The national effort to crack down on gun violence being led by President Obama is generating encouraging discussion in Congress, where until recently the subject of gun control had been largely taboo. That's good news. On the minus side, there's what is happening in California.
Don't get us wrong, there are some worthwhile bills floating around in Sacramento. But most of the bills either introduced or under proposal seem primarily designed to seize headlines on behalf of individual lawmakers in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., school massacre. As much as we support stricter gun-control laws, we don't want just any old bill to pass; we want laws that will help solve demonstrable problems. California already ranks No. 1 in the nation when it comes to strict gun laws, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. If the rest of the nation took actions as strong as the Golden State already has, interstate gun trafficking would be far more difficult and the entire country would be immeasurably safer.
So does California need to do even more? To some degree, yes. There are still loopholes that allow felons and the mentally ill to acquire guns, and where possible, these should be closed. But most of the bills that are currently being considered wouldn't address them, and in many ways the state would be better off enforcing the laws already on the books than imposing new ones.