‘Poor choices should have consequences,” state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson said about her support of SB 755, a bill that inextricably ties DUI convictions and gun control. I agree with the quote in general. When voters make a poor decision in electing representatives like Ms. Jackson, rueful consequences do abound.
There is no doubt that driving under the influence is dangerous, reckless, and irresponsible. But, by definition, there are very few people in this world that get behind the wheel with the intention of harming others. By definition, their judgement and ability to drive is impaired, and they should be punished accordingly. But, SB 755 applies gun control to individuals convicted of a DUI without regard to evidence that they possess any propensity or proclivity to use a gun recklessly or in the commission of a crime. There is absolutely no connection between a DUI and the propensity for gun violence that would justify connecting these two disparate crimes together in a bill, and I dare Ms. Jackson to prove me wrong on this point.
Most gun violence in our community, state and nation is committed by hardened criminals, namely gang-bangers and career criminals, in the commission of a crime. Most of these people have long records of multiple crimes and existing law prohibits these same persons from having guns in their possession. The people already covered by existing law include those that have been convicted of violent crime, gang affiliation, and those who are suffering from certain disabilities resulting in impaired judgement that could lead to acts of violence against themselves and others. Unlike SB 755, existing law makes sense because most of these people have already proven themselves capable of violent behavior.
It is common knowledge that violent crime rates are down in California due to one law in particular and that is the Three Strikes Law which locks up habitual felons for the rest of their lives, whereas, SB 755 will take away guns from people who have never been convicted of any crime except the DUI. In fact, SB 755 majors in the minors as most of the offenses it ties to gun prohibitions are misdemeanors, not felonies.
Why not add distracted drivers to the list of people who can no longer own, purchase, receive, possess or have in their custody a firearm for 10 years after a second conviction? We know that texting while driving constitutes impaired driving. Why not take away the 2nd Amendment rights of these “criminals” too?
The bitter irony? Ms. Jackson and her colleagues are doing precious little to ameliorate the dire circumstances having to do with violent criminals being released from prison before their sentence is up. Why doesn’t she concentrate her efforts on keeping these people behind bars rather than supporting this brazen, blatant attempt to justify taking away the 2nd Amendment rights of the citizenry on a lark? Ms. Jackson should be embarrassed she is supporting SB 755 as it reflects her utter disregard for the Constitution and her disdain for the well-being and intellect of the citizenry.
Andy Caldwell is the executive director of COLAB and host of the Andy Caldwell Show, weekdays from 3 to 5 p.m., on AM 1290 News-Press Radio.
Cross-posted in the Santa Barbara News Press.