by Michael A. Schwartz, Executive Director, San Diego County Gun Owners
I just got off the phone with Chula Vista City Council Member John McCann where he spent the entire 20-minute call pretending to be the victim of his own vote at last night’s city council meeting. If you are a Republican who has wondered why California continues to see fewer and fewer elected Republicans, it’s because Democrats stand for something. Without apology or excuse. They stand up for what they believe in and voters respond. Too many Republicans don’t, and then pretend it is good governing. Chula Vista City Council Member John McCann is a great example of the latter.
August 12, Monday night, John pulled me aside at the Republican Central Committee meeting to show me a resolution he opposed. The resolution called for a federal gun ban like the one California has on most rifles produced today, federal red flag laws, a ban on normal capacity firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, and background checks on all firearms transfers nationwide. These are all anti-gun talking points. McCann showed me the resolution and asked me to have a SDCGO Board member talk to Chula Vista Council Member Steve Padilla in hopes of stopping the resolution. John said he would vote against it, but honestly… we talked about that like his “no” vote was a given. It should have been a given. We should have all been able to count on McCann.
I told John that I would contact the other City Council members to see if I could get a third vote against the resolution (the second vote against it would definitely be Council Member Mike Diaz).
August 13th, Tuesday, at 11:50 a.m. (yesterday), I received a newer version of the gun ban resolution via email from McCann. There was no message; just the attached resolution. The email contained no information regarding a time or day the resolution would come to council, no indication that John had changed his mind and would vote for it, and no request to talk to me about anything.
I emailed the resolution to Council Member Mike Diaz, and he and I spoke at 1:14 p.m. Diaz did not like the resolution and told me the vote was happening that night. I knew we could count on his vote and we talked about possible outcomes. Diaz asked me to submit to the council a letter in opposition, and we hung up positive the resolution would fail to get a majority vote at the council.
I then received an email from Chula Vista Council Member Jill Galvez that turned into a phone call. Galvez and I discussed the resolution and I was confident that she would vote to oppose the it. At 3:36 p.m. I called John and left him a message indicating that it looks like his vote against the resolution would be in the majority. I heard nothing back from McCann and was confident the resolution would rightly fail to pass.
I was wrong.
Last night at the Chula Vista City Council meeting, the resolution supporting a federal gun ban, supporting a federal magazine ban, and supporting a federal Red Flag law, passed 3 to 2. I couldn’t believe it and was positive there was a mistake.
Republican Mike Diaz and Democrat Jill Galvez voted against it. Democrats Steve Padilla and Mary Salas voted for it. And alleged Republican John McCann, showed his true colors, went back on his word, and joined the ranks of anti-gun extremists by voting in favor of the resolution.
This resolution isn’t some softball, vaguely worded item. It’s really bad and it’s crystal clear. It’s a gun ban presented by gun grabbers. The resolution calls for the “banning the sale of military-style assault weapons” and banning “high capacity magazines or clips that can hold more than 10 bullets.” This would stop the sale of around 80 percent of long gun sales nationwide. It would reinstate the federal “assault weapon” ban that a July 2004 U.S. Justice Department study authored by Christopher Koper, titled Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban: Impacts on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003, proved had no impact on crime.
However, don’t let the awfulness of the resolution distract you from McCann’s bizarre behavior. He asked me for help whipping votes against the resolution; I helped him get the votes he needed; he didn’t return my phone message to him; and then he voted for the resolution he said he abhorred.
That brings me back to this morning. After texting McCann, he called me to try and explain himself. His explanation was that the vote didn’t affect Chula Vista gun owners because they are already living under these horrible gun laws; that it won’t actually result in any action so why worry about it; that he supports the legality of all the draconian gun laws in California; and then he seemed to imply that part of the reason he voted for the resolution was because one of SDCGO’s board members once supported his political opponent — during an election even before the formation of SDCGO. McCann claimed he called me several times Tuesday and that I didn’t return his calls. I took a screenshot of my call to him at 3:34 p.m. and asked him to do the same. Of course, he was unable to produce.
I asked McCann directly and repeatedly if the resolution supports a gun ban and his answer was “not in Chula Vista” over and over again. Hilariously, he called me a bully for pointing out the facts of the resolution and his support of it. My response to him was that I now feel like I should be careful in public since he seems to have thrown a rock at the last person he called a bully. (See story about McCann’s alleged rock throwing.)
The responses I have received regarding John’s votes show little surprise at his actions.
Republicans, you have no ally in John McCann. Democrats, you have no friend in John McCann. Voters, you have no advocate in John McCann; he’s in it for himself. A week, a month, a year from now, while watching the news you’ll wonder how politics got so bad. Who elects these people? How do they get into office? How can they be so dishonest? When that happens, remember John McCann.