AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

What do you do if you’re the governor of California and none of your restrictive gun control laws, from gun bans to gun-free zones, actually stop a murderer with evil intentions?  You blame Republicans, that’s what.

Newsom said the shooting is reflective of larger issues in American culture, decrying what he called the “morally bankrupt” Republican Party for its inaction on gun control.

“California’s doing its part,” Newsom said. “But, Jesus, these guys, the folks in the White House, have been supporting the kind of policies to roll back the work we’re doing in states like ours, to get rid of large capacity magazines, to address the issues that we’re trying to advance on background checks on ammunition.”

Let’s make one thing clear: California’s gun laws didn’t stop the attack at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, nor did they stop the mass murder in San Bernadino, or the active killer in Isla Vista, or the police officer who went on a southern California killing spree a few years ago. The work that “they’re doing in states” like California is aimed at turning the constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms into a privilege at best, and a crime at worst.

California’s law requiring background checks on ammunition (and forbidding Californians from bringing ammunition purchased out of state into California) means some residents are forced to drive 140 miles each way in order to legally purchase ammunition. The state’s law requiring gun owners turn in or destroy their legally owned magazines is currently on hold while a federal lawsuit takes place, but similar laws in New Jersey have led to massive non-compliance by the those subjected to the law, and there’s no reason to think California would be any different.

A study released last year also demonstrated that California’s “universal background check” law failed to have an impact on gun-related homicides or suicides, while its “assault weapons ban” has been re-written multiple times, each more restrictive than the last, and have ensnared far more legal gun owners than criminals.

The killer in Gilroy, California wasn’t stopped by any of California’s laws. He wasn’t stopped by a fence surrounding the “gun free” Garlic Festival. He was stopped by an armed response. If Gavin Newsom wants to do something productive, he should quit blaming Republicans for the actions of criminals and work instead to empower citizens to protect themselves, as well as put more cops on the beat instead of more gun laws on the books.

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