According to Steve Aurillio, professor of Criminal Justice Department at Skyline College, California “Penal Code 12020 makes it a felony to possess a blackjack, a slingshot, a billy club, a sandbag, metal knuckles or a dagger.  Yet Penal Codes 12025, 12031, and 417 make possession of a concealed or loaded firearm and brandishing simple misdemeanors, punishable by no more than a year in jail.”

This makes no sense.  I guess we here at CLN have been listening to President Obama for long enough that we’ve actually come to look at issues as he suggests:  from the perspective of pragmatism.  Some on the Right talk about the need for America to use “common sense” — and that’s where we want to start.

In reviewing our first paragraph we can’t imagine that applying common sense could possibly lead to differing Left/Right policies.  The Penal Codes need to actually reverse their catagories:  Possessing blackjacks, slingshots, billy clubs, sandbags, metal knuckles and daggers should be misdemeanors;  and possession of concealed or loaded firearms and brandishing them should be felonies.   

Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, speaking out in The Huffington Post as a member of the bipartisan coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, just released a poll that was conducted jointly by a Democratic and Republican polling firm that revealed amazing agreement across political lines.

“Among its key findings:

  • Americans overwhelmingly believe the Second Amendment protects the rights of law abiding individuals to buy guns:  79% of Americans believe that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own guns and only 17% would support a proposal to ban all handgun sales.
  • Americans overwhelmingly believe that felons, drug abusers, and the mentally ill should not have access to guns and that more needs to be done to ensure that their records are in the federal background check system: 90% of Americans and 90% of gun owners support fixing gaps in government databases that are meant to prevent the mentally ill, drug abusers and others from buying guns. Likewise, 89% of Americans and 89% of gun owners support full funding of the law a unanimous Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed after the Virginia Tech massacre to put more records in the background check database.
  • Americans overwhelmingly believe that its time to close the loopholes that make it possible for people to buy guns without background checks: 86% of Americans and 81% of gun owners support requiring all gun buyers to pass a background check, no matter where they buy the gun and no matter who they buy it from.”

There appears to be a lot of agreement on gun safety.  Mayor Bloomberg tells us that their bipartisan organization, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has grown in the last five years to have more than 550 mayors from across the country.  The growing consensus is that we can do more to keep dangerous people, including criminals and the mentally ill, from having easy access to guns.

Both Republicans and Democrats have recently expressed intentions of “trying to find common ground.”  We know they can’t agree on many issues, but if they are serious about finding policies they can agree on — and to act on that agreement — we ask them to come to agreement on a sane policy on gun safety.

The Right has won on the issue of guns.  Now they must be responsible for gun safety.  The time for demagoguing is over for both the Left and the Right.  It’s time for Washington to act to keep our people safe from guns and bullets in the hands of dangerous people.

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