Sacramento Bee asks big question in wake of mass shooting

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The aftermath of any mass shooting invariably leads to questions. Those impacted will be asking plenty, as I know from unfortunate experience. However, it won’t be just them. People throughout the nation are asking them as well.

At the Sacramento Bee, a couple of writers ask one of the big questions.

They’ve banned high-capacity magazines and cracked down on assault weapons. They’ve made it so Californians have to pass a background check to purchase a gun and ammunition. They’ve prohibited buyers from having ammo or “ghost” gun parts shipped directly to their homes.

When it comes to gun laws, California’s legislators have passed some of the most stringent regulations in the country, checking off nearly every box on national gun control advocates’ wishlist.

A mass shooting early Sunday that left six dead and 12 wounded just a block from the Capitol — the very building where these laws were enacted — immediately prompted new calls for legislation to curb gun violence, from California elected officials and gun-control advocates across the nation.

“The scourge of gun violence continues to be a crisis in our country, and we must resolve to bring an end to this carnage,” Gov. Gavin Newsom, who’s already signed 15 gun-control laws, said Sunday in a prepared statement.

The call for action on the federal level reached as far as the White House.

But what else can California’s lawmakers do to restrict guns that they haven’t already done — and have their laws survive the inevitable challenge by Second Amendment advocates?

That kind of hits one of the big points in all this, doesn’t it?

While Newsom and the White House are fine in calling for still more gun control, the truth of the matter is that California already has tons of it. They’ve got more gun laws than would even be considered at the federal level, yet we see how well that worked out.

Let’s remember that this happened just over a month after the last mass shooting in Sacramento.

Even then, California didn’t pass more gun control laws because, frankly, there’s not much more they can pass. Not without passing something they know will never survive a legal challenge.

Not that I don’t expect them to try, of course.

The problem, however, is that no one seems interested in looking at the causes of these things. They try to address mass shootings by banning the implements used rather than trying to look at any other options.

California has done plenty of restricting. They also have played host to more mass shootings in the last 40 years (23) than any other state, as many as pro-gun Florida and Texas combined. It should be noted that those two states combined have 10 million more people than California, so it’s not a matter of population differences, either.

And those numbers are through February 2022. In other words, we can add two more to the total, which means California has more than those two pro-gun states.

If gun control were the answer, California wouldn’t have any problems. As we can see, they do. Mass shootings happen there and they’re doing nothing about them.

I’ve long argued that calls for pet gun control regulations in the wake of a mass shooting are nothing more than using the bodies of the slain as a soapbox. Nothing I’ve seen from the anti-gun side has remotely dissuaded me from that position.

The folks at the Sacramento Bee are right to ask the question. My concern is whether they’re really all that interested in learning the answer. Based on past experience, I’m inclined to believe they’re not, which is a shame because this could be an opportunity for California to learn from those mass shootings and actually do something.