At this level, it’s laborious to maintain observe of the gun violence that’s ravaging our nation.
In 2021, there have already got been over 310 mass shootings nationwide and over 17,000 lives misplaced to gun violence. In Orange County’s thirty seventh Senate District, now we have skilled two high-profile shootings, together with the March 31 mass capturing at an workplace advanced in Orange, which took the lives of 4 victims, and the Might 21 road-rage capturing in Orange that killed 6-year-old Aiden Leos.
No different developed nation has ranges of gun violence remotely near what we expertise in the US. However we can not enable this gun violence epidemic to be normalized.
To assist deal with this, I’ve authored Senate Invoice 264, which might successfully finish most gun exhibits at county fairgrounds in California, as a result of I imagine our state should take a stand and take away ourselves from the enterprise of promoting weapons. Given the analysis exhibiting that extra weapons result in extra gun violence, it’s morally reprehensible for our state to proceed to advertise gun violence by permitting the sale of weapons and ammunition on taxpayer-owned property.
Gun exhibits primarily are flea markets for firearms and are a main mechanism by which unlicensed, unregistered and unlawful firearms are trafficked by way of secondary markets. In response to analysis by main coverage organizations, gun exhibits typically create the chance to avoid gun security legal guidelines and are a standard venue for “straw purchases” and unlawful gun transfers.
Gun exhibits are also a significant conduit for the sale of ghost weapons — gun precursor components designed to be assembled right into a firearm. When my workers and I not too long ago visited a gun present, the preferred distributors have been these promoting ghost-gun kits for Glock-like pistols and AR-15-style rifles.
These ghost-gun components had no serial numbers and could possibly be bought with money and carried proper out of the gun present, with no background checks or licensing. These untraceable ghost weapons have turn into a high concern for legislation enforcement.
Even when no unlawful or unlicensed firearms or ghost weapons have been bought at gun exhibits, there nonetheless is a compelling case to finish these exhibits on public property. Gun exhibits are held for one objective: to promote as many weapons and as a lot ammunition as potential. And this has been lethal for California communities.
The Harvard Harm Management Analysis Heart has aggregated the analysis, and the findings are clear: Opposite to the speaking factors of the Nationwide Rifle Affiliation and its acolytes, weapons don’t deter crimes or homicides. Actually, extra weapons imply extra gun violence of all types — homicides, suicides and accidents.
That is true whether or not you evaluate nations, states, counties or households. Extra weapons imply that each dispute, each incident of home violence, each bar battle, each incident of juvenile bullying, has a higher chance of turning lethal.
Though the Second Modification protects the correct to bear arms, it doesn’t require California’s state authorities to actively participate in distributing weapons. We face an ethical and financial disaster from gun violence, and it’s gone time to get California out of the enterprise of promoting weapons. SB 264 is our likelihood to attract a line within the sand and to say loudly and clearly that the nice state of California is not going to revenue from the sale of weapons and contribute to the limitless cycle of gun violence any longer.
SB 264 enjoys extensive help within the Senate and will probably be heard subsequent by the Meeting public security committee on July 13. I encourage you to contact your native Assemblymember and ask her or him to vote aye on the invoice.
Sen. Dave Min, a Democrat from Irvine, represents the thirty seventh Senate District. He wrote this for CalMatters, a public curiosity journalism enterprise dedicated to explaining how California’s Capitol works and why it issues.