SACRAMENTO – It took only days before California’s legislators reacted to the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy with a fusillade of bills designed to take California closer to Democratic leaders’ unstated but obvious goal: making it essentially illegal for Californians to own firearms.
I write “essentially” because the strategy isn’t to ban guns outright, but to mire ownership in so many layers of regulation that owning a gun becomes even more frustrating and costly than operating a business in this state. Legislators aren’t stupid. Direct assaults on gun ownership generate pushback, but killing this constitutional right through a thousand cuts is less confrontational.
California already has the toughest gun regulations of any state, yet legislators (including a Republican) have introduced a long list of new proposals at news conferences where they used the Connecticut tragedy to grandstand.
“They were mowed down,” Los Angeles Democratic Sen. Kevin de Leon said. “I think that, viscerally, it will give a lot of political officials around the country the political courage to do the right thing.” It’s not clear what de Leon means by the right thing.