So I have not blogged in quite a while. A lot has changed since November 8th. Mostly for the good. But suddenly there are gun rights under attack again.
Today, let’s look at the failures of some of the gun control legislation that was passed. Primarily in two of my favorite states to talk about: California and Washington. Seattle, Washington passed an ordinance that placed a $25.00 tax on all firearms and a $0.05 cent on every round of ammunition. The justification came from Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess who “I think it’s very reasonable to expect a multibillion-dollar-a-year industry, the gun industry, to help offset the cost” (Kim. 2015). Like all liberals, he assumes that any company is going to simply say ok and just absorb the costs. No matter what, any liberal who tells you it’s time for any company or industry to pay their part, you should know that it is going to be passed on to consumers.
The tax was supposed to benefit gun violence prevention research, which usually means campaigning for gun restrictions and advocating on behalf of Moms Demand Action and the Brady Campaign. The Planners envisioned that the “tax would raise between $300,000 and $500,000 a year” (Shaw. 2017). But instead, all we know is that “tax payments received by the City were less than $200,000” (Shaw. 2017). Again, another example of liberals shuffling stuff to the back of the news pile to avoid talking about it. It is just like their failed minimum wage laws. If they had crafted a success, they would not stop screaming about it.
Meanwhile, Seattle continues to see an increase in crime. There are no statistics available for 2017 yet so we cannot but we can look at the crime rates in 2016, the same year the tax took effect. And for the First 8 months of the year, business was booming for criminals, especially in crimes where the victim could not defend themselves. Rapes were up by 55% and domestic violence went up by 11% (Oxley. 2016). I personally don’t think eight months out of the first year that the tax was imposed is enough to validate a hypothesis, but again, it seems that the liberals in Seattle don’t care. If I correctly understand their logic, more crime is ok as long as it isn’t committed with guns, and low crime is bad if citizens are allowed to use guns to protect themselves.
But now we are back to California. The city of San Bernardino has been with another tragedy where a man shot and killed his estranged wife while she was teaching at an elementary school. And quickly this story is fading from the headlines. My basic assumption is that the individual did not fit the profile of a shooter that would further the narrative: white, conservative, racist male targeting minorities. He did not have an AR-15 or even a semiautomatic pistol. But perhaps it is also because this really was not a school shooting. This was an issue of domestic violence. It also happened at a school where guns were not allowed. It is also unlikely that any proposal would have prevented this, even good guys with guns. The shooter hid a .357 magnum revolver on his body and entered the school and went directly to her classroom (Hamasaki. 2017). No one, not even a good guy with a gun, could have reacted fast enough to save the woman unless they had been in the classroom in the first place and ready to react the minute he drew his weapon.
The reason this is not drawing attention is that it is not an act of terrorism, and it was not some crazy person bent on killing as many individuals as possible before taking their own life or dying in a shootout with police. I can’t believe I am going to type this, but Huffington Post almost gets it right. “What took place inside that classroom was driven by domestic violence, not ideology” (Jeltsen, 2017). Guns did not commit this crime. And the crime is not gun violence, it is spouses/intimate partner abuse, of which the shooter apparently had a long history.
Ms. Jeltsen then goes on to cite Ruth Glenn who is the executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence to support the move to have domestic abusers stripped of their rights to own a firearm. Here is the problem with that argument. It is already illegal. The Lautenberg Amendment to the Gun Control Act of 1968, effective 30 September 1996, makes it a felony for those convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence to ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms or ammunition. The shooter was never convicted of any of the incidents in his past, even though he had been slapped with numerous restraining orders by ex-wives and girlfriends. The shooter “had a history of weapons, domestic violence and possible drug charges before his marriage to Karen Smith, 53, a teacher at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino. He was arrested four times between 1982 and 2013, but was never convicted in any of the cases, Burguan said” (Lam. 2017). They key here is never convicted. You must have a conviction to remove rights.
But the left has never been a fan of due process. Just like male students accused of rape on a college campus, in this instance they want rights stripped on accusation alone. Given how this turned out, it is interesting to note that no convictions were made given his history with the law. Were the charges dropped in a plea or were they unable to be proven in court? We may never know. And even if he had been barred from owing firearms per the Lautenberg Amendment, that still would not have prevented him from stealing a gun, borrowing one form a friend, who did not know is history, or buying on off the streets. As of this blog post, we do not know how the revolver was procured. If he had never been convicted and was not pending any legal action, it is likely that he could have purchased his gun legally.
Recently, new California gun laws went into effect. Assembly Bills 1135 and 1511, and Senate Bill 880. What it comes down to is that the state redefined and expanded the list of weapons it categorized as assault rifles. The state banned the “bullet button” that had been used to make some firearms legal in the state. And finally, the state further restricted the rights of individuals to loan or temporarily transfer a firearm unless done so through a dealer. None of these laws would have come into play to prevent this tragedy. However, look for the California government to look for new laws to enact in the wake of this tragedy. And again, they will all be feel good measure that would do nothing to prevent this type of a tragedy.
Kim, H (2015) Gun rights advocates say Seattle’s new firearms, ammo tax is illegal, discriminatory. Q13 Fox News. Retrieved from http://q13fox.com/2015/08/11/gun-rights-advocates-say-seattles-new-gun-tax-is-illegal-and-discriminatory/
Shaw, J. (2017) That Seattle “gun violence tax” didn’t really pan out as predicted. Hot Air. Retrieved from http://hotair.com/archives/2017/03/25/that-seattle-gun-violence-tax-didnt-really-pan-out-as-predicted/
Oxley, D. (2016) Report: Seattle gun crime records set in 2016. Kiro 7 News. Retrieved from http://www.kiro7.com/news/local/report-seattle-gun-crime-records-set-in-2016/449321942
Smith, A. (2015) NRA sues Seattle over $25 gun tax. CNN. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/25/smallbusiness/nra-seattle-gun-tax-lawsuit/index.html
Lam, K. (2017) San Bernardino school shooting suspect was ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing,’ murdered teacher’s mother says. Fox News. Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/04/11/san-bernardino-elementary-school-shooting-authorities-look-for-motive-behind-murder-suicide.html
Jeltsen, M. (2017) The Latest San Bernardino Shooting Reveals A Far More Common Form Of Terror. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/san-bernardino-domestic-violence-terror_us_58ed2046e4b0c89f91222524
Hamasaki, S. (2017) Student one of 3 dead in San Bernardino school shooting. CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/10/us/san-bernardino-school-shooting/index.html