Champions and Tyrants

Champions and Tyrants

The Battle of Thermopylae

Don Quixote

Pickett’s Charge

It is a noble idea that there are some conflicts, even where the resulting defeat is inevitable, that must still be joined with extreme ferocity.  I have included Miguel de Cervantes’ character of Don Quixote for a reason.  He is a tragic character, a cuckold driven to the point of insanity and desperation to find a reason for his own existence; he pretended to battle with windmills.  One could argue that he was well aware that the buildings he called “dragons” were nothing more than farming structures, yet the only way he could maintain his dignity was to accept an alternate reality wherein he was a knight of the church doing battle against demons.

We often look at our pro-gun legislators… (yes, there actually are a couple)… and see that they will introduce bills aimed to protect our freedoms.  Yet, we sadly do little to acknowledge them.  Sure, we give them the occasional “like” on Facebook, or read approvingly an article that references their bill, but we, as gun owners, typically focus our energies on the negative.  We shake our fists at the petite tyrants who would usurp our freedoms… but rarely do we shake the hands of those who go into the lion’s den and try, however doomed that attempt might be, to fight for the cause of freedom.

Let’s look at two recent items that have come up in the new legislative session:

(If you have arrived here from our newsletter, continue reading here…)

AB-1394:  This bill was killed in the Public Safety Committee this last week.  Assemblyman Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach, who has announced his run for Governor of the ungovernable State of California (and who is also an Artemis client), argued passionately for this bill.  It would effectively delete the requirement of “good cause” for the issuance of a CCW.  Many of you are well aware that the “good cause” requirement differs wildly between jurisdictions.  In Orange County, the “good cause” is interpreted in a manner in which a reasonable law-abiding citizen has an extremely high probability of attaining a permit.  In Shasta County, the “good cause” requirement is essentially read as “the applicant wants a permit.”  In Los Angeles and San Francisco, it means you are a celebrity or FOS (Friend of the Sheriff).  This creates the irony that a resident of Orange County, who has a permit, can carry into Los Angeles, but a resident of Los Angeles cannot carry outside his door.  (One day I would like to see this challenged on an Equal Protection Theory…. Who knows… if there are any Los Angeles residents out there who would consider being a plaintiff, give me a buzz.)

Allen argued his position, and the merits of changing the law.  He was eloquent, passionate, and above all else… eminently logical.

His bill never made it out of Committee.

The outcome was not surprising, but the sheer fact that it was brought up in the first place deserves recognition, and a “thank you.”

Next we have SB-710, sponsored by State Senator Joel Anderson, R-38th District.  This bill would have allowed the use of suppressors for the legal pursuit of game.  For those of you who don’t hunt, this might require some explanation.  When we hunt (with rifles), we don’t wear hearing protection.  For the successful hunter this really does not make a tremendous difference.  When we are at the point that we have an animal in our sights, and we press the trigger, our adrenaline is at such an accelerated level we actually don’t hear the gun… or if we do, the sound of the report is manageable.  When we must, unfortunately, take follow-up shots, the sound of the rifle can be debilitating.

Those that are participating in the hunt with us… our guides, or friends, or family members, often do not have the advance warning that the hunter is about to press the trigger.  If you have ever been at a rifle range without wearing hearing protection, you know how potentially dangerous this can be to someone’s ears.  The use of suppressors poses absolutely no danger to the public.  The use of suppressors on a rifle while hunting provides only benefits to the hunters, and their hunting partners.  Again… this was an eminently logical bill.

It died in Committee, too.

Senator Anderson is well aware that many of the citizens of California have a misguided and ill-informed understanding of managed hunting.  Few understand that the North American Game Management Model has done more to create thriving populations of deer, elk, and bear.  He is also aware that the anti-gunners have little interest in expanding the rights of gun owners.  Still, he went to bat for us.  We must recognize his efforts, and thank him for his support.

Then there is the other side…

Senator Antony Portantino, D-25th District, was back at it again.  His Quixotic war with guns has been focused on those who sell them.  He attempted, last year, to make the security measures that FFLs needed to go through so onerous… so expensive, that few, if any, gun stores would be capable of doing business in the Golden State.   In this session he came up with a new idea… mandate that every FFL in California MUST be inspected by the Department of Justice every two years.  At first blush this seems reasonable, until you look at the rationale and the cost.  Every FFL that does business in California knows that at any time a DOJ inspector, or an ATF investigator, can come into the FFL’s business and demand to do an inspection.  These inspections take anywhere from a couple of days to a week to perform.  There are a limited amount of DOJ inspectors, and, with the new ammunition laws in effect, there are now more records that need to be inspected.  For what purpose does this mandatory inspection serve?  Who benefits from this?  What pressing problem will now be thwarted by the implementation of this law?  What we do know is that there will need to be a lot more inspectors hired.  The cost to the State will increase, and the cost to the consumer will also naturally go up.

This one passed through the Committee without any problems at all.

I urge you… contact Assemblyman Allen and Senator Anderson, and thank them for their service, and their attempts at protecting our freedom.  Then pour yourself a glass of whisky, and contact Senator Portantino, and, ummm… let him know what you think of him.

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