San Fran DA: Get tough on gun makers, not violent offenders

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin may take exception to my description of his comments to the New York Times, but it’s hard to read this exchange and not conclude that Boudin views gun makers as a much more important target compared to the average armed robber or carjacker preying on San Franciscans.


So, we know that gun violence is on the rise across the country, with significant numbers in San Francisco. A traditional prosecutor might say that if someone is in possession of a gun illegally or uses a gun to do something unlawful, we’re going to punish them as harshly as the law allows, and that’s our way of deterring crime.

The thing that frustrates me about that approach is that we are accepting that we don’t have a role to play in promoting public safety until after a crime occurs. We’re trying to be proactive in my office. In San Francisco, instead of waiting for the police to make an arrest in homicides involving a ghost gun and punishing the individual that committed the harm, we are suing the ghost-gun companies and asking the courts to prohibit them from shipping their weapons into our community.

First off, this is a heaping helping of self-serving bovine effluent on the part of the D.A. here, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering his entire sit-down with the Times is all about trying to defend himself against a recall campaign that could force him out of office after a recall election in early June.
Boudin not only doesn’t see a difference between someone merely possessing a firearm without a permit and someone who actually uses a gun in the commission of a violent crime, but believes that the best way to proactively try to prevent crime is by suing companies like Polymer80 rather than ensuring lengthy prison time for violent offenders. I’m sure that San Francisco has plenty of residents who’ll reflexively applaud and endorse any gun control effort from public officials, but I doubt that you’d find too many who honestly believe that simply banning home-built guns is going to seriously impact violent criminals.
Boudin also seems to have a very different attitude when it comes to illegal drugs flooding San Francisco. Last year, the city had 56 homicides, but the number of drug overdose deaths was more than ten times higher. More than 650 fatal overdoses were recorded in the city, but you won’t hear Boudin talk about being proactive by going after the criminal suppliers. Instead, he wants to talk about giving addicts a safe place to shoot up.
In San Francisco, we need to have safe consumption sites, because people don’t die of overdoses at safe consumption sites. The second thing we need is people who are drug-addicted to have an easier time accessing treatment and services than they do buying drugs on the street corner. We are prosecuting people the police arrest. It’s not working because there is an insatiable demand for drugs from people who don’t have housing, access to health care, access to employment and access to treatment that can help them reduce their dependence on dangerous drugs.
Boudin doesn’t seem interested at all in shutting down the city’s open-air drug markets, even though research has shown (and common sense tells us) that they are major drivers of violent crime.
When a chief prosecutor’s crime fighting strategy involves making excuses for violent criminals, suing companies that make a legal product, and trying to make it easier for addicts to shoot up their illicitly-obtained narcotics, it shouldn’t come as a shock that even some of the über-progressives in San Francisco are getting fed up; especially since the city appears to be growing less livable by the day.
Whether or not there are enough of those pissed off progressives to actually toss Boudin on his rear end in June remains to be seen, but it’s clear that the D.A. is growing concerned about his job security, and for good reason.

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