Governor Gavin Newsom used his inauguration to a second term to boast that “California has been freedom’s force multiplier.”
Governor Newsom is right in a sense, but certainly not in the way he intended.
Under Governor Newsom’s watch, the number of criminals set free in California to commit more crimes has multiplied. Store owners and California residents walking home at night do not feel safe as the number of smash-and-grab-style burglaries and follow-home robberies has multiplied.
Under Governor Newsom’s watch, the number of homeless people living freely on the streets, leaving sidewalks full of their drug paraphernalia and garbage, has multiplied.
Under Governor Newsom’s watch, the number of illegal immigrants residing in California who are getting freebies courtesy of Newsom’s “sanctuary state” has multiplied. California’s taxpayers have contributed $75 million for cash payments to illegal immigrants during the COVID pandemic. California taxpayers are also paying the tab for health benefits granted to illegal immigrants within certain age brackets and Governor Newsom has proposed adding over 700,000 more illegal immigrants to the gravy train starting next year. The total estimated cost will be $2.3 billion, with $1.8 billion coming from the General Fund, at full implementation.
No wonder under Governor Newsom’s watch, the number of California residents and businesses exercising their freedom to move to other states with less taxes, less onerous regulations, and less crime has multiplied.
When it comes to protecting Californians’ freedoms of speech, worship, assembly, and the right to keep and bear arms, Governor Newsom’s California has been freedom’s infringement multiplier.
Freedom of Speech – Governor Newsom signed a law recently empowering the Medical Board of California to discipline physicians who “disseminate” information regarding Covid-19 that departs from the so-called “contemporary scientific consensus,” which is undefined and ever changing. This law is a clear violation of the First Amendment’s right to free speech. As The New Civil Liberties Alliance, which has brought a lawsuit on behalf of several physicians challenging the constitutionality of the new law, stated: “The law not only interferes with the ability of doctors and their patients to freely communicate, but it has already been used as a weapon to intimidate and punish doctors who dissent from mainstream views… In safeguarding Americans’ rights to free speech and expression, the First Amendment applies not only to the expression of majority opinions, but to minority views as well.”
Freedom of Religion and Assembly – Governor Newsom’s executive order placed a ban on people assembling for prayer in places of worship during the height of the COVID pandemic in 2020. Meanwhile the governor not only permitted, but endorsed, mass public protests in California during 2020 in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. Governor Newsom thereby discriminated in favor of allowing huge numbers of demonstrators to gather together while stomping on other peoples’ constitutional right to assemble (in far fewer numbers) for the purpose of freely exercising their religious beliefs. Governor Newsom’s order also treated other group secular activities more favorably than religious group worship.
Right to Keep and Bear Arms – Governor Newsom is a fierce opponent of the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms. He denounced the United States Supreme Court for striking down a New York law that had severely limited people from carrying guns outside the home – a law similar to one in California.
A federal district court judge’s 2019 decision struck down a California law prohibiting the acquisition and possession of firearm magazines able to hold any more than 10 rounds. He wrote that the prohibition “directly infringes Second Amendment rights,” noting that the firearm magazines “are commonly used by responsible, law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes such as self-defense.”
The same judge who rendered this decision, District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez, subsequently struck down California’s assault weapons ban on Second Amendment grounds.
Governor Newsom unleashed his fury at the federal judge, smearing him as a “wholly-owned subsidiary of the gun lobby and the National Rifle Association.”
California Rifle and Pistol Association President C.D. Michel responded with an observation that applies to all of Governor Newsom’s attacks on the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. “Newsom can stomp his feet all he wants, but the Constitution will win the day,” Mr. Michel wrote.
Governor Newsom demonstrated his “rules for thee, but not for me” attitude about restrictions on freedoms during the pandemic when he and other bigwigs dined without a mask or social distancing at a fancy French restaurant. At the same time, ordinary Californians were expected to abide by rules stipulating the use of both precautions to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
In another example of his double standard, Governor Newsom sent his children back to private school for in-person learning while many public schools across California remained closed because of COVID-19.
“Bound by our live-and-let-live embrace of personal freedom,” Governor Newsom said in his inaugural address. Criminals back on the streets, homeless people living in the streets, and illegal immigrants enjoying freebies courtesy of the California “sanctuary state” would no doubt agree. However, more than 100,000 law-abiding California residents voted with their feet during 2022 to escape from California to true freedom-loving states like Florida and Texas.