U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is pushing to export California’s gun control to the rest of the nation. And she is doing it via her efforts to renew the failed federal “assault weapons” ban.
The ban, which was in place from 1994 to 2004, correlated with lower crime, yet even the The New York Times admitted that there is no evidence that the drop in crime was a result of the “assault weapons” ban (and in fact, crime continued to drop long after the ban was allowed to expire.) Rather, the Times suggested that the ban was an extension of “the assault weapon myth” propagated by Democrats in the 1990s; a time when they were desperate to reduce the “gun crime” that was raging out of control.
… if her push leaves you scratching your head, just recall all the gun control she supported while attorney general of California.Despite the ban’s dismal past, Harris wants to revive it. And if her push leaves you scratching your head, just recall all the gun control she supported while attorney general of California. After all, it was Harris who pleaded with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to rehear Peruta v. City of San Diego after a three-judge panel struck down California’s “good cause” requirement for issuing concealed-carry permits.
On Feb. 13, 2014, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the three-judge panel ruled against the “good cause” requirement by a vote of 2-1. And Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain’s majority opinion emphasized “the right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable arm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense.” Harris and other gun control proponents quickly swung into action, asking the 9th Circuit to hear the case en banc, thereby giving the court a chance to reverse its own decision.
The court agreed to rehear the case, and on June 9, 2016, ruled in favor of the “good cause” requirement, effectively ruling against any inherent, fundamental right to carry a gun concealed on one’s person for self-defense. In fact, Judge William Fletcher wrote the majority opinion, saying, “We hold that the Second Amendment does not preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public.”
That was the ruling Harris wanted.
And the year before the Ninth Circuit upheld the “good cause” requirement, Harris was in the spotlight supporting a law prohibiting gun store owners from advertising handguns in a way that was visible from outside the store. The San Diego Union-Tribune quoted Harris saying:
Those people, who otherwise might not enter the store, might respond on impulse to an advertisement in the store by entering and purchasing a handgun—indeed, that is the self-evident purpose of that kind of advertising, to draw people in and induce them to purchase a handgun.
With these things understood, it is easier to see that Harris’ current push for an “assault weapons” ban did not emerge out of vacuum.Think about it—guns are not only legal but constitutional. They differ from other products insomuch as the right to keep and bear them is protected by the Second Amendment. Yet Harris fought to be sure store owners who sold guns could not advertise those guns in a way that the outside world could see (which kind of defeats the point of advertising).
With these things understood, it is easier to see that Harris’ current push for an “assault weapons” ban did not emerge out of vacuum. It is but one of many gun control schemes she supported in California and continues to support even now, as a sitting U.S. senator. And it is worth noting that she is pushing the ban despite its obvious failure in California. After all, the ban has not stopped determined, high-profile killers from carrying out their attacks.
Consider Dec. 2, 2015, when two terrorists used AR-15s to kill 14 co-workers in San Bernardino. Or June 1, 2016, when a firearm-based murder-suicide caught the nation’s attention on the gun-free UCLA campus. Or the Oct. 8, 2016, ambush of two Palm Springs police officers by a suspect in possession of a stolen “assault weapon.” Or the April 18, 2017, attack that killed three in Fresno.
The message is clear: Gun laws do not hinder criminals, but they do put law-abiding citizens at a marked disadvantage.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.