DECEMBER 11, 2018
"The government you elect is the government you deserve."
- Thomas Jefferson
The state of California is massively in debt. Middle-class jobs are leaving and taking California's middle class along with them. With growing crime, it is more dangerous to live in California each year. After failure like that, California politicians call for higher taxes and more gun control. Why would politicians propose more of the prescriptions that failed in the past? That is a fascinating question. Let's see if we can help.
California compared to other states-
California has some of the strictest gun-control laws in the country. California is ranked first of the fifty states when it comes to gun-control. Those laws are so severe and so extensive that California has an "A" rating by the Giffords gun-control group. Shouldn't those gun-control laws guarantee very low rates of violent crime and a remarkably low murder rate? The answer is a tragic 'No'. California has regulated guns for decades, yet gun-control hasn't come close to delivering on its promises. Not then, and not now.
California gun laws-
Unless you've lived there, you might not be familiar with California's extensive gun laws. The state mandates safety training before a sale can take place. They have universal background checks before each gun sale, and a ten day waiting period before you can take possession of your gun. Ammunition sales are also regulated. You have to buy a gun lock with each firearm. Most handguns sold in the United States are not allowed for sale in California. Magazine capacity is limited, and you can only buy one gun a month. California also regulates and registers what the state calls "assault weapons".
Most California citizens can't get a permit to carry a handgun in public. Nor does the state recognize carry permits from other states. California proposes more gun-control laws each year.
Each growing infringement on the right to keep and bear arms was supposed to guarantee that criminals wouldn't use guns for violent crime. The opposite took place. In California, the criminals are armed and the law abiding citizens are disarmed.
Comparing California's crime rate to other states
California is quite violent when compared to the rest of the fifty states. That is bad and becoming worse year after year. California ranks in the worse half of states when ranked by violent crime. Thirty five states were safer than California in 2016. Also, the homicide rate in California increased by 18 percent from 2014 to 2016. Note that California classifies some crimes as non-violent that most states, and most citizens, consider to be very violent. For example, forcible rape is punished as a non-violent crime in California.
Why do California politicians persist with more of the same old policies in the face of repeated failure? High taxes mean there are lots of government programs that reward special interests. Special interests provide campaign contributions to incumbent politicians. California is ruled by Democrats, and high taxes persist because they work for California Democrat politicians. It is more important that California Democrat politicians succeed than that California citizens succeed.
We see similar forces at work with gun control. For Democrat politicians, rising rates of homicide are a beneficial feature rather than a fault. High rates of violent crime provide a justification for more gun-control legislation. That legislation provides more campaign cash from gun-control donors. Gun-control works for Democrat politicians even while it fails for California citizens. Now, California Democrat politicians want to tax guns, but does anyone think that criminals will pay those taxes?
For all the compassion that politicians show in front of the cameras, very little compassion makes it to the streets where people are dying.
This isn't an academic question. We pay for these political adventures with our lives.
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