Thursday, November 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Gun control theory doesn’t match reality

walters column sig

By
From page A9 | February 03, 2013 |

Californians have the nation’s toughest gun control laws, but they also own about 40 million pistols, rifles and shotguns.

There wasn’t much said about law-abiding gun owners, however, as two state legislative committees conducted a hearing Tuesday on “gun violence and firearms law in California.”

The hearing ran for more than three hours, but the leaders of the two committees, arguably the Legislature’s two most liberal members, loaded the agenda with witnesses who advocated for even more gun control. They left only a few minutes for a couple of brief statements from two gun rights advocates.

Unfair? Perhaps, but it reflected the dominant Capitol attitude that guns are inherently evil and should be restricted as much as possible – or eliminated altogether, were constitutional gun ownership rights to be altered. The surge of legislation introduced recently to control guns and ammunition testifies to that attitude.

However, whether that sentiment is widespread among Californians is questionable. They already own, on average, more than one gun per resident, they are legally buying more than a million additional firearms each year, and anti-gun ballot measures have not been successful.

Conflicting sentiments and constitutional law aside, would making gun purchases and ownership more difficult and/or more costly also make gun violence less likely?

Perhaps, if it were aimed specifically at reducing the incidence of mass killings such as the schoolhouse massacre in Connecticut, which are usually committed by people with histories of mental illness.

However, as emerged during the hearing, California already has a backlog of nearly 20,000 people who are legally prohibited from owning guns because of criminal or mental health records and are known to possess about 40,000 weapons.

The backlog is not being reduced because the same Legislature that wants to pass more gun laws has not adequately financed the Department of Justice unit that seizes those illegal weapons.

Moreover, many of the conditions that gun control advocates cited – such as felons purchasing ammunition freely – are already illegal. In fact, it emerged that the “realignment” of the criminal justice system to reduce prison populations may have had the inadvertent effect of downgrading enforcement of those laws.

Finally, there’s no persuasive evidence that writing even more restrictive gun control laws would have any deterrent effect on street gangs or other gun-wielding criminals who are, after all, already operating outside the law.

Mostly, they would make gun ownership more expensive and difficult for the law-abiding, and perhaps encourage the trade in bootleg firearms – much as anti-drug laws have sustained the lucrative illegal drug trade.

Dan Walters is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee. Reach him at dwalters@sacbee.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Solano cheerleaders travel to NYC for holiday parade

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Let’s honor veterans throughout year

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

 
 
Suisun City Hall critic takes town to task over residential ‘junkyard’

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3Comments are off for this post

 
Lawyers outline strategy in Fairfield homicide case

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

 
NAACP chapter to conduct officer elections

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
 
Sport Chalet offers underwater photos with Santa

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B5

Nut Tree to donate vintage barn doors to ReStore

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B5

 
Weather for Nov. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

Fairfield police log: Nov. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: Nov. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10, 5 Comments

.

US / World

Analyst: No ‘fiscal cliff’ when tax hikes end

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Tuition hikes tentatively approved in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

Police: Gunman killed after shooting at FSU

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Obama to announce immigration action Thursday

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 42 Comments

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Self-driving cars: safer, but what of their morals

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

5 children in San Jose home with barricade man

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Berkeley OKs plan for gas-pump climate change labels

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

First of 3 storms douses fields, delays flights

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Right-to-die advocate’s video out after death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

Early statin use may give long-term heart benefits

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Health system reveals hospital gown to cover rears

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Police: Man crawled into sunken car, saved baby

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
CDC chief drops worst-case Ebola estimate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Vets’ moms to Congress: Boost suicide prevention

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Buffalo area hit with epic snow – with more coming

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

US airstrike hits al-Qaida-held town in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Hotel charges couple for negative review of it

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

New US ambassador has tough job in Moscow

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Military leader becomes Burkina Faso prime minster

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

CERN scientists discover 2 new subatomic particles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Kerry in diplomatic overdrive on Iran nuclear deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

N. Korea threatens to beef up military capability

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Colombian girl’s dad had her swallow cocaine caps

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

New Kurdish offensive targets Islamic State group

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
.

Opinion

 
Gambling on Proposition 47

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7, 5 Comments

How and why the GOP won

By Jennifer Rubin | From Page: A7, 18 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Nov. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Nov. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My lady’s mother doesn’t like me and wants me to move out

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Nov. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Library honoring Billy Joel with pop music prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Motown singer Jimmy Ruffin dies at age 78

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Multiple fractures for Bono in NY bicycle accident

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Auction of Presley items set for January

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Sports

 
Brooks apologizes to 49ers for harsh words

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Chiefs look to avoid letdown vs. winless Raiders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Carrie, Rogers out for Raiders with injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Butler and A’s finalize $30 million, 3-year deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Rudy Gay happy to be with Sacramento Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Union, NFL at odds over personal conduct policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NBA suspends Hornets’ Jeffery Taylor 24 games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stanton signs record $325M deal at news conference

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Nothing settled going into LPGA Tour finale

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Collins, NBA’s 1st openly gay player, to retire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NFL fines Lynch $50,000 for not speaking to media

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NASCAR’s Kurt Busch meets with investigators

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

Showdown looms between US gov’t, air bag maker

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Obama picks NTSB member as new auto safety chief

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

JetBlue to add bag fees on cheapest tickets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

 
US stocks drift lower after release of Fed minutes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Automakers debut key models at L.A. Auto Show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Yahoo replaces Google as Firefox’s default search

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9