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Gov. Jerry Brown and Democrats Gutted CA Criminal Justice System While Passing Scores of Gun Control Laws

The 2nd Amendment’s ‘death by a thousand paper cuts’ about to get a SCOTUS redress – even in California

By Katy Grimes, August 12, 2019 2:27 am

Within minutes of the most recent mass shootings, breathless reporters and opportunistic lawmakers began calling for more gun control laws.  In their haste for politically correct stories, and with visions of legacy legislation dancing in their heads, they neglected to ask the right questions — questions about the nut jobs who committed these heinous crimes.

Many politicians are again pledging to remove all “assault style weapons,” such as the scary looking AR-15.

While the state of California has been letting thousands of criminals out of prison since 2009 under Gov. Jerry Brown’s prison realignment law, California lawmakers are simultaneously proposing dozens of new gun control laws. Looked at separately, the two issues don’t appear necessarily connected. But closer scrutiny shows a dangerous correlation which has completely undermined the state’s Three Strikes law, while disarming law-abiding California citizens.

“Gov. Jerry Brown and the state Legislature pushed and passed a variety of initiatives that gutted the criminal justice system. They did so by weakening parole (AB 109), downgrading a host of crimes to misdemeanors (Prop. 47), and making dangerous felons eligible for release when they have served just a portion of their sentences (Prop. 57),” Michele Hanisee, President of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys explained.

Instead of focusing on the thousands of criminals released under the 2011 AB 109 and the subsequent crime wave, the California Legislature has attempted to divert citizens’ attention by focusing on “gun violence,” taking up dozens of gun control bills every year.

AB 109 was the prison “diversion” law that dumped thousands of criminals from state prisons onto local jails, many subsequently being released into the general public and committing crimes. Following passage of AB 109, the Legislature and Governor deviously passed Assembly Bill 1050, ordering the Board of State and Community Corrections to redefine “recidivism” in an obvious effort to manipulate recidivism statistics.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reports that 75 percent of recidivists commit their re-entry crime within a year of release.  The previous definition of “recidivism” was “arrests,” rather than “convictions,” and it was within one year, not three years.

Additionally, study after study has shown that between 6 percent and 10 percent or criminals are responsible for up to 70 percent of all crimes committed.

Despite the success of the Three Strikes law, and the substantial immediate decrease in California crime rates after passage, Democrats in the state Legislature have been working to undo all of the good which came from the tough-on-crime law.

Yet “states that have experienced one mass shooting will see at least an 16% increase in gun policy legislation introduced within the following year,” said Taylor Day at American Thinker. “Democrat-controlled areas will seek to restrict firearm purchases while Republican-controlled areas will seek to loosen existing gun regulations.  Researchers have a strong consensus that while either policy step regarding firearms may impact “ordinary” gun crimes, they will have zero effect on future mass shootings.”

‘Violent Guns’ or Dangerous People?

In the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller the United States Supreme Court held, “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

“The court has repeatedly reaffirmed that landmark decision. In 2010, the court ruled that this constitutional right applied to the states as it does to the federal government since it is one of those “fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty,” Constitutional attorney Jonathan Turley recently wrote in the Hill.  “Just two years ago, the Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision and held that this right is not confined to firearms ‘in existence at the time of the founding’ but to ‘all instruments that constitute bearable arms’ including, in that specific case, stun guns.”

“Additionally, some Circuit courts are gutting the Second Amendment by claiming it is not really a right. Rather, they say, it is a privilege the government may regulate if the government thinks it might do some good to regulate it,” Ammoland explained.  “These Jurists seem embarrassed by the Second Amendment. They seem to believe their job is to limit it as much as possible, rather than to protect it as a fundamental right.”

‘Assault Style Weapons’

The AR-15 and other weapons in its class use an intermediate cartridge that actually is less powerful than that used in a rifle. These weapons are often twice as powerful as a handgun but not nearly as powerful as a rifle. Moreover, guns like the AR-15 are popular because they are modular and allow for different grips and barrels.

Kavanaugh wrote a dissent in a 2011 case saying that an assault weapons ban would be unconstitutional.

Courthouse News reports:

“In March, A federal judge Friday declared California’s ban on high-capacity gun magazines over 10 rounds unconstitutional, blocking the state from enforcing the voter-approved ban outlined in Proposition 63.”

“U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, a George W. Bush appointee, prefaced the introduction to his 86-page order released Friday afternoon granting summary judgment in favor of gun owner Virginia Duncan and the California Pistol & Rifle Association by stating ‘individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts.’”

“Individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts,” San Diego-based U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez wrote. He called the law that would have banned possessing any magazines holding more than 10 bullets unconstitutional.

“The Second Amendment does not exist to protect the right to bear down pillows and foam baseball bats. It protects guns and every gun is dangerous,” Benitez wrote.

He added that if the “too lethal” standard is applied, the government may eventually decide the only guns “safe” to possess and powerful enough to provide self-defense may only hold a single round of ammunition.

California is Not Immune From 2nd Amendment

CNS News: Benitez added, “This decision is a freedom calculus decided long ago by Colonists who cherished individual freedom more than the subservient security of a British ruler. The freedom they fought for was not free of cost then, and it is not free now.”

Tiffany Cheuvront, an attorney for the California Rifle and Pistol Association, one of the plaintiffs in the case, said, “who’s to say that 10 rounds is not enough” to protect yourself in a home invasion? “Who’s to say that 20 rounds is not enough? When you have people coming into your home and trying to commit a crime against you, you don’t know what’s enough — and it’s up to you to protect your family.”

“At the core of the Second Amendment is a citizen’s right to have in his and her home for self-defense common firearms,” wrote Judge Benitez. “As evidenced by California’s own crime statistics, the need to protect one’s self and family from criminals in one’s home has not abated no matter how hard they try. Law enforcement cannot protect everyone.”

Gun “magazines holding more than 10 rounds are ‘arms,'” said the judge, in reference to the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms,” and “individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts.”

He added, “This decision is a freedom calculus decided long ago by Colonists who cherished individual freedom more than the subservient security of a British ruler. The freedom they fought for was not free of cost then, and it is not free now.”

Ninety percent of adult murderers have adult criminal records, with an average adult criminal career of six years or more, including four major adult felony arrests. We need to take the recidivist out of society, rather than removing the guns. It is the social, economic, and  cultural  factors, which determine the criminal mind, and not the weapon of choice.

Katy Grimes

Katy Grimes, the Editor of the California Globe, is a long-time Investigative Journalist covering the California State Capitol, and the co-author of California's War Against Donald Trump: Who Wins? Who Loses?
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2 thoughts on “Gov. Jerry Brown and Democrats Gutted CA Criminal Justice System While Passing Scores of Gun Control Laws

  1. Better for taxpayers that our tax dollars go toward crime prevention and recidivism prevention than to the expensive unreasonably harsh, long mandatory prison sentences that are the leading cause of mass incarceration. (Drug incarceration and for profit prison corporations are the second and third leading causes of mass incarceration.)
    Lenore Anderson, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice, says, “We have to invest in the local level and the strategies that more effectively stop the cycle of crime. We know what the drivers of crime are – mental health, substance abuse, unaddressed trauma – there are effective crime prevention programs at the local level that are better investments to taxpayers.”

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