
- Carrying an exposed firearm while in a public place is illegal
- Purchasing a firearm that the state has classified as an “assault weapon” is illegal
- Purchasing magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds is illegal
- Selling any new handgun, unless it is on the state’s roster of handguns certified for sale, is illegal
- A ten day waiting period is required on the purchase of any firearm
- Virtually all firearm purchases must be conducted through a California licensed dealer under the Dealer’s Record of Sale process (which requires a background check)
- Generally, individuals are limited to purchasing no more than one handgun per 30 day period
- Private party transfers of firearms are generally prohibited (antiques, curios and relics more than 50 years old are generally excluded)
- All firearms purchases conducted through a California licensed dealer must be accompanied by a Firearm Ownership Report (essentially registration)
Those are the biggies. There are hundreds more laws on the books in California – at both the state and local levels – related to firearms purchase and ownership.
Simply stated, however, these laws do not work. Time and time again, determined killers have proven that they will walk through and around laws intended to hamper their ability to wreak destruction. Even the president’s press secretary admitted that supposed “common sense” gun laws would have done nothing to stop the San Bernadino killers … “Of course not.”
The time has come to drop the reflexive “more gun laws” mantra and step up to the plate with intellectual honesty to address the underlying root causes to violence in our society.
Radicalism, mental health issues, narcissistic entitlement mentalities … these are causes. Deep, beneath their surface, lie the roots – roots that have taken decades to grow into every corner of our society. Identifying these roots and admitting our own culpability is difficult and uncomfortable. As difficult as this may be, it must be done if we want to reduce mass murder.
Those who continue to parrot the need for more “common sense gun laws” are doing nothing more than deflecting attention away from themselves, and their own responsibility in these matters, with an emotionally convenient red herring.