There is such a thing as “piling on.” You see this often when public outrage collides with politicians yearning to grandstand.
This is what is happening with Proposition 63, a November ballot measure that proposes to lock a package of far-reaching gun control laws into the state’s constitution.
Forget that the Legislature just recently passed and Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a comprehensive package of gun control laws.
And beyond that package, the Legislature passed a smattering of related bills that place even more limits on who can own and buy guns and ammunition in California.
To a large extent, Prop. 63 only duplicates these new gun control laws. You would think the recent legislative actions should be good enough for Prop. 63 proponents. Nope. Proponents want these laws placed in the state constitution, where changes then would require a vote of the people. And some politically ambitious proponents also want personal public credit for California having the nation’s toughest gun control laws.
The carnage caused by guns – and that includes the mass slayings that have become all too common – cry for greater controls, including expanding background checks, reducing gun capacity, etc. But we also need to exercise common sense and restraint in regulating the legal and constitutionally protected ownership and use of guns by law-abiding citizens.
Gun violence is an evolving and growing deadly problem. It must be addressed through a flexible system that can allow new laws and controls to be added, subtracted and changed when necessary.
Just this summer, the Legislature passed and the governor signed a state budget that establishes the nation’s first state-funded firearms violence research center at the University of California Davis Medical Center. The research effort is supported by health organizations and opposed by gun rights advocates.
Center researchers will seek to provide meaningful and better information that can lead to effective ways to curb gun violence. Just throwing laws at this problem is not the way.
Voters should give the laws legislators passed this session a chance to work before they locked them into the state constitution.
They should give researchers at the University of California Firearms Violence Research Center a chance to find real solutions to this horrific and deadly problem.
They should vote no on Proposition 63.
— The Bakersfield Californian
‘Piling on: You see this often when public outrage collides with politicians yearning to grandstand.