California Dodges Bullet By Halting High-Capacity Magazine Ban

The Golden State has dodged a bullet by reneging its plan to implement a statewide high-capacity magazine ban forbidding residents from possessing firearm magazines exceeding 10 rounds. The law would have gone into effect tomorrow, July 1st.

A federal judge — U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez– issued a preliminary injunction yesterday in Duncan v. Beccera, which put a stay (or blocked) the high-capacity magazine ban law set to be implemented tomorrow. This is a case being brought by San Diego gun owners and the California Rifle & Pistol Association with support from the National Rifle Association. The ban was passed last year by the Democrat-dominated California state legislature in Sacramento.

 

“If this injunction does not issue, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of otherwise law-abiding citizens will have an untenable choice: become an outlaw or dispossess one’s self of lawfully acquired property,” Benitez wrote. “That is a choice they should not have to make.”

The NRA issued a statement in support of the injunction.

“California’s attempt to ban the possession of standard capacity magazines is unconstitutional, and an affront to law-abiding gun owners who have safely, and lawfully owned these tools for decades,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action.  “This injunction is a huge win for California gun owners who have long-suffered under a state government hostile to the Second Amendment.”

 

Senate Bill 1446–which was passed after the San Bernardino terrorist attack–would have made the possession of a high-capacity magazine a punishable offense. Had the bill gone into effect on July 1, the law would have made it a crime and offense punishable by a fine of $100 for the first offense, $250 for the second offense, and $500 for the third or subsequent offense. Moreover, anyone in lawful possession of a large (or high-capacity) magazine before July 1st would have to surrender their magazines to local law enforcement. As of 2000, California currently bans magazines exceeding 10 rounds.

These attempts to ban bullets or high-capacity magazines is largely rooted in misunderstanding about the purpose of having extra bullets on hand with respect to self-defense. Since magazines and other “scary”  firearms components are maligned and chastised by elites in entertainment, media, and academia, politicians have knee-jerk reactions to ban gun components they are unfamiliar with–by setting their sights on law-abiding gun owners while ignoring criminals who violate gun laws in place.

Nevertheless, this is an encouraging step in the right direction for gun owners in my home state of California. Let’s hope their case gets further consideration and that Second Amendment rights can be restored there.

Texas and Tennessee Mock Meddlesome California’s Quixotic Travel Bans

California’s tolerance knows no bounds, except when traveling to conservative states like Texas and Tennessee, where the left-coast brand of virtue signaling doesn’t fly so high.

The Golden State banned state-funded travel to the two states, along with Alabama, South Dakota and Kentucky for supporting such things as Texas’ protecting religious adoption agencies against being forced to provide same-sex families adoption services. When faced with that choice in Massachusetts, Catholic adoption organizations closed down versus violating their own conscience.

The moral busybodies on the left coast seem to believe that they’re somehow superior to all the other states, and therefore get to dictate what is and isn’t acceptable. It’s laughable and worthy of being mocked without shame or mercy.

For his part, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott didn’t hold back pointing out that many businesses and individuals are fleeing California for such places as Texas, where the business climate is measurably friendlier.

“California might be able to stop their state employees, but they can’t stop all the businesses that are fleeing over taxation and regulation, and relocating to Texas,” said Gov. Greg Abbott‘s press secretary, John Wittman.

But we all realize that California’s little tirade has no teeth at all. It’s just political grandstanding and moral preening.

Several Texas political leaders saw right through the stunt, citing the hypocrisy of Gov. Jerry Brown’s visit to China, where LGBT rights are practically non-existent. California doesn’t ban travel to China…but they do oppose another kind of travel ban.

It’s funny how the very state that is so adamantly against keeping terrorists out of our country — they oppose the President’s travel ban — now wants to keep Californians out of Texas,” said Marc Rylander, communications director for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. “I guess that’s California logic.”

In Tennessee, a group of lawmakers made their response official, with a joint resolution noting, among other things, “Tennessee is pleasantly surprised that California will not be sending its economic development teams to Tennessee to recruit our businesses, but we can still send our teams to recruit their businesses…”

It was, indeed, a marvelous trolling.

But being trolled is the least of California’s problems. Its economy, while large, is being eroded by the state’s draconian regulatory environment and toxic need for social conformity. The state’s signature industry: Hollywood, was bested by Georgia in 2016.

Seventeen features filmed in Georgia in 2016, meaning the state has outpaced the previous frontrunner, California, as the top location for feature film production.

California’s epicenter of leftist intolerance, San Francisco, is losing people like East Germany after the wall fell. Only the rich, the liberal, and the trapped will remain as everyone who can load up and drive away will do so.

Indeed, since 2010, the Golden State has seen an overall net outflow of $36 billion from these migrants (and that counts only the first year of income). The biggest gainers from this exchange are where Californians are moving, to such places as Texas, Arizona and Nevada. That some California employers are joining them in the same places should be something of a two-minute warning for state officials.

So, let California have its Quixotic travel ban. As long as America remains a free country (anathema to the dogmatic statist radicals), people in California will continue to pack up and move to greener pastures, like they have in Texas and Tennessee.

Not All is Lost in California: Communist Ban Remains in Place

After facing backlash from many California residents–particularly Vietnamese-Americans–one Democrat assemblyman has dropped the effort to lift a 1940’s era ban on communists working in public sector jobs in California’s government.

Assemblyman Rob Bonta of Alameda reversed course after many defectors of communism residing in his district sounded the alarm.

“Many expressed these concerns to me,” Bonta said in a statement yesterday. “Through my conversations with veterans and members of the Vietnamese American community, I heard compelling stories of how AB 22 caused real distress and hurt for proud and honorable people. For that, I am sorry.”

Here’s more on the proposed bill:

His bill, AB22, would have repealed part of state law enacted during the Red Scare of the 1940s and ’50s, when fear that communists were trying to infiltrate the U.S. government was rampant. The Cold War-era law made belonging to the Communist Party a fireable offense for public employees.

Had this bill passed, it would have eliminated a portion of existing law that makes affiliation with the Communist Party a fireable offense for California public employees. However, employees with this affiliation could still be fired if they belonged to groups that advocate the overthrowing the government by force or violence.

This is rather interesting, given how Democrats in Sacramento silenced state senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) and threw her out of the Senate chamber after she delivered a speech criticizing former Sen. Tom Hayden’s activism–think ties to Jane Fonda–opposing the Vietnam War. (An investigation into the incident is currently underway.)
California has certainly gone off the deep end, but perhaps not all is lost there. Now if Sacramento could get its act together, that would be great.

 

Only In California: Governor Calls Taxpayers ‘Freeloaders’

The California state legislature, with its new Democrat supermajority, enacted a massive tax hike, and citizens aren’t happy about it. So how does Governor Jerry Brown respond? By referring to those who complain as “freeloaders,” naturally.

That’s right, the governor made a speech in Orange County after the tax hike passed in which he made known how tired he is of people not being grateful for higher taxes, and he managed to get in a dig at the president while he was at it.

“The freeloaders — I’ve had enough of them,” Brown said, adding that the approved tax and fee hikes bring those charges to the level they were 30 years ago if adjusted for inflation. “They have a president that doesn’t tell the truth and they’re following suit.”

The tax measure has left voters so unhappy that a recall effort against State Senator Josh Newman, whose election gave the Democrats their legislative supermajority, is underway. But don’t worry: Brown has promised to ensure that Newman has the resources he needs to withstand the effort.

Just how high did the legislature raise taxes? Well, the whole measure rings up to $52 billion, and it includes jacking up the already high gas tax by another 12 cents while hiking vehicle registrations by an average of $50 a year – and as high as $180 for some!

Oddly enough, Brown thinks that Republicans are the ones that are unrealistic for requesting budget cuts to cover road maintenance, rather than tax hikes.

“Roads require money to fix,” Brown said during a Friday visit to Orange County. “Republicans say there’s a magic source of money — it doesn’t exist. … You want to borrow money and pay double? Or do nothing? Or take money from universities?”

[…]

“Go for it,” he said. “Make my day. Maybe people like gravel roads, but I don’t think so.”

Jerry Brown clearly forgets that he is accountable to the citizens who elected him and that even the most left-leaning of the people of California can turn against him if they’ve had enough of the state’s confiscatory system. Or, better yet, as Kira Davis put it:

Governor Brown, you are a narcissistic, selfish, rude, disgusting pig and you don’t deserve the massive privilege you’ve been afforded by people who work hard and struggle just to pay the rent and their enormous tax bills.

Maybe Brown’s “freeloaders” are simply looking for a little financial freedom. Here’s hoping they can make their voices heard.

Soap Opera Star Jumps Into California House Race – As A Republican

There’s a new candidate in town in California’s 26th Congressional district, and he’s gambling on using his celebrity status to flip a solidly blue district to the GOP. Who is he? Soap star Antonio Sabato, Jr.

In case your memory of mildly famous actors is fuzzy:

Sabato is a longtime actor best known for roles in “General Hospital” and “Melrose Place” and as a model for Calvin Klein underwear. In recent years he has appeared in several reality television shows, including starring in “My Antonio,” a VH1 contest for which women competed for his affection, and “Dancing With the Stars.”

The 45-year-old was a vocal supporter of President Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign and spoke on his behalf at that year’s Republican National Convention.

Sabato wants to focus on veterans’ issues and substance abuse. Strategist and Sabato adviser Charles Moran believes that the actor’s support for Trump during the campaign and celebrity status position him uniquely to be an effective voice in Congress.

“Being a Republican and with proximity to the White House and Republican leadership, he’s going to be able to get more done — being in the majority, with his notoriety, for the residents of the 26th [Congressional] District,” Moran said.

There’s a bit of a problem, however. Sabato stepped into a mess during the GOP convention last summer when he parroted the old “Obama is a Muslim” chestnut. He claims that, as a result of his support for Trump, he has been blacklisted in Hollywood (though a quick glance at his IMDB profile shows that he hasn’t done much of substance in quite some time).

The 26th district stayed in Republican hands for decade until redistricting in 2012 changed the makeup of the district. Since then, Julia Brownley has held the seat, but Sabato believes he can take it back for the GOP.

Look, don’t get me wrong – I’m sure Sabato is a nice guy, but he needs to be able to trade on more than “I’m a celebrity who is close to the president” to convince voters. Here’s hoping he has some solid conservative ideas that can get the attention of voters.

Ironic: 6 of 10 Worst Polluted Cities in U.S. Are in California

A new study from the American Lung Association (ALA) found that six of the ten most polluted cities in America are located in California. In its 2017 “State of the Air” report, ALA found that Los Angeles is the city with the worst ozone pollution.

Here are the ten worst polluters from the last year–six of which are located in the Golden State (via USA Today):

The findings of this report are rather ironic, because the group endorses stricter government influence over energy policy yet more pollution continues to be witnessed in a heavily-regulated, “green” state like California. Why? All talk, no action. The ALA report also detailed that to reduce pollution, we must admit our so-called role in “climate change” and work to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels:

Power plants comprise the largest stationary source of carbon pollution in the United States. The electric sector contributed 30 percent of all energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2014.2 Scientists tell us that carbon pollution contributes to a warming climate, enhancing conditions for ozone formation and making it harder to reduce this lethal pollutant. Climate change also leads to particle pollution from increased droughts and wildfires. Taking steps to reduce carbon pollution from electricity generation will also reduce ozone and particle pollution from these plants at the same time. EPA’s analysis shows that these co-benefits can prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths and up to 90,000 asthma attacks in children in 2030. The American Lung Association calls on governors to direct their states to develop strong plans to reduce carbon pollution from power plants and protect public health.

It also endorsed the need and extension of the Clean Air Act:

The “State of the Air 2017” report shows the sustained success of the Clean Air Act, continuing to clean up pollution in much of the nation, as it nearly completes its fifth decade of service. Many cities reported fewer days of high ozone and lower levels of year-round particle pollution. Several cities again reported their cleanest years ever during this period, while others had their worst periods of air pollution.

Thanks to the provisions in the Clean Air Act, the United States has continued to reduce ozone and particle pollution as well as other pollutants for decades. Figure 1 from EPA shows that since 1970, the air has gotten cleaner while the population, the economy, energy use and miles driven increased greatly. As the economy continues to grow, overall air emissions that create the six most-widespread pollutants continue to drop.

The study was released yesterday and its findings were compiled between 2013-2015.

If California aims to lead in so-called “clean energy” policy, it must practice what it preaches and stop strangling its citizens with burdensome taxes. Here’s what I gathered from this study: the ridiculous demands of radical environmentalism only apply to those states or entities which disagree with the agenda. It makes perfect sense.

Clean air for you, but not for us. Oh, the hypocrisy!

Crime Big: Law and Order Takes A Powder In California

“All dreams welcome” beckons the visitcalifornia.com website, where the slogan plastered across TV screens in cable ads is “dream big.” It’s a big state, filled with natural wonders. Maybe their new slogan should be “all criminals welcome,” because “crime big.”

The Golden State’s biggest wonder is really how stupid California politicians and officials can be. They clearly haven’t figured out what happens when you stop arresting criminals and simultaneously release those who are already incarcerated before their terms are complete.

Let’s review. California legislators passed AB 109, the California Public Safety Realignment Act of 2011.  They did this in response to perhaps one of the worst SCOTUS decisions in history–paraphrasing the late Justice Scalia and Justice Alito. The case is Brown v. Plata, and the federal court injunction which SCOTUS upheld ordered California to reduce its prison population by more than 30,000 inmates.

Chief Justice Roberts summarized the terrible decision this way. “The three-judge court ordered the premature release of approximately 46,000 criminals — the equivalent of three Army divisions.” (Italics his.) “I fear that today’s decision, like prior prisoner-release orders, will lead to a grim roster of victims,” Justice Alito wrote. “I hope that I am wrong. In a few years, we will see.”

Alito was not wrong.

But why does that make California legislators stupid? Because instead of addressing the core problems that resulted in Brown v. Plata, they simply sloughed off state prisoners to counties, who released them. Simultaneously, AB 109 downgraded some drug and property felonies to misdemeanors, which demoralized overworked law enforcement agencies.

Essentially law and order took a powder in California, as you can see from Berkeley police response to “Antifa” rioters conflict with “alt-right” militia and biker gangs–what David French called “The Battle of Berkeley.” Maybe we should build a wall around the Bay Area and remake “Escape from New York” there? But I digress.

The Los Angeles Times reported from 2013-2015, LAPD’s arrest numbers plummeted a jaw-dropping 25 percent.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the San Diego Police Department also saw significant drops in arrests during that period.

The statewide numbers are just as striking: Police recorded the lowest number of arrests in nearly 50 years, according to the California attorney general’s office, with about 1.1 million arrests in 2015 compared with 1.5 million in 2006.

If crime was simply on the decline due to a supernatural revival of goodheartedness in Californians, there’d be nothing to worry about. But, no.

The Public Policy Institute of California, which tracks crime statistics, noted the following:

  • California’s violent crime rate saw an uptick in 2015 (despite a nearly 30-year decline)
  • Property crime rates also rose in 2015
  • Crime increased the most in the San Francisco Bay ares despite large statewide variances
  • Violent crime and property crime increased in a majority of counties (nearly 25 percent and 15 percent respectively in Orange County alone)

When you mix a catch-and-release attitude among lawmakers with a large influx of inmates into the population, the impetus to go the “extra mile” by police is diminished. Fox News quoted Whittier’s police chief, whose department lost officer Keith Boyer in February. Boyer’s killer is suspected to be Michael Meija, a convicted felon who’s been in and out of prison several times in the last six years with four parole violations.

“You’re passing these propositions, you’re creating these laws that are raising crime,” complained Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper following the fatal shooting of a member of his force.  “It’s not good for our community and it’s not good for our officers.”

The new attitude among law enforcement officials is “why bother?”

Meanwhile, criminals and crime flourish. Dream big, crime big is the new paradigm on the left coast. We’ll see how liberals like the their utopia when law and order take a powder.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: California Has Too Much Influence Over Local Values

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently made an interesting observation that will have many people thinking: California shouldn’t determine or define local values. Touching upon his February 2017 Founder’s letter “Building Global Community, ” Zuckerberg said his vision for the platform should be more open-minded, transparent, and multifarious. In an interview with Fast Company, he said the following:

We have come to this realization that a bunch of people sitting in a room in California is not going to be the best way to reflect all the local values that people have around the world. So we need to evolve the systems for collective decision making. It’s an interesting problem. There are certainly going to be a lot more global infrastructure and global enterprises going forward, there just hasn’t been anything at this scale yet.

California–especially Silicon Valley–shouldn’t sway every thing? Imagine that? (I say this as a California native who spent 21+ years growing up and living in the Golden State.) Zuckerberg is right: the incubator for social justice shouldn’t be determining affairs for the rest of the country, let alone the rest of the world. Which is why so many people in Flyover Country rejected Hillary Clinton and voted for Donald Trump in November.

In the Fast Company profile, Zuckerberg also touched upon free speech and click bait –which is well worth the read:

I still believe more strongly than ever that giving the most voice to the most people will be this positive force in society. But the thing is, it’s a work in progress. We talk about wanting to give everyone a voice, but then most people in the world don’t have access to the internet. So if you don’t have the tools to actually share your ideas with everyone, that’s not going to get you very far. We talk about giving people free speech but if they don’t actually, even in a country like the U.S., have the tools to be able to capture a video and share that easily, then there are limits in practice to what you can do. I just view this as a continual thing that every day we can come in and push the line further back on how many people have a voice and how much voice each person has, and we’re going to keep pushing on all of that. It just is this constant work. And at each point, you uncover new issues that you need to solve to get to the next level. Some people will say, oh you tolerate those issues. But the simpler explanation is that the community is evolving. We build new things, that surfaces new issues, we then go deal with those issues, and we keep going. Go back a few years, for example, and we were getting a lot of complaints about click bait. No one wants click bait. But our algorithms at that time were not specifically trained to be able to detect what click bait was. The key was to make tools so the community could tell us what was click bait, and we could factor that into the product. Now it’s not gone a hundred percent but it’s a much smaller problem than it used to be. Today, whether it’s information diversity or misinformation or building common ground, these are the next things that need to get worked on.

Facebook has received criticism for selective bias and targeting of conservatives and Republicans–a claim it’s working on remedying. Yes, there’s bias at times–but that shouldn’t deter conservatives from having an active presence there. The Resurgent’s very own Erick Erickson believes Facebook is a powerful tool our side should be using. (I couldn’t agree more!) Here’s an excerpt from Erick’s May 2016 post on the subject of Facebook’s Conservative Summit from last year:

I’m glad Facebook reached out. I’m glad Mark Zuckerberg was willing to give us face time. He did not have to. Hell, based on the complaints, he could have merely suppressed the story and few would have ever even known.

Instead, he brings in a bunch of conservatives and a few of them decide they have to grandstand while others even go out of their way to say they won’t go to the meeting and they won’t be pawns and Facebook needs to start spreading the wealth around to have a meaningful conversation. Like hell they do. No conservative should make affirmative action and shakedown demands on a private company. That is essentially what some have tried to do.

Although social media is heavily dominated by the Left and social justice platitudes, Zuckerberg, for example, believes every voice should have a say on his platform–including conservatives and Republicans voices. If we want our values to spread far and wide, we need to step outside our echo chamber and engage intelligently with others. Social media helps us bridge that gap!

Conservatives shouldn’t be afraid to have a presence on any of the popular social media platforms–whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. It’s good to see Zuckerberg recognizing the importance of social media hubs stepping outside of the Silicon Valley Bubble. What say you?