Yes on Prop 63 for a safer California

Columnist Naaman Hightower

Columnist Naaman Hightower

Gun junkies might need a little more patience when trying to buy heavy artillery.
With California already having some of the toughest gun control laws in the country, this new proposal won’t be an easy shot to take.
Proposition 63 makes buying large-capacity ammunition a more tedious process because the buyers would have to obtain a four-year permit from the Department of Justice.
By specifically targeting “large-capacity ammunition,” defined as weaponsholding more than 10 cartridges of ammunition, Proposition 63 is addressing the mass shooting issue in the United States.
According to the Mass Shooting Tracker, there were 372 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2015, killing 475 people and wounding 1,870.
The San Bernardino shooting is one of the recent California shootings that sticks out most. The scariest question of the ordeal remains as to how the couple was able to get their hands on such destructive weapons.
We tend to specifically take notice of school shootings such as the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. When a 20-year-old male gets his hands on a semi-automatic rifle, then proceeds to kill 20 children between the ages of six and seven, there is a problem.
It seems to take a mass school shooting to get the nation to refocus on how easy it is to get guns as well as large capacity ammunition.
President Barack Obama vowed to make gun control a point of emphasis in his second term. By extending background checks on firearms and stepping up federal enforcement on gun charges, he has shown this issue is significant in his eyes.
Why does any American, who isn’t involved in our military or law enforcement, feel the need to have large amounts of ammunition or fully automatic weapons in their home?
California itself has the second highest number of gun owners in the country, according to CalGuns.net.
As the most populous state, these numbers aren’t an easy pill to swallow.
I’m all for our Second Amendment right, but to own weapons that are capable of mass destruction is beyond me.
Surprisingly, the proposal does have some naysayers.
Law enforcement opposes this proposition almost unanimously. They believe that Prop 63 won’t keep terrorists and violent criminals from accessing firearms and ammunition.
That’s obvious.
There will always be bad people in the world. Eliminating evil in the world isn’t realistic, but making it harder for someone like James Holmes to get his hands on a 100-drum magazine Smith & Wesson semi-automatic rifle to shoot up a movie theatre in Colorado, is ultimately the goal of Proposition 63.
If this proposal can pass in one of the toughest states for gun control, other states are sure to follow suit. With cities like Chicago and Englewood gaining national attention for homicides via shooting, Illinois could be the next state to ratify more gun laws.
We cannot avoid tragedy, but our job as voters is to effect change so that history doesn’t repeat itself.