Being right may be fun sometimes, but certainly not all the time.
When the gavel signaled the opening of the 2nd half of the 2017/18 Legislative Session in Sacramento, we knew it wouldn’t take long for the liberals to come up with some hare-brained bills to make gun owners lives’ miserable. They can’t help it – it’s just part of their DNA.
The first bunch of anti-gun legislation was relatively minor in comparison, but then they rolled out the bad ones – to prohibit gun raffles and to raise the age to buy a long gun, to name a few. And now Senator Hannah Beth Jackson wants to take the mantle from her buddy – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein – and reestablish a 2018 version of 1994’s very ineffectual assault weapons ban with her SJR 24.
We quickly put pen to paper to let her know it was a bad idea in the last century and its a bad idea in this century. Our letter of opposition is below – it took some serious discipline to not send an angry verbal smackdown because it blows our minds at how dishonest the resolution is. To quote from GOC’s Founder Senator H.L. Richardson (ret), “Dogs bark, jackasses bray… and radical leftists lie. It’s their nature to do so…”
The good news is that it is just a resolution and as such, not binding, but it does give them a platform from which to whine and spread half-truths and no truths.
April 4, 2018
Senator Hannah Beth Jackson
Sacramento, California 95814
RE: SJR 24 | OPPOSE
Dear Senator Jackson:
Gun Owners of California is writing to express our opposition to SJR 24, which asks Congress to re-authorize the federal assault weapons ban.
As with any proposal up for consideration before the State Legislature, it’s imperative that facts are central to the dialogue. Unfortunately, the language of SJR 24 is rife with misrepresentations.
Although deeply tragic at any level, school shootings are thankfully not nearly as common as many want to believe. As with most statistics routinely used by the gun control community (such as Everytown), it’s important to look to the details for a truly accurate picture. For example, the school shooting numbers cited are very broad in scope as they include any time a firearm discharges a live round inside a school building, or on a school campus or grounds – such as a parking lot. It includes before and after school hours, and situations where there were no injuries, plus suicides (attempted and completed). It also incorporates instances when a gun was fired unintentionally and includes incidents on college campuses. One of the most irrelevant inclusions in a list circulated by Everytown was “gunshots, most likely fired from off campus, hit a campus building window. No injuries.” Put simply – these facts turn the numbers on their head and make the current conversation disingenuous at best.
What’s more, the very definition of “school shootings” is intentionally as broad as that of “victims of gun violence” – because on these lists are suicide victims (over 60%), and criminals shot while in the commission of a crime, whether by police of someone in self-defense. Even the Boston Marathon bomber is on a victim list. This leads to the very real conclusion that such records are purposely, and overly broad to fit an anti-2nd Amendment narrative.
It’s also important to note that violent crime (Pew Research 2018) in the U.S. has fallen sharply over the past quarter century – and the two sources most commonly cited are from the FBI as well as the Bureau of Justice Statistics. With regard to U.S. crime statistics, both reveal a substantial decline in the violent crime rate since hitting a high point in the early 1990s. These figures are noteworthy – especially because just as the federal “assault weapons” ban was about to expire in 2004, the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) reported that the ban could not be credited with any reduction in crime.
In fact, the Washington Times quoted University of Pennsylvania professor Christopher Koper, author of the NIJ report, saying, “We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence. And, indeed, there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence.” Further, the NIJ report also stated, “The ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.”
The report put matters into perspective in 2004 and also now, with the clear indication that “assault weapons” were “rarely used in gun crimes even before the ban.” It makes sense that if “assault weapons” were not a weapon of choice before the ban, prohibiting the possession thereof would neither contribute to a decrease in crime.
Most people are not aware that the type of long gun this resolution aims to ban is the most popular firearm for hunting, and is not “military style” in function whatsoever – another fact conveniently ignored in this emotionally heightened atmosphere. I would be pleased to share these details with you at your convenience.
Penalizing the lawful for the misdeeds of the unlawful will never have its anticipated resolution and reducing the pool of firearms available for lawful individuals to possess will do nothing to stem an increase in crime. Until we can have a truly honest discussion on the topic of guns in society, no effective solutions will ever be realized.
Our organization has a 40-year history of fighting for effective crime control and opposing ineffective gun control; the safety of Californians is at the very foundation of our mission. It has been our consistent goal to work toward common sense solutions regarding the issue of crime and firearm ownership; this can be done, however, without sacrificing our Constitutional rights and the ability of the law abiding to protect their families.
Sam Paredes, Executive Director
cc: Public Safety Committee/and Members
Republican Committee Consultant(s)
GUN OWNERS OF CALIFORNIA
1831 Iron Point Road, Folsom CA 95630 – (916) 984-1400 (916) 984-1402 fax
A Political Committee Dedicated to Crime Control – Not Gun Control