“Gun violence is the last thing our communities and children should have to fear during a public health crisis. Background checks can save lives and DOJ’s firearms operations help make that happen. At the California Department of Justice, we’ll keep doing our part to keep firearms out of the hands of violent and dangerous individuals.”
That was California attorney general Xavier Becerra last week, but his announcement failed to cite any example of actual “gun violence.” The former congressman, once on Hillary Clinton’s short list as a running mate, was hailing raids that confiscated firearms from people who had committed no crime.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the state DOJ mounted “a dozen operations to confiscate firearms and ammunition possessed by owners who failed background checks.” This is the background check California requires for all purchases of ammunition. Failing this particular check is not the same as committing a crime.
From last July 1, when the program kicked in, until December, 2019, the state ran 345,000 background checks and rejected a full 62,000 Californians legally entitled to purchase ammunition. The 62,000 included off-duty sheriff’s deputies purchasing shotgun shells to hunt ducks. Database discrepancies meant the 62,000 had somehow “failed” a background check, implying malfeasance. The law-abiding gun owners then became “prohibited persons,” barred from purchasing ammunition and exercising their Second Amendment rights.
Attorney Ari Freilich of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, told reporters that dangerous people were “committing a serious crime trying to acquire a product designed to take human life,” and that the background check system was working as intended. The outright confiscation of firearms in April, 2020, confirms that this is the case.
Federal judge Roger Benitez ruled that the ammunition law defies common sense and burdens Second Amendment rights, but last month the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted Becerra’s request to reinstate the background checks. As Becerra plans further “operations,” Gov. Gavin Newsom is mounting a surge on a different front.
The governor is tapping UCLA and UC San Francisco to train an “army” of “coronavirus detectives” to “test, trace and isolate people who may have been infected.” That includes those who have no symptoms at all, but are still capable of infecting others. By that standard, Newsom’s army could trace and isolate just about anybody, so Californians might wonder about those doing the tracing.
The governor will redeploy state employees with “the right kind of background cultural sensitivity, cultural competency, different language skills, a health mindset.” On the other hand, according to Politico, the first group of tracers, in San Francisco, included city librarians, attorneys and investigators, “many with no health care background.”
As the California Globe has learned, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will not impose penalties for violations of the HIPPA privacy rule for “public health and health oversight activities during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.” How long the “trace force” will be deployed remains something of a mystery.
Unlike President Trump, Gavin Newsom does not take questions from reporters in real time and under emergency powers he functions like an autocrat. When thousands of embattled Californians stream to the state Capitol, they find access blocked by blackshirted CHP staatspolizei in full riot gear. Attorney general Becerra has no problem with it, and Californians might recall his record at protecting communities from violent criminals.
In recent years, the MS-13 gang has imposed a “reign of terror” in Mendota, near Fresno, with at least 14 brutal murders. Federal agents, not the state AG, took the lead in prosecuting the gang, and when federal officials made arrests, Becerra made it clear he was not concerned about the gang members’ “status.” The MS-13 reign of terror, and murders of police officers by criminal illegals, prompted no raids like the ones Becerra is now inflicting on those who fail the rigged background checks.
Meanwhile, according to Politico, Newsom’s 20,000-strong trace force “could serve as a template for the nation and create a whole new sector of public health workers.” It certainly could, as people across the country might think, especially those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic. In reality, all Newsom’s emergency measures could serve as a template for what the nation might look like under any Democrat currently in contention for the White House.
In the best Kafkaesque style, a government Stasi force could be empowered to track and isolate just about anybody, “until we have a vaccine,” or a “cure.” Illegal aliens, even the criminals among them, would remain a protected and privileged class. As in California, this imported electorate would be supported by American taxpayers.
Law-abiding gun owners, even Sheriff’s deputies, could be blocked from exercising their rights under the Second Amendment, and the First Amendment would also stand at risk. So-called “red flag” laws could empower confiscation of firearms and ammunition from anybody the government doesn’t like.
Disarmament of the people is a prelude to repression, and the targets would be all those deplorables, stricken with various phobias and seeking to get their lives back. The election takes place on November 3. As President Trump says, we’ll have to see what happens.