Dear Lt. Gov. Newsom, Please Leave Crime Prevention to the Pros

coverGavin Newsom, the Lieutenant Governor of California, the state in which I not only reside, but have been a cop for the last 20 years, in the wake of the recent college campus shooting in Oregon, is proposing a new three part gun control law, exactly NONE of which would have had the least effect on the incident in Oregon, in any of the high notoriety incidents that liberals and other gun control proponents like to “politicize” in order to fuel the emotions of their logically impaired supporters, or on “gun crime” in general.

As reported today, Newsom’s proposed ballot initiative “calls for a background check on all ammunition purchases, requiring owners to turn in large capacity assault-style magazines and making gun owners report lost or stolen guns.”

So, let us take a look at exactly what Newsom is proposing, and why it is, well, stupid.  I will examine each of the three aspects separately.

Background Check On All Ammunition Purchases

This will do absolutely nothing to inhibit the ability of criminals to purchase ammunition and instead will only add yet one more hurdle that law abiding gun owners have to deal with.  First, let me discus why this is useless, then I will discuss why it is stupid.

It is useless because, in my experience, criminals don’t wander into the local gun store or sporting goods store to buy ammunition, just like they don’t buy their guns there.  While they could indeed do so, I cannot think of but one or two instances over my career in which I encountered a criminal armed with a gun loaded with recently purchased, decent ammo.  Most of the time, the ammo is old, dirty, mismatched loads and even on occasion, not even the proper caliber ammo for the firearm it is being used in.  Regarding that last comment, criminals are fairly creative and find ways to make what they have work, such as wrapping 20gg shotgun shells with strips of aluminum cut from a can until the shells fit into the 12gg shotgun they were using.

Now, even if they were running to their local store to purchase it, ammunition is not serial numbered, or marked in any way that would make tracking it possible, so there would be nothing to prevent the instant creation of a black market, or creation of a designated ammo man; the guy with a clean record who makes ammo runs.  On top of that, ammunition can easily be purchased out of state and brought or shipped in.

As for the reason this is stupid, just like every other step that the state has taken down the gun control path, it will only have an effect on law abiding gun owners, and the cost of this will be passed on to them.  Background checks are not free, nor are all of the relevant computer systems, databases, communications hardware, personnel to run it, etc.  All of that requires funding, and I guarantee those costs will be passed on to the law abiding gun owners, all for nothing.

Turn In “Large Capacity Assault-Style Magazines”

I had to put that in quotes, because that phrase is so stupid, it is clearly written by someone with not an ounce of firearm knowledge.

First, before I start ripping apart the lack of logic behind this, let me just say two things:
– Just because a magazine holds more than 10 rounds does not make it “high capacity.” A stock Glock 17 magazine holds 17 rounds.  That is normal capacity, not high.  A 33 round stick mag for that same gun would, in my opinion, classify as high capacity, but even that is totally irrelevant to the gun crimes.
– There is no such thing as an “assault-style” magazine. I’m not sure if Newsom said that, or if that was the reporter’s words, but whoever it was, please don’t be a complete moron.  Quit making up scary sounding crap!

Moving on, artificial magazine capacity limits have been in place for many years in CA, and also in other states, and have been proven completely useless.  They do not do anything to reduce gun crime, or make anyone (except for the criminals – more on that in a moment) safer.  The cowardly murderer in Isla Vista, CA in May, 2014 was using artificially limited capacity magazines which the shooter purchased legally.  The murderer at Virginia Tech did not have any artificial capacity limits, but he still proved that the capacity does not matter as the shooter will prepare himself, just as he did there.  More than 17 magazines were recovered at that tragic event.  Murderers know what they are going to do, and they prepare for it, buying more magazines if necessary.

Why did I say capacity limits make criminals safer?  Simple.  Bad guys know when and where they plan to accomplish their evil deeds, and they load up when they set out.  Good guys don’t know what may be coming, and most folks will only be carrying their gun, with however many bullets that gun may hold, and that is all they will have to stop the evil doer, or evil doers.

Now, to answer your (totally uneducated) question about why anyone would need more than 10 bullets, another simple answer: Because this is real life!  When an evil person is committing evil acts, such as trying to kill you or others, many things happen, including your encountering a massive adrenaline dump.  Also, if you are trained in the least, you will be moving either toward the attacker or to cover, or both.  Both of those, adrenaline and movement, tend to have a huge effect on a shooter’s accuracy, as does stress.  Think about this yourself, why do police officers carry “high capacity” magazines, and several of them?

Also, in the real world, bad guys are not stopped by one bullet.  The incident in the following video is only a few days old, and it happened in Jerusalem.  Notice how many times the evil does (Palestinian terrorist) is shot, but he still continues to move and even to tries and attack the man armed with the gun.  Thankfully, that man was not limited to 10 rounds!  God only knows how many innocent lives he saved that day.

If all of that does not sufficiently explain the need (yes, need) for standard capacity magazines, those which are not artificially limited to some magic number picked by people who are neither experts in firearms nor self-defense, then perhaps this article I wrote several years ago, where I examine it in more depth, might.

Require Gun Owners To Report Lost or Stolen Guns

Now, let me say this, I am not necessarily against this, but I fail to see how anyone remotely thinks this is going to have any effect on “gun violence” let alone gun crime.  Besides, most gun owners, and all responsible gun owners, already report when they have a gun stolen.

Now for the reason I think this is unnecessary; reporting a gun stolen does nothing to locate it or to prevent the gun from being used for evil purposes.

In my experience, the overwhelming vast majority (like 99.9%) of the guns I have encountered in the hands of criminals were obtained illegally, and about one third to half of them were reported stolen.

However, I can see where gun control zealots would like this aspect, because it can be used to punish us evil gun owners.  You know, regular folks who were victimized by having their gun stolen without their knowledge, and if it ends up being recovered by law enforcement, they will again be victimized, except this time by the state who will now be charging them with a crime.

The Sad Truth

Exactly none of these proposals will lead to any reduction in “gun violence” because exactly none of these proposals affects criminals, neither in how they obtain guns and ammo, or how they use them.

The people who will be affected by these proposals are the law abiding gun owners, who will now have to pay significantly more for ammo, who will be forced to turn over lawfully owned personal property to the state (or will become criminals for refusing to do so), and who can be doubly victimized if they have the unfortunate luck to have a gun stolen and not realize it.

The real answer to solving all this “gun violence” is really quite simple, but you and all of the rest of people on your side of the political aisle refuse to admit what every cop in this state knows; stop the crime by keeping the criminals locked up.

Democrat created and passed plans AB109 and Prop47 are a total scam, and between the two, they are directly responsible for the massive increase in both violent and non-violent crime in this state.  Anyone with actual knowledge of the current state of the criminal justice system will tell you that all of the crime in this state, in this country in fact, is actually committed by a very small number of people, and most of those people are not first time offenders, but instead are graduates of our rotting, failing, weakened, revolving door criminal justice system.

How on earth did the criminal justice system get this screwed up?  Take a look at the policies that guide the system, then look at the progressive liberals making those policies.  You want to know how it got like this, look in the mirror.

You want to have less “gun crime?”   There are already more than enough gun crimes on the books, hows about we enforce them?  How about locking up criminals instead of sending them down the road with a slap on the freaking wrist?!?!
-Matt

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Matt
Deputy Sheriff at California
Matt is a full time Deputy Sheriff that has been on the job since 1996. During his time as a LEO he's attended countless training classes and is a court recognized firearms expert. Matt brings a unique perspective to discussion regarding the second amendment given his LEO experience and life time appreciation of firearms and our 2nd Amendment rights.