California lawmaker's anti-gun crusade misdirected

(AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File)

So-called gun violence touches a lot of people each and every year. I’m not about to deny otherwise. It’s touched my life and I’m definitely far from alone on that one.

But a California lawmaker has apparently made his family’s brush with it into something of a crusade.

Gun violence has skyrocketed across California since the start of the pandemic. In Los Angeles, it reached a 15-year high in 2021. With pressure mounting to address the crisis, several California lawmakers are pushing new legislation, which would allow victims of gun gun violence to sue firearm manufacturers and dealers. State Assemblymember Mike Gipson is one of them, and he says his personal experience has helped shape his passion on the issue.

My son was shot twice in the back. His fiancee was shot in the leg. Another man on the street was killed in his car. No one is gang affiliated — wrong place, wrong time. We believe and conclude that possibly the weapon that was used was in fact a ghost gun. As a father, I must do this to save lives in the state of California.

How did gun violence impact your family and the work you do?

It shakes your very core. It causes you to lose senses. It makes the world slow down as you’re walking, driving in slow motion, or trying to grasp what the caller just told you and made you aware of. Your whole world stops.

Thank God that we’re at a point where the both of them lived [and] the guy who worked on his car and was shot in the hand he lived. But one young man, Gary, who I did not know, lost his life on that day.

It’s another indication why myself, as a father who has been victimized by gun violence [and] a state assemblymember in this position, need to do everything that I can to make sure that we save lives. We wish that people die of old age, not by gun violence, not now, not in this state.

First, Gipson says he believes the gun used to shoot his son was a homemade firearm, a so-called “ghost gun.” However, he doesn’t provide any evidence for that, which makes me wonder if he has any or if it’s just convenient to blame the scary new firearm type out there.

After all, if they haven’t recovered the gun used, they simply don’t know. There’s nothing in the ballistics of a round that’s been fired to say it’s a “ghost gun” or not. So, it looks like it’s just speculation on his part.

But I get where he’s coming from. I lost a dear friend to senseless violence carried out with a firearm, he almost lost his son. It’s easy to succumb to that degree of upset.

However, would Gipson prefer it if he believed his son had been shot with a more traditionally manufactured gun? I wouldn’t imagine it would help all that much, and yet he’s made this crusade because of it.

Then again, it’s not like he’s supportive of the Second Amendment as a whole, anyway, and that’s a shame.

See, there are things we can do as a society that don’t infringe on people’s right to keep and bear arms that will directly impact crime. Not just “gun violence,” but all violence. It can make people safer by simply pulling people out of the cycle that keeps creating more and more criminals.

But Gipson isn’t interested in that.

Instead, he wants to embark on his own personal jihad against a kind of gun that represents practically no real threat to the public, especially in and of itself.

If you want to keep homemade guns out of the hands of bad people, then maybe it’s worth it to recognize that the best solution is to work to prevent people from going bad in the first place.