14 October 2007

Gov. 'Arnold' Opens Floodgates With Approval of Microstamping Legislation

While all of California and the United States continued to be fixated on who's Left Coast home will be searched next in the truth for how Anna Nicole Smith got all those prescriptions that were in her body when she died, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this weekend quietly signed more than 100 bills -- the most newsworthy among the anti-self defense crowd being the nation's first law requiring semiautomatic handguns sold there "to leave a unique imprint on bullets that are fired."

The ramifications of this bill signing run deep. Anti-gunners have not been getting their way and talk about their issues among the candidates running for president has been almost nil. National polls show there is not much interest in new gun control laws. But this action will breathe new life into the anti self-defense crowd's tired message. This new process, to be based on admittedly unreliable technology, is being described as giving police "another way to try to link shootings to the criminals who carry them out." The San Francisco Chronicle says this bill is one of more than 100 that Schwarzenegger has signed this weekend, including banning toxic plastic softeners in toys for toddlers, blessing the sale of kangaroo-skin soccer shoes and purses, and whacking artery-clogging trans fats in school cafeterias and vending machines.

He also had vetoed more than 50 bills since Saturday. This should have been one of them, for the floodgates will now be open to export this technological "solution" to crime to every other state in the U.S. The Crime Gun Identification Act, authored by California Assemblyman Mike Feuer, a democrat from Los Angeles, forces gun sellers by 2010 to use so-called microstamping technology to imprint characters that reveal a gun's make, model and serial number on bullet casings. It applies only to semiautomatic pistols sold in California. Opponents of the measure, who actually know something about firearms, said the technology was unreliable and could be countered by gun users, and they raised the prospect of criminals dropping shell casings from other guns at a crime scene to confuse police.

2010? If this were such a vital piece of crime-fighting legislation it would be going into effect in 30-90 days. Police would be demanding it go into effect now. But it isn't really about fighting crime, is it?

In his signing message, Schwarzenegger said he understands the technology is not perfect, but hopes it would give police a new tool in solving violent crimes. Under the gun bill, every semiautomatic handgun sold in California will have to "microstamp" each "bullet cartridge" (whatever that means -- I'm assuming one on the cartidge case and another somewhere on the bullet?) in two locations whenever it is fired. The stamp would identify the gun's make, model and serial number. It does not affect revolvers, rifles or shotguns. It targets only semiautomatics, which Assemblyman claims are used in the majority of homicides committed with firearms.

A hearty, Midwestern, common-sense NO-thanks to Gov. Terminator for helping a vocal minority get more ink on this subject and give credibility to a technology riddled with problems that can put innocent people in jail. And while proponents say it does not affect revolvers, rifles or shotguns, I would suggest that we add two words to their reassurances, those being "for now."

Frankly, I believe "the Governator" would strenuously object if he were forced to use a certain, unreliable, unrefined technology to keep him safe during a dangerous scene while making a movie. Or even object to being forced to use unreliable technology to shoot and edit a movie. Now before anyone whines that "movies don't kill people," let me ask a question. Did you see "Yentyl?" I mean, Barbara Streisand's disaster of a flick practically had people wanting to kill themselves after they suffered through that turkey of a film.

Click here to read more about this "only from the minds of Californians" legislation.

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