Quote of the day—Los Angles Times Editorial Board

Of course, enforcement is an issue, and often law enforcement won’t know that a storage law has been violated until someone dies. But in adopting such laws society sends a message about what behavior we expect.

Los Angles Times Editorial Board
May 16, 2019
Gun storage laws save lives, so why don’t we have more of them?
[They openly admit it is about sending “a message” rather than actually accomplishing their stated goal. AKA “virtue signaling”.

Suppose we ignore the constitutional issues of requiring guns to be locked up at all times, why is it so difficult for people to understand that having unenforceable laws is a bad thing? It leads to contempt for the law in general. I suppose they write it off as a reasonable price to pay for their real goal.

I strongly suspect that in this case they are more interested in poking gun owners in the eye than they are in saving lives. Using “pointy sticks” against people you dislike “sends a message” too.—Joe]


20 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Los Angles Times Editorial Board

  1. It’s not that the law is “unenforceable,” just that it can only be enforced under certain circumstances.

    Are you suggesting we get rid of all laws that can’t be enforced proactively 100% of the time? Murder is against the law, but we can’t enforce that all the time either. Speeding is against the law, but that’s enforced only a small percentage of the time (compared to the number of people who speed). There are lots of valid laws that only get enforced after the fact.

    It’s not “virtue signaling,” it’s just the reality that we (fortunately) don’t live in a society with 100% control where all laws are immediately effective.

    • This is not a reasonable view.

      The law against murder is being enforced 100% of the time. It’s still an event based law, where the weight of investigation, prosecution and incarceration/execution comes to bear only when a person is victimized. At all times, however, the general knowledge of the consistency of the amount of resources used to find and convict the perpetrator creates the deterrent effect, which operations at all hours of day or night, with or without the presence of a cop. The counter-example, places like Detroit and Chicago, have low deterrent effect because they can’t consistently bring successful investigation-to-conviction chains. But the detectability of the crime itself is high: find a body with extra holes in it, chances are high that is a detected murder. Furthermore, the absence of a person where one should be also starts the investigatory chain.

      Your example of speeding also proves the point. Lots of speeding, not much density of enforcement, and within a certain range of speeding, the individual driver can play it as a risk/revard exercise. I certainly don’t speed in-town because the risk is high due to towns using speeding revenue as a way to keep local taxs low, so the motivations and enforcement density are higher. But it’s a different ‘crime’: most other drivers on the road don’t consider it a real crime, because they’re speeding right along with you. Most COPS don’t treat it like a real crime: they won’t pull you over for less than 10 mph-over, unless it’s the end of the month and they need to make quota. So detectability is high, but will-to-enforce is relatively low. The ‘crime’ can be observed on the spot, and with speed cameras, proof of the crime could be preserved later. Absent an observation with the required level of legal proof, enforceability is zero. But the risk is omnipresent, which generally deters extraordinary speeding.

      Storage laws, very much like universal-background-check laws, have almost zero detectability. The ‘crime’ happens, but enforcement cannot observe the commission at the time, or prove the commission of the crime in the past. Unless you’re going to install surveilance cameras in people’s homes, or do spot-check raids, or other forms of unconsititionality, risk of detection is impossible. The law can be violated with impunity and no chance of detection, much less a chance of actual prosecution. As the LA Editorial Board observes, you’ll never be able to use this law except as an add-on to another crime. In other words, a complete waste of time, effort and resources. No prosecutor will use their office’s resources to go after a violation unless it’s attached to another crime that made the front page, and only in passing.

      • An add-on to another crime, but virtually never a crime of violence by a career criminal, only an add-on to, in the case of safe-storage, to an administrative law code enforcement violation by someone who the criminal justice system has never seen before. What was the case from the late sixties or early seventies that held that the prohibition on compelling self-incrimination prohibited prosecuting someone for lying on the DROS? Who else but a prohibited person buying a gun are we really interested in? People who make a mistake like abbreviating “County of Los Angeles” to “County of LA”? Really? How does that make anyone safer? Gotta clamp down on sloppy form fillers.
        And a 15 or 10 day waiting period. To cool off? Gee, I’ve already bought a rifle or a .38 pistol, I need a cooling off period on this .45 Colt in case I’m buying it for an intended murder. It’s a fuzzy line, sure, between a law to tell people murder is wrong or carelessness is wrong, and a law to hassle people exercising a constitutional right, but we can see the difference between calling for immediate and imminent violence and prior restraint in the First Amendment, it is only because the Second Amendment is disfavored by our elected servants that we don’t have a similar recognition with regard to the Second Amendment.
        Remember a tax on PRINTER’S INK was held to be an unlawful prior restraint on the First Amendment Freedom of the Press.

    • In California, when the mandatory seat belt law was first enacted, we were promised that it was only something the police could cite you for AFTER they pulled you over for something else, either a moving violation or broken tail light or other fix-it ticket. NOW, of course, it has silently and magically morphed into something they can pull you over for if it looks like you are driving while unbelted.
      Function creep is real.

  2. And so how are they intending to find out if storage laws have been violated when someone dies? I see two options: 1) The police find someone dead in their own home, killed by “an unauthorized guest”; or 2) Police find an “unauthorized guest” dead in a home that the home’s resident killed in self defense. I know which behavior is my preferred one regardless of what “they” expect.

    What I really fear from these types of laws is the significant opportunity for abuse. Suppose you are on the outs with a significant other or have a feud with a neighbor and they claim to the police that you have guns that are not kept locked up. Magically, the police show up with a search warrant and you are an accused felon, not to mention what else they might find that has become proscribed that you can also be prosecuted for. These laws are not seemingly innocent virtue signaling but a real threat to individual liberty and independence.

  3. So, the message is that if a 14 year old gangbanger breaks into your house while you are out, manages to break your cheap lock box, steals your handgun, and kills a rival in a drive-by, it’s your fault for not having it locked in a vault?

    • Of course! The Gang Banger, no matter his age, is a victim of society. You, however, because you had enough money to buy a gun and a lock box (The US Army has a saying that an obstacle not covered by fire is not an obstacle*), you are society and the cause of the murder. And if you don’t announce the theft within a certain time of its occurrence, you are doubly to blame, since the police are unable to start looking right away for the thief.

      I don’t care how securely/strongly you lock it up, the DA will say you should have locked it up better, because it got stolen, didn’t it? As long as you aren’t around, there’s time to try to break the vault.

      • Hence my response to anyone trying to steal my firearm from me, my vehicle, or my home is deadly force. The assumption is that they will use it to murder someone else, so I must therefore stop them immediately. If I do not, the DA will make me into the irresponsible firearms owner and prosecute ME for the exercise of my Constitutional right.

        Any safe or security measures can be defeated.

  4. The law is not unenforceable, it is SELECTIVELY enforceable.
    The mayor will never be arrested for having a nightstand handgun at his ready use.
    Members of the NRA, well, they’re just asking for a no-knock raid.

    • As Ayn Rand pointed out, they don’t want people to obey the law, they want them to violate it so selective enforcement can ensue.

  5. A former Israeli PM often pondered on ‘reciprocity’.
    So, when/if someone decides to ‘poke back’, there may not be many who will shed a tear.

    • Reciprocity. Just remember, to the Leftist media (but I repeat myself) Leftist Violence is Speech while Conservative Speech is Violence. No Antifa (anti first amendment) thugs were arrested after Charlottesville, VA.

  6. Mentally preparing yourself to be a criminal is one way to deal with it. it takes time and effort to get passed the brain washing. no one else is paying any attention to the law. why should you?

  7. The odds of police bursting into your home to determine whether your firearms are “adequately” secured are insignificant.

    However, if police have ‘other’ reasons to enter and search your home (and it may not be that you are accused of a crime) and they notice that your firearms are not “appropriately stored”, they may take the opportunity to “not waste a trip” by citing you for violations.

    Always keep fresh donuts in your gun locker. Can’t hurt; might help.

    • When I took a class in Administrative Law in Law School, it was about a year after I finished Constitutional Law. Each chapter began with a case, and halfway through the case I’d say to myself, “They can’t do that!”. By the end of the case, I’d realize, “Sonofagun! THEY CAN!”.
      Administrative law, invented by the “Progressives” over a century ago is a return to the unitary system of kings and emperors and dictators.
      When they’re there to check on your water heater strap or your smoke alarms, if it’s in plain sight, they can rat you out to another agency (of which the police is one) as easily as violating your Fourth Amendment rights.

    • Think of the red flag or ERPO laws. An annoyed neighbor who has a dispute about your overhanging tree calls in a fake complaint and bam you have a dangerous “no knock” raid and if you survive, you will have your firearms seized and since they were not locked up properly you have a charge that will make sure you NEVER get them back.

      As a side bar, we have to end “no knock” raids. If the police know where you are they can safely arrest you at their leisure when you go out to walk your dog or to the grocery store. Things like Waco would never have happened except for the police wanting to show off their fancy equipment and quasi-military SWAT teams.

  8. I wonder if they’d feel the same way about someone killing politicians? You know, they don’t really expect anything to come of it… just to “send a message.”

    I suspect not.

    • They’re depending on anonymity. Nobody knows where Di, Nan or Crazy Maxine actually live in the People’s Republic of Kalifornia.

      • It’s a very thin veil though. Especially if someone started spreading money around. ‘Will pay X amount to know where Dianna Feinstein likes to have lunch’.

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