California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package title=
Governor Gavin Newsom (center) and Asm. Steve Bennett (left of center) joining with other state legislators (courtesy photo)
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Source: Office of Assemblymember Steve Bennett

In the wake of another tragedy and inaction at the national level, the Assembly Wednesday advanced a package of six gun violence prevention bills to the Senate, signaling California’s commitment to doing everything possible to take action where the federal government is not.

The group of six Democratic lawmakers – Asm. Mike Gipson (D-Carson), Asm. Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland), Asm. Steve Bennett (D-Ventura), Asm. Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), Asm. Brian Maienschein (D-San Diego), and Asm. Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills) – together brought their bills to a vote on the Assembly Floor. The Members expressed impassioned frustration with Congress’s failure to act on the issues of gun control and gun violence prevention, and emphasized the corresponding need for California to recommit itself with urgency to the fight.

“Our number one job as legislators is to keep our communities safe — and on the issue of gun violence, our federal lawmakers are failing horrifically” said Assemblymember Buffy Wicks. “While we have strong gun violence prevention laws here in California, there’s still so much more that can be done. We must do everything in our power under state law to strengthen protections for our communities, and be an example for other state legislatures to take action where our federal policymakers are not.”

“Thoughts and prayers won’t keep our kids safe. We need real action,” said Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel. “While Senate Republicans continue to obstruct progress, we are committed to moving forward common sense gun safety measures to protect our kids and our communities. When Washington D.C. fails to act, California must lead.”

The bills advancing to the Senate include: 

·        AB 1621 (Gipson) - Limiting Ghost Guns: Increasing Gun Safety in Our Communities
This bill seeks to increase public safety by further restricting “ghost guns” and the parts and kits used to build them, while protecting the rights of legal gun owners in California.

·        AB 2156 (Wicks) - Firearm Manufacturing
This bill would close loopholes that currently allow individuals and corporations to manufacture large numbers of firearms without complying with standard manufacturer requirements. 

·        AB 2552 (McCarty) - Gun Show and Event Regulations
This bill ensures proper background checks at gun shows in California, and increases the safety and oversight of these events to prevent guns and ammo from getting into the wrong hands.

·        AB 1769 (Bennett) - Ventura County Fairgrounds – Gun Show Ban
This bill prohibits the sale of firearms, firearm precursor parts, or ammunition on the property of the Ventura County Fairgrounds and Event Center. 

·        AB 2239 (Maienschein) - 10-Year Gun Ban Expansion
This  bill adds additional misdemeanors to the list of crimes for which the 10-year ban from owning or possessing firearms applies.

·        AB 1929 (Gabriel) - Medi-Cal reimbursement for Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs
This bill will provide Medi-Cal reimbursement for violence prevention services for victims of gun violence and other violent incidents.

Additionally, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) will bring his bill AB 1594 to a vote on the Assembly Floor before the end of the week. The bill will empower California citizens, the state Attorney General and local governments to sue manufacturers and sellers of firearms for the harm caused by their products when the state’s strict gun laws aren’t followed. 

The Floor vote followed a press conference with Governor Gavin Newsom, the aforementioned bill authors and other legislative leaders, who together vowed to keep working together to expedite bills aimed at curbing gun violence and increasing safety in California communities.

There remains a great amount of work to do in California to improve community safety for all –  2020 saw record spikes in gun violence nationwide, and California was not an exception. Still, the state continues to lead the nation in terms of gun violence prevention efforts, enacting state laws that have made a critical difference for communities statewide. Researchers have documented how California’s Gun Violence Restraining Order law has helped to prevent dozens of mass shooting attacks against schools, places of worship, workplaces, and the public at large – especially as compared to states with weaker gun laws:

·        In 2020, children in California (0-17 year olds) were more than 40% less likely to be murdered with a gun than children of the same age in Texas. 

·        Laws including stronger domestic violence protections have made women about half as likely to be shot to death in California compared to Texas.  

·        Restrictions on military-style weaponry have helped reduce the likelihood that shootings that occur will become mass casualty events. Three of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history have occurred in Texas while Gov. Abbott was Governor.

“We have an epidemic in our country when it comes to gun violence and enough is enough. In California, we want action and will continue to work on gun violence prevention,” said Assemblymember Kevin McCarty. “My bill, AB 2552, ensures proper background checks at gun shows in California and increases the safety and oversight of these events to prevent guns and ammo from getting into the wrong hands. I am proud of the swift action of the Legislature to fast track not only my bill, but other gun reform bills.”

“Unfortunately, the United States experiences far more gun violence per person than virtually every other modern industrialized country in the world,” said Assemblymember Steve Bennett. “And what accounts for this? The United States has one of the most pervasive gun cultures in the world supported by a powerful gun lobby. Gun shows at the Fairgrounds enhance this and it is time for each of us to play a role in changing this culture.”

“Far too often, gun violence tragedies are perpetrated by individuals who have shown previous signs of violence or intent to harm others,” said Assemblymember Brian Maienschein. “AB 2239 would take firearms out of the hands of those charged with child endangerment or elder abuse, ensuring that these dangerous individuals cannot harm our most vulnerable.”

“Today, as AB 1621 and other critical gun reform legislation passed the Assembly and now move to the Senate, and vice versa, it is critical we remain diligent in continuing to push for solutions against rampant gun violence happening across the nation,” said Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson. “We are just 145 days into the year, and as of the Robb Elementary School tragedy in Uvalde, Texas just yesterday, where 19 children and 2 adults had their lives ripped away from them by a coward with an AR-15, the U.S. had its 212th mass shooting.

Gipson continued, “To say that this issue is personal to me is an understatement, and sending thoughts and prayers just isn’t enough. AB 1621, which seeks to eradicate “ghost guns” from our streets, is an important piece in the puzzle to save lives, and it is a common-sense approach toward providing justice for families who have continued to bear the burden of losing a loved one through incidents that could have otherwise been prevented. Almost any style of gun, including an AR-15, can be built at home and remain untraceable. For all communities that have experienced similar tragedies, gun violence is a wildfire that we work diligently to try to contain. And the casualties are our babies, sisters, brothers, friends, and acquaintances - all deserving of life but were cut short of their potential. Enough is enough.”

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Chip of SB May 26, 2022 02:57 PM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

General, nothing can help those children. However, trying to leverage people’s emotional reactions to a tragic event in order to take away constitutionally protected rights is not helpful either.

Chip of SB May 26, 2022 03:22 PM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

If articulating a reason that a constitutional right could be harmful to children was sufficient to invalidate it, then we could go ahead and void the entire bill of rights. In addition, being armed empowers parents to protect their children.

sacjon May 26, 2022 03:29 PM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

CHIP - "being armed empowers parents to protect their children." How'd that work out for those 19 kids yesterday? How about for EVERY. SINGLE. CHILD murdered at their school? Any parents with guns there helping out the other "good guys with guns?"

sacjon May 26, 2022 03:47 PM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

"If articulating a reason that a constitutional right could be harmful to children was sufficient to invalidate it, then we could go ahead and void the entire bill of rights."

What kills more kids each day? Free speech? Assembly? Trial by jury? Freedom from cruel and unusual punishments? Not having soldiers quartered in their homes? Speedy trials? Due process? Which of these rights kill children every single day?

Sail380 May 26, 2022 08:15 PM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

SACJON, All you need to do is look at how little old Ukraine has been able to hold off Russia. Ukraine is the most firearm friendly county in Europe. See how the militia works? Dormant until called into action to defend the country.

gcheadley May 26, 2022 03:37 PM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

40% of the Uvalde city budget goes to police. There were armed officers at the school. The police cowards refused to do anything to help, and even tased and arrested parents who tried to go rescue the kids from the school. So, explain to me again how more police and guns would have helped?

dukemunson May 26, 2022 03:56 PM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

GC - That doesn't appear to be true. According to the (admittedly changing narrative) there was no resource officer on campus at the time and the first two police officers to arrive were both shot and wounded as they entered and then pulled back. The shooter killed everyone in the room they were in. So, explain to me...how would less (or no!) police have helped?

madhatter May 26, 2022 03:55 PM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

The 2nd Amendment is from 1791 when you had muskets and pistols that fired once and had to be reloaded. Weapons have evolved quite a bit since then. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that the 2nd Amendment evolve accordingly.
And stop bringing up dynamite, mental health, arming teachers, security at school, etc. The one factor that is the same for every incidence of gun violence is the gun. A persons mental health, personal beliefs, race, age, etc can vary, but the gun is the gun.
It’s simple, do something about the gun.

madhatter May 26, 2022 07:48 PM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

Duke- I never said to get rid of security at schools. I said to stop bringing it up because I feel that people get so wrapped up in those other components that they fail to address the deadly main ingredient, which is the guns. Let’s focus on the guns. If we do better about the actual guns then maybe someday we won’t need security at schools. Perhaps we can do something about ammo. Everyone can own guns, but make the ammo purchasing like Sudafed. An ammo restriction might be more acceptable to those who want to own guns.

dukemunson May 27, 2022 11:03 AM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

Madhatter - It's a two way street though. The far left needs to stop bringing things up like "defunding the police" or "getting rid of school resource officers" . We need to change our gun laws...that is absolute truth. But the argument that many made on here not too long ago about reducing our police's ability to respond and/or removing all police presence from schools is also wrong.

Voice of Reason May 26, 2022 04:29 PM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

First, all of these proposals (in the article) seem reasonable, except for the Ventura showground ban on gun shows. If enacted, they'll most likely have a minor, if any, impact on gun violence in California. Instead of our politicians rushing to capitalize on this tragedy for their own political gain, particularly in a way that potentially infringes on our constitutional rights (whether you utilize those rights or not), they should be asking WHY a barely 18-yearold, bought a gun (premediated), shot his grandmother in the face, then drove to an elementary school and killed a bunch of young children? But I haven't heard anyone asking that very important question.

Voice of Reason May 27, 2022 08:58 AM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

Still not much talk about WHY a barely 18 year-old would do this. Take a young boy, remove the father, sit him in front of a screen all day with endless content, social media and porn, no guidance or companionship, give him some prescription medication, isolate him - that's how you make a school shooter.

Voice of Reason May 27, 2022 10:02 AM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

Which comment are you replying to? 4:29 where I'm referring to the specific recent tragedy and did not mention medication, or the 8:58 comment where I'm clearly talking about school shooters in general?

sacjon May 27, 2022 10:16 AM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

VOICE - I also asked "what other" shooters were found to be over prescribed meds? You claimed it is a cause of mass shootings. I'm asking which ones. Super simple, nothing to evade here. You make the claim, you support it.

Voice of Reason May 27, 2022 10:56 AM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

I never said over-prescribed (don't you call that... a lie?) and also never claimed it caused, but is certainly a factor in, incidents of violence including mass shootings. If you aren't aware of the FDA black box warning and potential side effects of SSRI's including violence and suicide, particularly in already troubled individuals, both while taking it or abruptly stopping in, you need to do some reading before you continue running your mouth here. https://www.psychreg.org/antidepressants-ssri-mass-shootings/

sacjon May 27, 2022 11:11 AM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

VOICE at 8:58 - "Take a young boy ..... give him some prescription medication...."

1) So, we shouldn't give people suffering from mental health and medications? The right wing mantra (espoused by SAIL or CHIP or both, I don't remember) is that the killers are being prescribed mental health meds unnecessarily (ie, over prescribed). Is that not what you're saying? If not, then just remove the "over" from my comment.

2) I never said you said it "caused shootings", I said "You claimed it is a cause." A cause, as in "certainly a factor" (VOICE at 10:56am)

Voice of Reason May 27, 2022 03:18 PM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

How do you get this:" So, we shouldn't give people suffering from mental health and medications? " from my comments? This is more of that if it's not 100% so we shouldn't do it flip floppy stuff.

sacjon May 27, 2022 03:23 PM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

WHAT?! You clearly don't understand what I'm talking about with the "it's not 100% effective so let's not do it" thing.

My question about medications was directed toward your comment saying you never said "over-prescribed." The reason for my comment was to call it out and ask what you meant then by even bringing up prescription meds. If they're a (not the) cause (as you said) of mass shootings, then I'm asking if you think we should stop giving people meds. Why am I walking you through this..... ?

EricL May 26, 2022 05:08 PM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

I'm just going to say it even though nobody here in the "vote blue no matter who" crowd will believe it. These politicians are a bunch of grandstanding Karens implementing redundant laws that don't do anything. So called "assault rifles" are only involved in 5% of gun crimes. "Ghost guns" are involved in less than 1% and are already illegal in California. Mandatory background checks for Gun Show purchases? I bought a rifle at the Ventura Fairgrounds 6 years ago and guess what? I had to go through a mandatory background check. Hell, when I lived in Oklahoma and Missouri, two of the most gun friendly red states, I bought guns at gun shows and had to go through a background check. These infringements on the 2nd Amendment are a deliberate attempt by elitists that live in a bubble surrounded by armed security to remove the People's only protection from tyrannical governments. Yes, guns. Modern, up to date guns. Because our Founding Fathers didn't put the 2nd Amendment in to protect deer hunting, or skeet shooting, or even (believe it or not) personal self defense.

Law abiding citizens who follow these laws will be at the mercy of criminals who don't. And everyone here should remember how well "The War on Drugs" got us less drugs. How "The War on Terror" replaced the Taliban with the Taliban. Self protection isn't a big deal in our liberal bubble of Santa Barbara. You have to got down to the worst parts of town in the middle of the night looking for trouble to find it. But in LA, SF, Chicago, and New York law abiding people of color are routinely deprived of their right to defend themselves. But not the criminals in their neighborhood. If you subtracted the major anti-gun cities from the stats the US would have some of the lowest crime and gun crime stats in the world. Down Mexico way the Mexicans let their government water down their version of the 2nd Amendment so guns are basically illegal. Who has guns in Mexico now? The corrupt police, the corrupt army, and the drug cartels. Civilians in the middle are collateral damage between them. It should be a peaceful paradise, amirite? In 2006 Mexico had a drug war casualty count equal to Iraq's. It might still but the cartels intimidated (and murdered) journalists reporting on them.

It saddens me that modern liberal culture has come to this. The people (my late parents) that taught me the importance of Free Speech, to "Question Authority", and "Give Peace a Chance" (bumperstickers on every 10th car in Santa Barbara in the 80s) act like the Proles in Orwell's 1984. But this is already too long for a dissent that will just get downvoted by so called liberals who can think critically when watching Fox News but seem to lose 80 IQ points watching CNN and MSNBC.

SB_93117 May 27, 2022 05:57 AM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

ERICL...FINALLY! An intelligent answer not based on someone's buxxhurt pride. Can I write buxx here? lol I would only add that, had a responsible adult at Robb Elementary been carrying a weapon (maybe even the teacher) we'd have 19 children to tell the story of how their hero teacher stopped a madman from doing harm.

I saw a photo recently of a sign with LARGE letters posted at a school entrance that read, "ATTENTION: The staff at EARLY ISD is armed and may use whatever force is necessary to protect OUR STUDENTS."

If schools were protected, responsible adults were able to carry (yes, with training and safeguards, etc.) then I believe we would see less tragedies like this in schools. So, ERICL, GREAT post, right on target!

sacjon May 27, 2022 07:59 AM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

SB93117 - "had a responsible adult at Robb Elementary been carrying a weapon (maybe even the teacher) we'd have 19 children to tell the story of how their hero teacher stopped a madman from doing harm." - were the armed 2 border patrol agents who tried to stop him but were shot not "responsible adults....carrying a weapon?"

sacjon May 27, 2022 08:06 AM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

SB93117 - I see now the timeline has been once again revised and the 2 border patrol agents never happened. STILL.... look at all the other times "responsible adults" who were there and armed failed to stop the shooters: Parkland, Buffalo, and many more.

pstarSR May 27, 2022 08:36 AM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

"give peace a chance"? as you shout that from behind a barrel of a gun, hypocrazy at its best right here.

the constant battle of saying people are "stupid" and " blinded " and "dont know the facts" its the example of where this country is. internally. why are we fighting each other like this, its obvious that this is a problem yet some wont open their eyes to see it. wont change the page to make a worthwhile change.

to EVERYONE shouting about "Tyrannical" things and protecting yourself from it.

when was the last time that happened? when was the last time you have to "take up arms" and protect the country from this? never.... so stop saying thats what we need them for!

ZeroHawk May 27, 2022 10:03 AM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

EricL- Ok you really do have some solid points that can't be debated logically. I can't even come up with things to challenge you and I really want to, so I will agree with most of what you state, because it's fact. I don't agree with you politically for the most part, but yeah, there is no stopping this.
Now, you state this: "These infringements on the 2nd Amendment are a deliberate attempt by elitists that live in a bubble surrounded by armed security to remove the People's only protection from tyrannical governments.
****ok this i don't agree with. It's not just them, it's the other side too. Don't be fooled. It's a faux back n forth. The left stands up because this really has gone way too far. The right stands up, "don't take my guns!". Well your guns are murdering a lot of innocent people in the greatest nation on earth...and it is making it much less great and much less safer.
Tyranical governments. Frankly the only time in my life, i'm 51, that we have had a tyranical government was under Trump. Id even take "W" back in office over Trump. At least "W" tried his best.****

Yes, guns. Modern, up to date guns. Because our Founding Fathers didn't put the 2nd Amendment in to protect deer hunting, or skeet shooting, or even (believe it or not) personal self defense.
*****here is something and I'm sure you have heard it before, but for a reason. Our founding fathers did not pen this with assault rifles and semi automatic hand guns, ghost guns, 3D printing guns and armor piercing rounds too. When they penned this, a musket was the main weapon and their hand guns, do you know how long it took to load just one bullet? Think about that. Now we have allowed this to spiral out of control. If we were talking about old school rifles and a 6 shooter, it would make a LITTLE more sense.****
Law abiding citizens who follow these laws will be at the mercy of criminals who don't. And everyone here should remember how well "The War on Drugs" got us less drugs. How "The War on Terror" replaced the Taliban with the Taliban. "
*****Yes this is all true. Good guys and bad guys. But this fun fetish culture has allowed both to be armed to the teeth with assault weapons and battlefield quality firearms. That's way over the top. Gun manufacturers and right wingers get rich off of this. While people die and kids get murdered. This is not the time to defend guns. This is the greatest country on earth. This is also the only country this happens in.

ZeroHawk May 27, 2022 10:05 AM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

SB93117 butthurt by someone's pride? 19 people were just gunned down. Most of them elementary school kids. I'm pretty butthurt by that and have kids in school. You have a problem with that??? Your post is callous, rude, insensitive and obnoxious.

Voice of Reason May 27, 2022 10:36 AM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

Zero, EricL wasn't talking about one political party or the other in his "elitist" reference. Our founding fathers put the 2A amendment in so the citizens can protect themselves from the government, so while they had only muskets or similar at the time, so did the government (you can save the tanks, fighter jets, and bazooka, comments as in Ukraine and Iraq both proved an entrenched civilian population can't be stopped with with tanks and jets). Finally, holy cow wow, I simply can't fathom how after two years of Covid tyranny it's Trump you cite as the only time you think we've had a tyrannical government, MSM played you well.

sacjon May 27, 2022 10:45 AM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

Ukraine has a military force and standing militias. Further, it was attacked by other nations, not their own government. The government of the United States has never, ever, in its entire history come even close to attacking its own citizens. Further, we don't have a superior world power trying to make the US a subject of its monarchy. The "protection against the government" excuse is just fantastical dreaming.

sacjon May 27, 2022 11:59 AM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

VOICE - your link, well..... you do realize its about when the military was used to break up riots, right? These weren't attempts by the government to oppress or in any way attack the civilian population. But yeah, it is cool to play "soldier" in your bunker and get all prepped up for this imaginary assault by our own government.

Godspeed you Modern Day Minutemen!

SB_93117 May 28, 2022 05:16 AM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

SAC this is obviously still unfolding and do I think that armed responders should have gone in sooner? 100%, every day of the week and twice on Sunday! Why they didn't go in is still under investigation. Some people say they thought that an active shooter situation turned into a barricade situation that once had been a hostage situation. We don't know and we won't know for probably quite some time. But I do know that if the security officer would have been there things may have gone different. Where was he and why wasn't he there? We will find that out later as well. In the meantime, if the shooter had been met by a teacher with a gun then things may have turned out different. If other responsible adults in the school saw that he had crashed his car and been firing guns outside, had guns on THEM to help preserve the school security, things may have been different.

That's literally my only point. That legislation can't propose to take guns away from responsible people and expect us to be able to protect ourselves or to do something in a situation like this. Do I think we should have better gun laws? Of course. Do I think mental illness is a contributing factor? Of course I do. There are a myriad of reasons this kind of thing happens and definitely a one size fits all approach it's just not going to work. But I do know this, taking my gun away is definitely not going to work.

I have no idea what the police were thinking. If I would have been a parent outside I would have done everything in my power to go inside that door and rip his eyeballs out while blowing his brains to pieces. I have four children. One I homeschool, one who is working full time and two of them are Marines.

I would literally do anything to protect them. Anything.

SB_93117 May 28, 2022 05:22 AM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

ZERO first of all, I read that you're in the service so I want to thank you for your service. I have four children and two are Marines. I think of them all day long and have to stop myself from crying because many days I just don't stop crying for them and their safety.

When I say butthurt, I come on Edhat and I constantly see people ripping each other apart by their comments. Occasionally I respond back with what I actually feel like saying. Yesterday was one of those days. I actually live very close to the Uvalde community so this isn't me talking from 1,500 miles away.

In reality, I didn't even say everything I wanted to say because there are so many people on here who rip you up and down for having an opinion that's different from theirs. And yes, those people are butthurt.

CoastWatch May 26, 2022 05:19 PM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

How about insitutionalizing the NUTS among us... Their Parents know who they are, the Teachers know who they are, the School Counselors KNOW who they are and their co-workers and family members KNOW who they are.... Build more MENTAL INSITUTIONS and do NOT let the ACLU tell us "they have rights...." LOCK THEM UP!

sacjon May 26, 2022 07:54 PM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

"do NOT let the ACLU tell us "they have rights...." LOCK THEM UP!" - Not only is that unconstitutional, it's un-American. Funny how you cling for dear life to the constitution when it comes to pieces of metal, but not when it comes to human beings. Well, at least living human beings....

ParvoPup May 26, 2022 10:02 PM
California Assembly Advances Gun Violence Prevention Package

We are overlooking the strange obsession that I would categorize as "Gun Fetishism".

This Obsessive Compulsion Disorder whereby certain humans become overtaken with the desire to own as many guns as they can afford, justified, in the their own minds, as a protection against the ominous "THEY" that they fear will someday be coming to take their freedoms away from them.

Another term for this obsession is "ammosexual", whereby a person only feels orgasmic release and satisfaction in knowing that they have enough guns and bullets to slaughter 10,000 "threats" should the fantasy arise.

I have three guys at work, who between them, own 52 weapons. Handguns of various calibers - 9MM, 45 ACP, even a 10 MM; rifles - but of course, you have to own a slew of bolt actions and semi autos, shotguns - because everybody needs at least three tacticool 12 gauges in case Nancy Pelosi comes to eat your brain. Think about that - 52 weapons of death owned by just 3 people. They don't hunt for food, they aren't in the military, they live in nice quiet suburban middle class neighborhoods, but somewhere along the line, they have been led to believe that success at life requires the fire power of a full squad of infantry.

When did this country become addicted to firearms and why?

I grew up in rural South Carolina where every household had Grandads' rifle over the mantle and you got your first .22 at age 13. But you were taught that a gun was a tool - nothing more. Just like a hammer or a screwdriver, it was something to be used for specific tasks and none involved the murder of other human beings. There was no fetishism involved, no loving strokes of the barrels, no obsessing over hard ball versus hollow point - only the practical use of whacking that field rat that was messing with your chickens.

You didn't take it to school to kill your bullies, you didn't use it against the "them", you didn't wear a sidearm into the grocery store and you never thought twice about that tool being the way-point for defining "Freedom".

I really struggle with the how and why that guns have become a cult. What led us to this state of barbarism?

First Person shoot-em-up video games desensitizing our youth?

Fox News terrifying old white people?

What and why?

I don't have an answer.

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