Before parents had even identified their dead children after Tuesday’s horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, California Gov. Gavin Newsom Tweeted about gun violence and crowed that California’s gun control laws work, implying there would be more to come.
Children are dead. https://t.co/IEU1ZR7Zle
— Katy Grimes (@KATYSaccitizen) May 25, 2022
Wednesday, undeterred by political inappropriateness, Newsom held a press conference to announce he would be signing the 12 new gun control bills lawmakers drafted overnight, and said “when California moves, other states move.”
“Never let a crisis go to waste,” comes to mind with this haste. This statement is the infamous mantra from a top official in the Obama administration, and attributed to “Rules for Radicals” author Saul Alinsky.
It appears that Gov. Newsom takes those words to heart.
“So many are feeling anxiety and fear. I hope you look to the state,” Gov. Newsom said, claiming that gun control states have better outcomes and less gun violence.
Only minutes into the press conference, Gov. Newsom said, “I wasn’t going to bring this up but…” and then he criticized Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s press conference earlier in the day. Newsom cited CDC statistics claiming that Texas has 67% more violent gun episodes than California.
Newsom wasn’t going to say anything, but happened to have CDC stats handy.
“This state is going to lean in, we are leaning forward. Consider California as an anecdote to all of the above,” Newsom said. “We mean business, we are resolved We’re going to turn this around.”
“Don’t give in to the cynicism and all that crap you heard today in that press conference (with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott),” Newsom said, “and the perversion of the Second Amendment.” He said the Second Amendment needs “well-regulated gun policy.”
Notably, in his press conference, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott praised the response of police officers who stopped the attack from getting any worse. One officer who responded to the shooting lost a daughter in the attack, he said.
A Sacramento reporter noted that California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, yet there was a “mass shooting” only a few blocks from the Capitol recently. “Will more gun laws help?” he asked Gov. Newsom. Then the reporter asked about hardening (security) at schools, while Gov. Newsom laughed.
Rather than answering, Gov. Newsom said, “we know these policies work to save lives.”
Another reporter addressed the gun control bill Newsom proposed, and signed into law Tuesday, authored by Sen. Bob Hertzberger, SB 1327, which allows private citizens to sue gun manufacturers, modeling his proposal after the framework used in the Texas law banning abortions past six weeks. “How legally sound can this be?” the reporter asked.
“Don’t take my word for it, take the Supreme Court’s word. It’s modeled after the Texas abortion law,” Newsom said.
As the Globe has reported, The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (2005) is supposed to protect manufacturers from lawsuits going after the gun rather than the person who pulled the trigger.
In June 2021, the Globe reported that District Judge Roger T. Benitez threw out California’s 32-year ban on assault weapons, while also clarifying the deliberate and incorrect use of the label “assault weapon.”
So Gov. Newsom instead called the federal judges who have overturned California’s illegal gun laws “extremists” and “radicals.”
“Are you fast-tracking these bills with urgency clauses,” another reporter asked. Gov. Newsom said he’s working with legislative leaders and is hopeful some bills will be expedited.
“The problem is you’ve got all of these politicians bought and paid for by special interests,” Newsom said when asked about federal legislation.
A reporter called Newsom out for conflating the Texas law banning abortions but allowing abortion providers to challenge the six-week ban, with California’s new law to allow private citizens to sue gun manufacturers.
“We need to get dangerous guns and weapons of war off the street,” Newsom said, not answering. And then he walked away.
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