CA gun control laws would not make us safer

April 18, 2013

By Katy Grimes

Broan and prisons, Cagle, Jan. 14, 2013

While the state of California has been letting thousands of criminals out of prison since 2009 under Gov. Jerry Brown’s realignment law, California lawmakers are simultaneously proposing dozens of new gun control laws. Looked at separately, the two issues don’t appear necessarily connected. But closer scrutiny shows a dangerous correlation meant to undermine the state’s Three Strikes law, while disarming California citizens.

Instead of focusing on the more than 20,000 criminals released the last two years under AB 109, California’s Prison Realignment law, and the subsequent crime wave, the California Legislature has attempted to divert citizens’ attention by taking up dozens of gun control bills.

AB 109 was the prison “diversion” law that dumped thousands of criminals from state prisons onto local jails, many subsequently being released into the general public and committing crimes.

Brown signed AB 109 only two years ago, ostensibly to “stop the costly, ineffective and unsafe ‘revolving door’ of lower-level offenders and parole violators through our state prisons.”

Despite the success of the Three Strikes law, and the substantial immediate decrease in California crime rates after passage, Democrats in the state Legislature are working to undo all of the good which came from the tough-on-crime law.

Study after study has shown that between 6 percent and 10 percent or criminals are responsible for up to 70 percent of all crimes committed.

School shootings

The worst deadly massacre at a school in American history was not the Newtown shootings, or the Columbine shootings. The worst school massacre took place before there was even a television in every home — in Michigan in 1927.

“A school board official, enraged at a tax increase to fund school construction, quietly planted explosives in Bath Township Elementary. Then, the day he was finally ready, he set off an inferno. When crowds rushed in to rescue the children, he drove up his shrapnel-filled car and detonated it, too, killing more people, including himself,” according to Lenore Skenazy, author of the book, “Free-Range Kids,” about how to raise self-reliant kids.

While the media and politicians respond purely emotionally and opportunistically, they have ignored that these incidents are not new, and are certainly not indigenous to America.

Despite media claims that these types of mass killings are on the rise, the facts simply don’t bear this out. Experts who study mass shootings say they are not becoming more common or on the rise, the New York Daily News reported.

“There is no pattern, there is no increase,” said criminologist James Allen Fox, of Boston Northeastern University, who has been studying the subject since the 1980s, spurred by a rash of mass shootings in post offices.

“The random mass shootings that get the most media attention are the rarest,” Fox said. “Most people who die of bullet wounds knew the identity of their killer.”

Society moves on, he says, “because of our ability to distance ourselves from the horror of the day, and because people believe that these tragedies are one of the unfortunate prices we pay for our freedoms.”

But the media will not allow people to move on. And politicians have jumped on the opportunity as well.

Three strikes, you’re out of prison!

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics under the U.S. Department of Justice, during 2011, the 688,384 releases from state and federal prisons exceeded the 668,800 admissions.

Additionally, there were 21,663 fewer sentenced inmates in 2011 than in 2010. Seventy percent of this decrease was due to California’s Public Safety Realignment program, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

In 2011, California released 15,493 prisoners, a decline of prison population by 9.4 percent, and the highest in the entire country. The state let 6,213 prisoners out in 2009-10.

The BJS report showed that during the first three quarters of 2011, 98 percent of releases were conditional mandatory releases to parole, compared to 1.5 percent for unconditional releases due to expiration of prison sentences.

But in the fourth quarter, only 46 percent of releases were conditional, while 52 percent were unconditional, meaning they were without post-release stipulations.

Overall, unconditional releases increased by 691 percent from 2010 to 2011, while conditional releases decreased 20 percent. All types of admissions to California state prisons decreased in 2011, with readmissions of parole violators down 22 percent.

However, Brown and state Democrats have ignored that nearly half of these “non-violent offenders” had previously been incarcerated for serious crimes, which is what led to convictions under the Three Strikes Law in the first place. But parole supervision is now based entirely on an inmate’s current conviction, not on cumulative crimes for which he had served prison time in the past.

As the Huffington Post reported on March 20, “Recent shootings in the LA area have police wondering if a new California law is to blame for the outbreak of gun violence.

“LA County jails assumed supervision of thousands of non-serious felons from California in 2011 when the state legislated ‘inmate realignment’ to deal with state prison overcrowding. The realignment left county jails across the state so overcrowded that low-level inmates have been released early to be rehabilitated on the streets as parolees.”

It’s also unclear how crime will be affected by Proposition 36, which voters passed last November. It lessened the Three Strikes Law from the third strike being any kind of felony, to mandating a life sentence only if the third strike is a serious or violent felony. Within a year we should know if crime has gone up.

 California lawmakers want your gun 

There is little doubt the recent mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., is the motivation behind the large number of gun-control measures moving rapidly through the state Legislature.

SJR 1, by Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, is a resolution passed by the state Senate which urges the U.S. Congress and President Barack Obama to enact a comprehensive gun violence prevention policy, including prohibiting the sale of military-style assault weapons and “high-capacity magazines.” It also encouraged strengthening criminal background checks.

The Senate also recently passed SB 140, by state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, which would allow the Department of Justice to take illegal firearms away from convicted felons, the mentally unstable and parolees. But existing laws already ban guns for such people.

The California Department of Justice has identified 19,784 Californians who illegally own firearms. The new bills would do nothing to help reduce that number. Instead, law-abiding Californians would be prosecuted for defending themselves.

There are bills proposed to drastically tax ammunition, and bills to ban ammunition and gun replacement parts. Said Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, author of AB 48, the bill to ban ammunition and gun parts, “bullets are the very thing making guns deadly.”

AB 760, by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, would charge 5 cents on every round of ammunition sold in California.

The Assembly Public Safety Committee, led by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, voted to kill AB 249 by Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Hesperia, to repeal the ban on open carry of firearms. AB 249 would have merely restored a right, matching California law to those of 43 other states that allow open carry.

The same committee voted to kill AB 871, by Assemblyman Brian Jones, R-Santee, which would have provided “good cause” to the conditions for the issuance of a concealed carry permit license. Many studies have shown that granting concealed carry permits to law-abiding citizens has reduced crime by making criminals wary of assaulting decent people who might be armed.

Gun control hurts law-abiding citizens

Gun-control laws only impact the gun owners who follow the law. There are no statistics to show reductions in crime when guns and ammunition are restricted. While 12 of California’s elected sheriffs have taken a stand against gun control, the Legislature forges ahead on unnecessary restrictions in an effort to gin up emotion and opposition, while putting criminals back on California streets.

“People should have as much access to a weapon as a criminal does,” said Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, at the Public Safety hearing.

31 comments

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  1. @SoquelCreek
    @SoquelCreek 18 April, 2013, 09:38

    California’s tough gun laws protect our citizens — well, some of them anyway.

    CHART: Homicide Rates for Various California Cities
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uBfBqFUUUmQ/USzt3jPASII/AAAAAAAACT8/lfnWl2nbGSk/s1600/California+City+Homicide+Rates.png

    It’s very interesting to note that some vulnerable communities in California still have high incidents of gun violence despite California’s tough gun laws. Will MORE gun laws help these communities or will more ENFORCEMENT of EXISTING local, state, and federal gun laws help?

    The Sandy Hook massacre was the impetus behind the Senate’s latest current gun control effort. However, there is scant evidence that, had the restrictions passed a decade ago, that it would have prevented Sandy Hook. Furthermore, the Sandy Hook killer already violated a host of EXISTING state and federal laws, including the murder of his own mother.

    The Obama Administration would have significantly more credibility had it been pursuing vigorous enforcement of existing federal firearm laws. Instead, the firearm homicide rate in the President’s home town of Chicago is among the highest in the nation.

    US NEWS: “Chicago, Los Angeles, New York Prosecuted Fewest Federal Gun Crimes”
    http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2013/03/28/chicago-los-angeles-new-york-prosecuted-fewest-federal-gun-crimes

    Perhaps instead of punishing law-abiding, gun-owning Americans, the President and HIS Administration could turn to reducing gun violence in heavily affected places, most of which are controlled by people of his own political party.

    CHART: Ten U.S. Cities with the Highest Firearm Homicide Rate
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-pBJ00YLo3r8/UQtW811pnPI/AAAAAAAAB1k/ks9M4Ad-FiE/s1600/Ten+U.S.+Cities+with+the+Highest+Firearm+Homicide+Rate.png

    Reply this comment
  2. Ted
    Ted "Eddy Baby" Steele, Associate Prof. 18 April, 2013, 10:39

    Oh my— Better background checks and closing the gun show loophole won’t help! LOL— and global warming is a hoax…and building 7 was an inside job….and the gov still knows the truth about Roswell!

    Katy— be careful of the fluoride in the water and remember, tin foil blocks the FEMA microwaive radiation.

    And conservatives still wonder why and how they lose elections!

    Reply this comment
  3. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 18 April, 2013, 11:09

    Steady, Teddy.

    I saw some of President Zero’s comments following the Senate vote.
    I don’t think many people – even gun owners – have much of a problem with simple background checks……IF IT STOPPED AND ENDED THERE.

    But background checks are the least of Obama’s goals, everyone knows it, and he blabs about it incessantly. Moreover, he went on to chastise the very senators he would need to have in his camp to get it passed. So now any gun control measure is dead-dead-dead.

    Which goes to show that, not only are most of his policies wretched, but he’s a horribly inept politician to boot.

    Compare to, say, LBJ. LBJ got stuff done. He would either squeeze your rocks or give you a reacharound, as situations warranted. LBJ was a sonofagun in many ways, but he was one helluva politician.

    Reply this comment
  4. us citizen
    us citizen 18 April, 2013, 11:10

    Good article and well said, Katy. SoquelCreek is also right on. Too bad other people are still living in a box.

    You can back ground check all you want to but unless you are a psychic, you have no idea what someone is going to do. (wink wink)

    Global warming is not a hoax, its a lie. And thank goodness this lie is coming out.

    Who said bldg 7 was an inside job? Not even a talking point.

    Roswell…only the Shadow knows………

    Reply this comment
  5. us citizen
    us citizen 18 April, 2013, 11:11

    Go Jimmy!

    Reply this comment
  6. BobA
    BobA 18 April, 2013, 11:19

    If California wants to get ahead of the whole gun control issue it could simply pass a law making it illegal for anyone to protect themselves with a weapon of any sort.

    When you’re being assaulted you should not defend youself but instead, wait until the attacker is finished and then call the police. When thieves are breaking into your home while you are there, you should let them take what they want and call the police after they’re gone. If you witness a woman being raped you should do nothing but call the police.

    In all cases the point is not to resist (even if the perpetrator is trying to kill you). Just take the beating, stabbing, rape, etc., and call the police. If you happen to get killed, just leave a note for the police in blood. After all, it’s against the law for you to defend yourself with a weapon. That’s the job of the police.

    Reply this comment
  7. Wade Rooney
    Wade Rooney 18 April, 2013, 13:31

    The “lawless” do not obey the law! What part of this do people NOT UNDERSTAND? All the laws ever created never stopped a crime. Outlaw guns? Sure! worked so well for drugs.

    Reply this comment
  8. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 18 April, 2013, 13:46

    “It’s very interesting to note that some vulnerable communities in California still have high incidents of gun violence despite California’s tough gun laws.”

    And how do you expect California’s “tough” gun laws to be effective when all the criminal or deranged dude has to do is drive across the border to Nevada or Arizona to buy all the guns he or she wants.

    I will make a deal with all the anti-background checks paranoids out there. Let’s make California’s…or Chicago’s or New York’s…gun laws the law nationally for just one year and let’s see what the crime rate look like after that.

    Reply this comment
  9. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog 18 April, 2013, 13:51

    Law abiding California residents should have as much access to a weapon as any criminal does.

    Katy

    Reply this comment
  10. Hondo
    Hondo 18 April, 2013, 14:36

    I feel I should have access to the same guns Obama ran to the Drug cartels in the Fast and Furious operation. Fair is fair. Those guns killed a whole bunch of kids at a teen party, not just a border patrol guy.
    The liberals don’t care when a ‘brown person’ is gunned down. They don’t talk about Chicago, Detroit, or the slaughter in Mexico perpetrated by Obama guns.
    Hondo…..

    Reply this comment
  11. Brown delta trout
    Brown delta trout 18 April, 2013, 14:38

    How about executing violent criminals? That would work.

    Reply this comment
  12. fish
    fish 18 April, 2013, 15:22

    Oh my— Better background checks and closing the gun show loophole won’t help! LOL— and global warming is a hoax…and building 7 was an inside job….and the gov still knows the truth about Roswell!

    Katy— be careful of the fluoride in the water and remember, tin foil blocks the FEMA microwaive radiation.

    TEDDY…..take a breath…..when you shotgun all your “pet issues” you look….well you look crazy…and as a BFF of a respected CWD commenter that is something up with which I will not put.

    Reply this comment
  13. Ted
    Ted "Eddy Baby" Steele, Associate Prof. 18 April, 2013, 23:26

    “I” look crazy?

    Not out here with the tin foil hat faux journo crew little buddy…..half of the whiners out here believe ALL of those issues!

    Oh my.

    Reply this comment
  14. Ted
    Ted "Eddy Baby" Steele, Associate Prof. 18 April, 2013, 23:28

    JimmyDee? An LBJ “reacharound”

    Your inner troll is finally released! I thought so! You go girl!

    Reply this comment
  15. dltravers
    dltravers 18 April, 2013, 23:35

    All it takes is a slight turn in the Supreme Court makeup and a few gun cases and all firearms will be banned. The Libs screwed up, they should have waited until they got the court packed with their believers. Now all this will come up before a conservative court.

    Then they (and that includes most Republicans on most issues) could continue with the agenda, holding people without trial or without charges brought for life, continued use of torture to extract confessions, placing their hands down your pants anywhere they please, cataloging all your communications without a warrant, tracking all your movements without a warrant, the dismantling of States rights over areas of our lives and on and on we go.

    One wonders if the real goal is the total control of the FED over all aspects of our lives. The two party system must be preserved; they just slightly disagree on how to accomplish their goal.

    You could list the ten amendments one by one and think about what life would have been like without those checks on government authority over these many years. It would be a good class exercise if they were not so busy learning about those darn terrorists in 1776.

    Reply this comment
  16. fish
    fish 19 April, 2013, 05:15

    “I” look crazy?

    Not out here with the tin foil hat faux journo crew little buddy…..half of the whiners out here believe ALL of those issues!

    Oh my.

    “Crazy”? Sadly Ted not just here but just about everywhere else too. Frankly you have “issues”. It’s okay many do but when you go all Lawrence O’Donnell crazy…. well it hurts me to see you like that. But with the right combination of pharms and more of our “sessions” here at CWD you can work through these problems and eventually return to decent society as a functional human being and not the spittle flecked wackadoo that we have become accustomed to over the past year.

    You have to want it.

    Take the first step BFF.

    (PS: Ted could you work on that “sentence structure” a bit when you post. Very shoddy)

    Reply this comment
  17. BobA
    BobA 19 April, 2013, 08:31

    Hondo:

    Liberals only freak out about gun violence when other than ethnic minorities are gunned down. They are indifferent towards gun violence in ethnic minority communities and are even tolerate it out of fear and a condescending and patronizing attitude towards minorities.

    Chicago, New York, L.A., and elsewhere have had high crime rates for years in the ethnic minority communities and the liberals have never so much as uttered a peep.

    Reply this comment
  18. BobA
    BobA 19 April, 2013, 18:14

    fish:

    Teddy isn’t that hard to figure out. He is probably some fat & bald retired state worker who was a dope smoking long haired maggot infested hippy in his during the 60s who probably still lives in his mother’s basement.

    Notice his use of the term “little buddy.” No one talks like that except some drugged out 60s hippy who watched way to much Gilligan’s Island. He probably still has a crush on Ginger and Mary Ann too. Or could it be the Skipper or Gilligan?

    Reply this comment
  19. Ted
    Ted "Eddy Baby" Steele, Associate Prof. 19 April, 2013, 22:04

    LOL– Man you tooly trolls spend alot of your free time thinking about the Ted.

    Get back to work little buddies! Please return at once to your cubicles……

    Oh my…..

    Reply this comment
  20. fish
    fish 20 April, 2013, 08:23

    Oh my

    ……LOL Ted LOL.

    Reply this comment
  21. fish
    fish 20 April, 2013, 09:54

    Hmmm— I see you’ve changed your name fishlips yet kept the same old ways….Rex the Poodle can’t stop thinking about the Ted….hmmmmm—— when did you get out?

    Now Ted….while I’m like 96 3/7 % sure that I don’t have another personality rattling around in my nugget like you do, there is some historical precedent for those (me) associating with the tragically mentally ill (you) eventually winding up with a little sand in the ol mental gearbox.

    Tell you what, I’ll run an internal diagnostic and see if any other personalities turn up (I won’t count U and Queeg you totally own those guys)…..you keep padding around your one room apartment in your housecoat, feed all eleven cats and I’ll get back to you with the results.

    You keep it real buddy!

    Reply this comment
  22. fish
    fish 20 April, 2013, 18:20

    thinking about the Ted on a SATURDAY!

    Referring to yourself in the third person….classic overcompensation Ted.

    Reply this comment
  23. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 21 April, 2013, 18:16

    All laws only control the behaviors of those who follow the law, but they provide appropriate sanctions for those who don’t. Claiming that we don’t need gun laws because only law abiding people will comply with them makes no more sense than claiming we don’t need laws against murder and robbery because, after all, most people don’t need a law to prevent them from murdering or robbing.

    Reply this comment
  24. Queeg
    Queeg 21 April, 2013, 21:09

    Bet most of the gun nuts on CWD never were in the military!

    Sickens one knowing naive gunnies with no training preach some rather emotional bile. Guns are to be respected and should not be in the hands of suspect unbalanced doomers.

    Reply this comment
  25. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog 22 April, 2013, 07:21

    Queeg: I volunteered for four years in the U.S. Army, 1978-82. I was trained on: M-16 rifle with grenade launcher, M-60 machine gun, LAW anti-tank weapon.

    — John Seiler, Managing Editor

    Reply this comment
  26. The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System
    The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System 22 April, 2013, 08:06

    OK John–The padre will stamp your ticket on the way out…. but Queeg has a good point—- no guns in the hands of unbalanced doomers—- it’s an idea that 90% of Americans support.

    The Ted, Managing Poster

    Reply this comment
  27. fish
    fish 22 April, 2013, 08:27

    John,

    Dare I amy interject myself into another one of Teds “meds out of balance” tirades…..but (sotto voce) ….queeg is just one of teds other personalities…sadly one of the duller one too.

    I wouldn’t indulge him too much in this or pretty soon he’s yammering on about space aliens and global warming. I’d be willing to bet that the electric bill at the group home has skyrocketed between his constant posting here and all the juice the staff burns during the shock treatments used to calm him down after he spins up.

    Reply this comment
  28. Douglas
    Douglas 23 April, 2013, 07:37

    John;
    Is it a violation of the second amendment to ban ownership by most citizens of the M-16 rifle with grenade launcher, M-60 machine gun, LAW anti-tank weapon?

    Reply this comment
  29. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 24 April, 2013, 11:06

    Well done, Douglas.

    Reply this comment
  30. Brad C.
    Brad C. 25 June, 2013, 21:18

    I lived in Pasadena durring the Hillside Strangler killings. Did 13 yrs military (combat pararescue)-I have killed people to save my patient and myself! Sorry, it ate at me alot! I think that’s God’s given concience?? Left Ca. in 89 because of unthinking, people so pleased with themselves that they seem to WALLOW in their own ignorance/or cannot stand another viewpoint without attacking (stupidliy) others. Don’t vote for people who will take away your 2nd ammendment RIGHTS. Vote for cool headed GOD BLESSED people that are not political pros. God Bless you all in CA. and pray for each other-and me! Brad C. TENNESSEE

    Reply this comment

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