Letter from California: New bill ‘yanks’ gun rights with a phone call

We all know that California is predominantly a blue state currently governed by Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr., or “Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown,” right? 

Then, it should come as no surprise that a Democrat state assemblyman has stepped forward seemingly to deprive the citizens of California of their Second Amendment rights guaranteed The Bill of Rights and Constitution following the recent mass killings “allegedly” by Elliot Rodger. 

The bill being put forth once again all in the name of public safety.

The Democratic state assemblyman, Das Williams from Santa Barbara, sponsored a bill “aimed at stopping another rampage like the one near the University of California at Santa Barbara campus last weekend, committed reportedly by a man, 22, with known mental health issues.” 

While the “rampage” to which Williams refers, involved the killings of Mr. Rodger’s three roommates by stabbings and three people by the firing of a gun, the bill only focuses on the guns. 

Williams said, “I think here in California, people have determined that enough is enough. We’re sick and tired of people dying in mass killings.” 

However, if this were truly a public safety issue, and not a Second Amendment deprivation masked as a public safety concern, then the bill would have been worded differently to address both guns and knives.

Under the bill’s proposal: “family members, friends and other intimates would be given the ability to call police and ask for intervention with their loved ones suffering from mental health issues.” 

The bill allows police “a wider berth than present law to investigate and draw conclusions from their investigations – including the ability to ask a judge to issue an order that would prevent that loved one from buying or possessing any types of firearms.”

In essence, the bill if it becomes law in California, would allow, for example, a spurned lover to call and report a suspicion of mental illness which may prevent the ex from owning or buying a firearm. 

What about veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? Perhaps a co-worker or friend overhears a discussion about fighting in Afghanistan and wonders if the service person is really OK to have a firearm?  What’s to prevent a call from being placed to the local police department to ask them to check the person out?

You can see how easily ordinary citizens could abuse this provision under the bill and perhaps without recourse since there is no mention by Williams regarding the consequences to those who may falsely accuse another.  Would it be the same as filing a false police report?  Perhaps but maybe not.

The Santa Barbara lawmaker said there is nothing to worry about, however, because the suspected person and subject of the court order “would have an opportunity to plead his case for gun ownership rights at a hearing.” 

As with most progressive agendas where the “ends justify the means,” CNN legal analyst Mel Robbins, who was a public defender, likened the bill to “yanking somebody’s driver’s license.”

Robbins said, “There’s no mechanism for the police or for the public or for a mental health professional to basically say, “we need to take a look at this individual”, just like we might yank somebody’s driver’s license for acting recklessly.”

As any public defender or lawyer worth their salt knows, acquiring a driver’s license which is a privilege and not a right, is not the same as a right guaranteed by the Constitution.  

A police officer has the authority under California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5150, to take a person he or she believes is a danger to self or others into custody and have them assessed by a licensed mental health professional.

The police officers in the Elliot Rodger case had the law on their side and could have taken Rodger in for an assessment, but failed to do so. 

The police officers had the ability to further investigate the videos, of which they were aware, following a call from his parents that the videos were at the very least “disturbing.”

We now know that the police did not view the videos because they spoke with Mr. Rodger and presumably felt that he was not a threat to himself or others. 

Had the police used their right to view or investigate the videos, as the public had access to them on YouTube, then, based on the content of the videos alone, they would have been reasonable in taking the young man into custody for an evaluation by a mental health professional. 

Had the police taken him into custody for an evaluation, a mental health professional may also have been given an opportunity to discover weapons that Mr. Rodger owned due to exploring with Mr. Rodger his “intent” to harm himself or others.  Such line of questioning would have included asking about weapons that could be used to carry out any intended threat.

Proponents of the Williams’ bill argue law does not go far enough because police cannot take action unless a crime has been committed or unless the subject of the complaint displays outlandishly erratic behavior in the presence of the officer. 

This is an inaccurate description, at best, of the authority provided the police under California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5150.

It is time for the people of California to quit believing the agenda of the left and begin to realize that there are adequate laws already on the books that would have protected them from the mass killings, both by stabbings and by gunfire, had the investigating officers enforced the existing law.

 

 

 

 

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