SACRAMENTO — Man goes to work. Woman visits a mall. Child sits in class. Couple attends a movie. All have one thing in common. They are vulnerable to being shot and killed by some "innocent law-abiding citizen."
Anyone who owns a firearm is law-abiding and entitled to be armed, if you listen to the gun lobby.
Then suddenly the person's not law-abiding. He goes berserk and mass kills.
Laughable if it weren't so tragic.
Now we have another mass shooting.
A guy has repeated disciplinary problems in the Navy. He's arrested three times over a decade, twice for gun-related incidents. He tells Rhode Island police that voices are speaking to him through the walls, floor and ceiling.
A few weeks later he buys a riot shotgun — short barrel, large magazine — from a Virginia gun shop and takes immediate possession after an instant so-called background check. (In California, there would have been a 10-day waiting period — maybe it would have been a cooling-off period.)
Two days later, he carries his riot gun to a Navy yard in
What's missing here?
A comprehensive, nationwide background check system that could flag the likes of mass killer
That's particularly the case since the lobby orchestrated the recall of two Colorado state legislators — one the Senate president — who helped pass bills requiring universal background checks paid for by gun purchasers and a 15-round limit on magazines. (In California, the limit is 10 rounds.)
The gun lobby seems to believe that all these mass killings are the price we must pay for freedom.
Never mind that the United States has the embarrassing distinction of having the highest rate of firearm-related murders among all the developed countries.
Yes, we have a 2nd Amendment. But it doesn't guarantee that any person can own any weapon he chooses. That conservative hero,
"The right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose."
Fortunately in California, most legislators long have recognized that a modicum of gun control makes common sense.
Inspired by last December's massacre of 26 — including 20 children — at
They're now on Gov.
Brown was asked by reporters Monday — the day of the Navy yard shootings — about the volley of gun bills fired his way. His cautious reply:
"First of all, California has the toughest gun laws in the country and we're proud of that achievement, which has been done over many, many years. And I think we want to look very carefully and not just react to events of the day.
"When we pass laws, it's not a decision of the moment. It's a decision for the decades. And we want to look very carefully at what it is we're setting in motion."
Translation: He'll need some convincing before any of these measures become law. But some definitely should.
A no-brainer is SB 755 by Sen.
"Research shows a really strong relationship between
Like most gun bills, this one basically was passed by Democrats and opposed by Republicans.
Responding during the debate to a GOP opponent — whose argument essentially was incoherent — Assemblywoman
But in order to become a mass killer, someone needs a weapon capable of a mass killing. Like a rapid-reloading rifle. SB 374, by Senate leader
"Do law-abiding citizens need guns that can shoot 50 or 100 or 200 rounds at one time?" Steinberg asked during the floor debate.
Clearly not. Brown should sign that Steinberg measure — along with AB 48, by Assemblywoman
Another must-sign: SB 127 by Sen.
None of these bills will end gun violence, but they'll reduce it. They may be inconvenient to some, but conserving lives — being able to go shopping or to a movie at less risk — is a higher priority.