This is My Weapon, This is My Gun 102611
This is for fighting, this is for fun.
The Governor General and the legislature worked overtime to govern us again this year, with the result being over 750 new laws, several of which were probably necessary.
We’ll never know and mostly probably don’t care about the majority of those laws, some of which only made hair thin changes to existing laws. But several of them are worthy of note.
First, the bad news. California continues its assault on the right of the citizen to defend her or himself against other citizens, or against a government which has become too oppressive. One of the indicators that a government has become too oppressive is when it curtails your rights to keep and bear arms.
The Prospect has already noted that the right to bear arms in California was efficiently trounced when Governor General Brown signed AB 144 which denies Californians the right to openly carry an unloaded handgun. The justification, that cops can’t tell if the gun is unloaded or not, is crap on the face of it. Nowhere does the 2nd Amendment state cops have to be comfortable with the guns we have. In a free country the laws reflect the power and liberty of the citizens. In California, by contrast, they reflect the comfort level of cops.
Firearms are scary.
Brown also signed AB 809, which requires that registration information on rifles and shotguns be kept just as handgun registration is retained. As an example of how oppressive government serves as its own justification, Brown signed with the statement: “Since the state already retains handgun purchaser information, I see no reason why the state should not also retain information pertaining to the sales of long guns.” The reason, Governor General Brown, is to protect gun owners from the government. It was an affront to our freedom to protect ourselves when you kept files on handgun owners, and since no one could stop you from doing that, you’ll go ahead and do the same thing with long guns. Well, we can’t stop you this time, either.
It is possible the pernicious war on the right to self-defense has been stopped on one front. Lawsuits from firearms advocates have stopped his signing AB 427, the “stop people from buying ammo” bill. Brown vetoed the bill because of the law suits, but showed no indication of the negative impact this bill would have had on firearms owners, particularly rural owners. It would have dramatically increased the record keeping burden on ammunition purchasers and sellers, and would likely have driven some of our few remaining ammo sales locations in the county out of business.
Brown did sign AB 819, which authorizes point of sale revenue, which in the past has been used to pay for the program of registration, to be used by law enforcement to investigate Armed and Prohibited Persons. Taking administrative funds to do law enforcement work will likely strain record keepers and almost certainly add to the ridiculously high cost of buying a gun in Cal. Armed and Prohibited Persons are those who once legally bought a firearm, but because of some event, they were busted with drugs, they were convicted of domestic violence, they’ve been held on a mental health issue (about a third of the total), they are no longer allowed to own guns. There are about 20 people a day added to a database of over 18,000 people who California has successfully denied the 2nd Amendment to.
Gun advocates applaud his signing of AB 610, which standardizes the application for concealed carry across the state. That this bill makes them happy is an indicator of how deeply the rot has spread into our 2nd Amendment rights. Half a million firearms were sold in California last year; over ten million in the country. There are 88 firearms for every 100 people in the country. Still, our democratic urge can’t protect the 2nd Amendment.
Switching from weapons to guns, there are 50 guns for every 100 people in California, and they were impacted by a new law, too. Brown signed a bill making it illegal for subservient governments, counties and cities, to ban infant male genital mutilation, also called “circumcision.” Circumcision typically involved the surgical removal, using anesthetics or not, of the foreskin of the penis. This barbaric custom, though less horrifying than many forms of female genital mutilation (some of which are unbelievably cruel) strips the protective skin from the tip of the penis. In children, this skin typically remains over the glans of the penis, and is analogous to the hymen in baby girls. So far, in the U.S., no one has recommended a hymenectomy for neonate females. In adult men, the lack of a foreskin can cause a loss of suppleness and sensitivity to the glans. As with other forms of genital mutilation, circumcision is often associated with religions, who are generally obsessed with genitalia. About 30% of the men in the world are circumcised, nearly all for religious reasons. Jews, Muslims and some Christian sects require male genital mutilation. Most circumcised men in the world are Muslim; the practice is not widespread in most modern nations, with the exception, of course, of the United States, which joins in other theocracies to keep the practice legal.
There are a number of medical justifications for the process, but most are simply belief. There is no evidence cut men are cleaner than uncut men, though there is some indication that circumcised men are somewhat less likely to contract HIV, are somewhat protected from penile cancer, and suffer slightly fewer urinary tract infections. However, the numbers are so small as to preclude routine circumcision of neonate males. It’s a barbaric and primitive practice, which in several nations is considered assault or sexual assault.
As a result of the law, stealing a man’s foreskin before he can complain on his own behalf is still legal in California. However, if it’s unloaded, he better not show it in public.
Not a real gun. There were plenty of circumcision photos on the internet, but we didn’t think most of our readers would want to see one.
However, there was some good news for those who like to bump their guns. New laws ensure that lesbians, gays, bi and transgendered people are allowed to live their lives without formal or informal harassment, and that is a great leap forward in personal freedom for LGBT people, and so for all of us. Indeed, you wouldn’t imagine it would be necessary to, for example, pass a law requiring colleges to be sure that all people are treated equally, regardless of who or how they love. But we did, and we now have that.
There were also bills ensuring the equality of all couples, and allowing non-biological parents, for example a gay parent, to shelter or adopt a kid. There was a bill preventing bullying on the basis of sexual or gender preference; the law didn’t specify who local bullies could pick on, and this is another necessary law that shouldn’t have been necessary.
Indeed, the real problem with all these new laws is the acceptance of the idea that we don’t have freedoms unless the government specifically grants and guarantees them. Gay kids already had the right to be who they are without being punished by bullies formal and informal. Having the state pass a bill giving them that protection fails to acknowledge that the state already failed these Americans.
California now officially acknowledges that being gay is historical, having forced schools to acknowledge their history.
It’s better for people who want to get rid of their guns, too. A couple of new laws protect transgender people from having their Creator bestowed rights taken away. It also makes it easier for TG people to have their sex changed in official documents.
The Governor General and the legislature also jiggered with our presidential voting procedures. We aren’t voting early in the game this year, it’s going back to June. We took a loss, though, when Brown signed the “National Popular Vote Law” which gives all our electoral college votes to one winner, instead of distributing them proportionally. The EC already separates our vote from who gets elected; the winner take all process makes the problem worse, since everyone who didn’t vote for the majority candidate loses their vote completely, and to the victor. The current system favors states with small population. Supporters contend it will prevent the electoral college from electing someone different from the popular vote, but that doesn’t really seem true. The measure is supported by some fair vote groups, but is a step in the wrong direction. Schwarzenegger vetoed the law in 2007 because it prevented all areas in the state from being counted. At a time when we should abolish the electoral college, Brown and the legislators essentially strengthened the EC. Nice work, pendajos.
The gang stood up for renters’ right to recycle, like that was a big right people were losing; we’ll beat your 2nd Amendment rights senseless, but stick up for your right to recycle. Naturally it makes someone do something: apartment owners have to make it easier for renters to recycle; most could already recycle by supporting a recycling center. And I thought the spirit of the revolution was dead!
In exchange, you lost the right not to specify if you are an organ donor or not on your driver’s license. Should you have a car crash, investigators on scene will be able to know what the scrap value of your car is, and what your eyes and kidneys are worth. Speaking as someone with no salvage value to speak of, it’s a bad law, and everyone should decide where they want their parts to go when they die, or the government might simply give them to someone.
Among the rest of the laws is one that really will make a difference to the average on-line buyer, which many of us in rural areas are. The “Amazon Law” effects not just the internet giant, but over 25,000 affiliates in California. Those affiliates are mostly small business people, and if they make over $10,000 a year through Amazon, they have to pay taxes. This might seem like a good thing, but these are sales taxes; Brown and Crew are simply finding a new way to tax us. This law is in effect now.
All in all, the new laws represent a mostly backward step for liberty, but we’d like to remind the Free and Brave that such laws are for your own good.