Proposed San Francisco Gun Ban a Bad Idea
Alan Gottlieb | August 25, 2005
Banning the lawful possession of anything has never stopped people from getting it, and it should be a no-brainer in the City of San Francisco, where citizens are well-educated and intelligent, that the proposed ban on the sale or manufacture of firearms and possession of handguns will not prevent criminals from arming themselves.
The idea is evidently so bad that at least one of the original sponsors of the measure, City Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, has withdrawn her name from the ballot measure. Why the others continue to push this measure makes little sense, because a similar ban more than 20 years ago was struck down by the courts after the Second Amendment Foundation sued the city and then-mayor Dianne Feinstein.
Gun bans are purely a form of making a social statement, because only a raving lunatic could ever seriously believe that disarming law-abiding citizens, thus making them even more vulnerable to crime, would ever remove guns from the hands of criminals. By their very nature, criminals ignore existing law, and legislation t hat would make their victims easier prey can only make these thugs happier.
In recent years, legislation passed in Sacramento has demonstrated beyond any doubt that the Democrat majority in California's Legislature wants the Golden State to be as unfriendly to firearms owners as possible. Alas, all the emotional rhetoric used to support such legislation has yet to prevent a single crime. Bans on semiautomatic rifles have not stopped gang bangers in the Los Angeles area. They haven't stopped crime in San Francisco, either, or anywhere else in the state for that matter.
What have these laws accomplished? Only to make it nearly impossible for law-abiding citizens to fight back; to burden honest gun owners with onerous regulations designed more to trip them up on technicalities and discourage them from owning firearms than to curb crime.
Proponents of the San Francisco ban – now formally titled Proposition H – have evidently grown up in a fairy tale worl d where good intentions invariably trump real life tragedies.
Proposition H does not pass the smell test for a city with the history of San Francisco. While banning the sale, distribution, transfer and manufacture of all firearms and ammunition within the city, and banning possession of all handguns, there is an exemption for "any City, state or federal employee carrying out the functions of his or her government employment, including but not limited to peace officers" as defined by the California Penal Code.
Translation: Police and a selection of other elites can have handguns in a city where the citizens are disarmed. For generations, the good citizens of San Francisco have created an image and lifestyle diametrically opposed to the concept of a police state where only cops have guns, but now comes Proposition H, which literally creates a police state environment, and far too many people are acting like lemmings, rushing to dive over that precipice, into a polit ical and social abyss.
Perhaps the greatest fraud perpetrated on San Francisco, and the rest of the country, over the past several years is the notion that gun violence is some kind of health epidemic. This is a colossal prevarication, as if gun crime might be removed by minor surgery on the Constitution, or an application of salve to reduce swelling and itching.
The preamble to Proposition H even alludes to a report on gun crime from the San Francisco Department of Public Health. This explains a great deal about the grossly wrong-headed approach to crime that the sponsors of Proposition H have adopted.
We're talking about crime here, not some malady that can be healed by rubbing it with an over-the-counter medication. Backers of this measure are confusing Proposition H with Preparation H.
Preparation H gives relief, but Proposition H will give San Franciscans nothing but grief from people who, it is painfully evident, have taken a rather an al approach to fighting violent crime. At this point in its history, the last thing San Francisco needs is another hemorrhoid.