| What can California do to prevent gun deaths?
by Brian Leubitz
Pull open a Sacramento Bee this morning and you'll find two columns from their two Dans, Morain and Walters, on gun control. Walters points out that we already have the nation's strictest gun control laws:
Californians have the nation's toughest gun control laws, but also own about 40 million pistols, rifles and shotguns. There wasn't much said about law-abiding gun owners, however, as two state legislative committees conducted a hearing Tuesday on "gun violence and firearms law in California."(SacBee)
He's right, of course. We do have some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, but his notion that this somehow means we cannot do more is just plain wrong. As is pointed out by the other Dan (Morain):
Other ideas could make a difference, too: barring chronic alcohol abusers from owning guns; treating the sale of ammunition like the sale of guns by prohibiting felons from buying bullets; and licensing ammunition sellers.
Of course, California can do only so much. Gun enthusiasts can go to Nevada or Arizona, and buy weapons that can't be purchased legally here. But California lawmakers can take steps.(SacBee)
To be sure, violence isn't a question simply of guns. But at the same time, our budget crunch and the conservative anti-tax movement have made it more likely that those prone to violence aren't getting treatment.
Walters also points out that many of the guns used to murder are illegal, an overwhelmingly true statement. However, several of the recent high-profile mass killings were not from illegal weapons. Access to high volume ammunition means that a terrible situation can get much, much worse.
Gun control legislation must come from the federal government, but here in California we can make a start on pushing the conversation. And few conversations were more worthy of happening.