by Shaun Bradley, The Anti Media:
Bureaucrats in California are ringing in the new year by doubling down on their failed policies to stop gun violence. As of January 1st, six new bills are being phased in that close the so-called ‘bullet-button’ loophole and require background checks to buy ammunition. Another policy would have banned magazines that hold over ten rounds, but in a surprise move, the magazine restriction was repealed on December 29th, just ahead of the deadline. Although California has always been a poster child for the progressive agenda, support for these extreme measures seems to have faded — especially since the result of the presidential election.
These new standards were signed by Governor Jerry Brown in the wake of the San Bernardino attack last December, and in many ways, they mimic the registry created in Connecticut after Sandy Hook. Even though the changes solidify California’s status as the most draconian state when it comes to gun rights, public opinion may be at a turning point.
The reality of a Trump administration has shocked many Californians into a newfound appreciation for the 2nd Amendment. Since November, there has been a record number firearms sold in the Golden State — and many of those buying them are liberals. Hopefully, instead of being blinded by identity politics, this can be a moment for both parties to realize gun ownership is a necessary check on centralized power. The 2nd Amendment has long been a point of contention between the left and the right, but perhaps a year like 2016 is what was needed to find some common ground.
Regardless of one’s beliefs, when the president has far-reaching, violative power, concerns of authoritarianism will inevitably come from both sides of the political spectrum. An armed populace, though, has much less to fear from the whims of a dictator, whether they are a fascist or a socialist.
Yet if the original magazine ban hadn’t been repealed, thousands of innocent people would have been turned into felons overnight. Those who don’t comply with the numerous other new stipulations are still at risk.
For this reason, those who oppose the drug war should empathize with gun owners who find themselves in the crosshairs of the State. People who have experimented safely with marijuana or psychedelics understand that when used responsibly, they can be important tools in improving quality of life. That’s why it’s infuriating to see politicians who have never experienced the benefits of these substances make laws that put people in jail for simply possessing a plant.
But why isn’t there the same anger when politicians who have never been in a fight or shot a gun (yet are protected by armed bodyguards) create laws criminalizing individuals’ choices on how they defend themselves? The drug war uses law enforcement on non-violent people to enforce arbitrary victimless crimes, but it is just as immoral when law-abiding gun owners are targeted by the State at the behest of a fearful public.
This targeting amounts to the collectivization of millions of people, the vast majority of whom will never harm anyone. In the same way, the majority of cannabis or psychedelic users do not harm others — let alone themselves — proving blanket bans unreasonably violate the rights of non-violent individuals.
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