Once again, Sacramento’s Progressives believe they have the solution to gun violence in California. This time Senators Steinberg and DeLeon are proposing a comprehensive background check on anyone seeking to purchase ammunition, and to require a one-year permit for ammunition purchases. As usual, they refuse to see the Second Amendment as the right of citizens to determine their own security needs. They believe a government 500 miles away from our city understands what we need to keep ourselves and families safe. This ridiculousness isn’t new, but let’s look at this another way.
Politicians love making bold promises to placate their supporters. Steinberg and DeLeon are no different here. This bill should not pass for several principled reasons but it also should not pass because its goals are not accountable. How it works now is that politicians make vague promises then pass legislation that stays on the books forever with no idea if it ever did what was promised. In the case of programs we pay for them for years with no return on our hard earned tax dollars. In case of laws we give up freedoms for no clear improvement in safety. Now let’s imagine for a change that politicians have to quantify what they propose. What if they defined what success looked liked? How long will take to reach that point? How much are they willing to spend to do it? These things need to be defined before any laws are passed and if they don’t achieve these things they need to automatically expire. Call it my “quantist” approach to these laws.
In the Steinberg and DeLeon case, have they defined how many people won’t die from guns because of this law? How long will are we expected to put up with this until it gets to that point? How much are they willing to spend to background check millions of buyers to meet this goal? Have they placed a provision to expire the law if it fails to match their promises or do they expect us to give up our freedom for nothing? I doubt they ever will quantify it because it will reveal it for the sham proposal it is. As JFK said “numbers can come back to haunt you. Words can always be explained away.” It’s time to haunt our politicians with numbers so we can hold them accountable.