San Quentin Inmates Undermine Gun Control Arguments

Gun control is always sold to the American public as a necessary step to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people. Time and time again, we’re told that we need to give up our right to free access to arms because someone else is breaking the law with a firearm. We’ve permitted laws that keep convicted felons from owning guns. We’ve put up with mandatory background checks when we buy guns from stores. We’ve put up with all of it.


Yet, no matter how much we put up with, gun control activists always want more. The thing is, we know gun laws don’t dissuade criminals.

How do we know this? They tell us how they get their guns.

Behind the historic walls of San Quentin are scores of men who wrote their life stories by committing acts of violence. Most of them used a gun.

While the debate over gun control rages outside the walls of the famed prison, inside those convicted of violent acts including murder freely voiced their opinion on how easy it was to get a weapon.

Rahsaan Thomas was convicted of second-degree murder at the age of 29. He got his gun illegally on the streets.

“(I got it from the) back of a trunk,” he said. “600 bucks. It’s easy, easy as having the money.”

Micheal Webb was 17 when he was convicted of murder. He has been behind bars for 47 years.

“I got mine illegally,” he said. “Hanging out on the street corner so I was able to get it.”

Branden Riddle-Terrell, who has been convicted of manslaughter, echoed the responses of others.

“If you wanna get a gun in America, you’re gonna get a gun in America,” he said.

Shocking, right? I mean, it’s almost like criminals don’t worry about the law in the first place. I mean, if you can’t trust criminals to follow the law, then what is this country coming to these days?

More seriously, however, this easily tracks with what gun rights advocates have been saying for years. Gun control laws don’t stop criminals from getting guns. Instead, they only impact the law-abiding.


Look, I think there are a lot of people who describe themselves as Second Amendment supporters who might side with gun control advocates if there were a chance their proposals would combat crime. They’d be willing to deal with some infringement on their rights if they knew it would keep guns out of the hands of criminals. But they don’t support those measures because they know it’s complete and total bull.

Some of the inmates at San Quentin just said as much. Yes, some think the AR-15 is “too much firepower” for the American streets, but how much of that is a legitimate fear for people’s safety and how much is fear they may have to face one when they step outside the prison walls and go back to their own life?

What we do know is that they claim they can get guns illegally and easily, as things stand. If that’s the case, then more of what’s been done before isn’t the solution.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member