AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
As the son of a police officer, I hate seeing officers being killed. As a young boy, I first encountered death when one of my father’s fellow officers–an incredibly nice guy who took time with all of us kids despite having none of his own–was killed in the line of duty. I always remember that when an officer is shot. Old wounds and all that.
In California, an officer was recently killed, and Governor Gavin Newsom wasted no time at all in trying to capitalize on it.
Days after the shooting death of a Sacramento police officer, Gov. Gavin Newsom signaled Tuesday that he was prepared to sign additional gun control measures making their way through the California Legislature.
Newsom made his comments as he touted a new state law taking effect July 1 that will require background checks of people purchasing ammunition to make sure they are not prohibited from possessing firearms.
The governor was asked about the death Wednesday of Sacramento police Officer Tara O’Sullivan, who was shot in an ambush after she responded to a domestic violence call.
Officers say the alleged gunman had criminal convictions for domestic violence, DUI and battery, and had guns that are illegal in California, including two assault weapons.
Newsom said Tuesday he has provided millions of dollars more funding in his budget to remove guns from prohibited persons. He also has supported California’s “red flag” law, which allows family members and law enforcement officers to seek a court order to remove all firearms from an individual deemed to pose a danger.
For all of California’s gun control laws, this individual still had guns. More than that, he had guns that are illegal in the state, meaning he wasn’t following the law in the first place. Allegedly.
Now, if this gunman did all he’s alleged to have done with the weapons he’s alleged to have done them with, isn’t that sufficient evidence that more gun control isn’t going to work?
California has had a red flag law on the books for a while now. Where was that order? It sounds like there wasn’t one, which made sense. He was convicted of domestic violence. He wasn’t allowed to have a gun in the first place.
Yet, he did.
So what good would it do to expand the red flag law do? Nothing except allow Newsom to appear as though he’s “doing something,” which I feel are two of the most dangerous words in politics. Anyone with a brain can see all the ways gun control failed here. It’s not just state laws that failed, either. The laws prohibiting those convicted of domestic violence from owning guns are federal, after all. Still, he had firearms.
Newsom, like most past California governors, isn’t really interested in stopping gun violence. He’s interested in looking like he’s stopping it.
If he were interested, he’d have to recognize that California’s violent crime rate is extremely high despite all the gun control on the books and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. With that in mind, he’d start looking at rolling back some of those gun control laws because they not only don’t work and how they inhibit the law-abiding citizen more than anyone else. But, he won’t. Part of that is probably politics. Even if he were so inclined, he would be destroyed for even suggesting such a thing.
The other part is that it’s not really about combating violence. It’s about capitulating to the fears of the public, fears that the media has perpetuated for years in California.
Newsom can expand the state’s red flag law, but what will it accomplish? Nothing.