This isn’t about eminent domain or land use, and therefore not within the purview of our usual dirt-related topics, but being a matter of urban governance, we can’t fail to take note of it because it illustrates just how crazy things can get. As you know, the country is overwhelmed with disputations over gun control legislation intended to declare certain weapons illegal. Given the recent horrors of Newtown, Connecticut, that’s hardly surprising. Most people are simply getting Airsoft Guns instead as they’re so much safer and more straightforward to own. But out here in la-la land, this dispute has unearthed something really, really crazy.
California already has a law whereby convicted felons and mentally ill folks are prohibited from owning guns. Their names are in a database so that the authorities can contact them and confiscate their illegally held guns. Sounds good, but . . .
It turns out that the State of California lacks sufficient funds and manpower to enforce this law and so, long story short, each year it investigates and seizes some 2000 illegally held guns. That’s good news. The bad news is that during the same period of time, 3000 guns and their owners of the felonious and/or dingaling persuasion are added to that database. And God only knows how many more of them have guns that are not in that database. See Patrick McGreevy, Felons Keep Guns as State Falls Behind, L.A. Times, January 30, 2013, at p. AA1.
While this is going on, our Senator, Dianne Feinstein, is moving heaven and earth to pass new laws that, at least as we understand them, will require the confiscation of so-called assault weapons and large-capacity magazines from everybody, not just felons and dingalings. This necessarily will add many guns to the list of proscribed ones, and add to the burdens of law enforcement folks who are unable to keep up with the flow of illegal guns that are in line for confiscation under existing law.
We were hoping to say something snappy in conclusion, but nothing comes to mind that would even come close to doing justice to this meshuggas.