Newsom: Second Amendment turning into "suicide pact"

Newsom: Second Amendment turning into "suicide pact"
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is lashing out at gun owners, the firearms industry, and even the Founding Fathers as he tries to spin another failure of the state’s gun control laws into an attack on the Second Amendment.

Speaking to CBS News on Monday evening, Newsom claimed that while he has no “ideological opposition” to “responsible” gun owners, at least in theory, the shootings in Monterey Park demand a further crackdown on the right to keep and bear arms.

“Nothing about this is surprising. Everything about this is infuriating,” he told “CBS Evening News” anchor and managing editor Norah O’Donnell on Monday. “The Second Amendment is becoming a suicide pact.”

Newsom clarified that he has “no ideological opposition” against people who “responsibly” own guns and get background checks and training on how to use them.

But he told O’Donnell that current regulations are falling short.

Maybe because the gun control laws Newsom favors are aimed at legal gun owners instead of violent criminals?

Newsom mentioned the role of mental health in mass shootings, but he singled out gun access as a factor exacerbating the problem.

“I’m really proud of the work we’ve done in this space, but we’ve had decades of neglect,” he said. “But respectfully, I will submit that regardless of the challenges it relates to behavioral health, there’s not a country in the world that doesn’t experience behavioral health issues.”

And there’s not a state in the U.S. that regulates and restricts gun ownership to the extent that California does, and yet according to the FBI it was California that had the most most active shooter incidents in 2021. Part of that may simply be an artifact of California’s large population, but it’s also evidence that restricting a constitutional right to self-defense in the name of public safety doesn’t stop committed killers nearly as effectively as it prevents peaceable gun owners from exercising their 2A rights.

The anti-Second Amendment attacks are only going to heat up after another shooting, this time in central California, left seven people dead and a 67-year old suspect in custody on Monday afternoon.

The shootings were reported at Mountain Mushroom Farm on San Mateo Road near Highway 1 and Concord Farms off Cabrillo Hwy S. First responders first received a call about an active shooter at around 2:20 p.m.

Authorities responded to the 12700 block of San Mateo Road at the Mountain Mushroom Farm, close to Rice Trucking-Soil Farm off of Hwy. 1. Deputies found four victims deceased with gunshot wounds. A fifth victim, also suffering from gunshot wounds, was transported to Stanford Medical Center with life threatening injuries.

Then shortly after at the Concord Farms on the 2100 block of Cabrillo Highway South – less than 3 miles away from the Mountain Mushroom Farm – three additional victims were located, also deceased with gunshot wounds.

According to ABC-7, both the suspect and the victims were workers at the mushroom farm where the first shootings took place. Authorities haven’t said whether the suspect lawfully obtained the firearm used in the attack, but that really doesn’t matter to Newsom and his anti-gun allies in the legislature. Any crime in which a firearm is used, legally obtained or not, is fodder for their attack on a fundamental civil right.

Violent crime, even with the spike that took place in 2020, is still far below what the U.S. experienced throughout much of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s; a time when the number of gun owners, firearms, and concealed carry holders were much smaller than they are today. If the Second Amendment or law-abiding gun owners are to blame, as Newsom argues, the opposite would be true and crime would have climbed exponentially over the past thirty years as the right-to-carry revolution took hold and more Americans embraced their Second Amendment rights. As I mentioned, it wasn’t until 2020 and the double whammy of COVID disruptions and widespread unrest and violence in the wake of George Floyd’s death that our crime rate started soaring.

I’m sure that Newsom believes his own rhetoric about the Second Amendment turning into a suicide pact, but that doesn’t give him or lawmakers the authority to kill off a fundamental civil right, no matter how much they cloak their anti-2A ambitions in a shroud of moral righteousness. California’s gun control laws aren’t protecting the public safety. Instead, they’re making it harder for good people to protect themselves.