With the recent passage of California’s AB 2571, a law prohibiting the marketing of certain firearms to minors, Governor Newsom rode roughshod over constitutional protections to advance the legislation that many feel will be nothing more than an anti- gun talking point in what is likely to be a future presidential run. As author Daniel Sutter wrote, “Liberals have long celebrated good intentions over results.” And what suggests the viability of a White House run like enduring a recall initiated by nearly 2 million signatures?
Few crime experts see the new law as having any measurable impact on public safety, but rather see it as another step in curtailing Second Amendment rights. “Given the degree to which popular culture glamorizes guns, almost any ad about guns could be interpreted as appealing to young people—along with everyone else,” says criminologist Gary Kleck. “This measure is just a pretext for banning all advertising of guns.”
Further, by aiming at gun advertising, while ignoring the proliferation of first-person shooter video games, violent movies, and the advertising of such, Newsom and his sycophants in the California legislature have made it clear their goal has little to do with safety of the state’s youth, but rather is about delivering on their political agenda—and that includes a cultural end run on the Second Amendment.
Newsom hails from San Francisco where political predilections toward bad ideas seems to be communicable. Parts of the once beautiful and prosperous city—like entire sections of Los Angeles—now resemble the set of The Walking Dead. Perhaps that was Newsom’s idea when he recently implored Hollywood to eschew red states to film, instead, in California: We’ve already prepared our cities for your next dystopian thriller.
The media and entertainment industries comprised the third largest donor group to Newsom’s effort to turn-back last year’s recall election, so is it any wonder they are immune to the recent legislation? It’s the kind of double standard that so many increasingly cynical Americans have come to expect from their elected public servants, many of whom now have approval ratings trending slightly ahead of syphilis (and the parallels don’t end there).
“Gun violence in Hollywood movies has increased dramatically over time, especially in films accessible to teens,” says Brad Bushman, professor of communications at Ohio State University. “Our research shows that acts of gun violence in PG-13 movies nearly tripled over the 30 years between 1985 and 2015.”
Then there is the massive marketing, advertising, and distribution of a cemetery-full of first-person shooter video games that go so far as to celebrate the number of kills in their productions—the message, of course, is that the more gruesome and prolific the fatalities the better.
Who could forget games like Postal Redux, where players get to participate in 1,912 deaths. After that, who isn’t anxiously awaiting Postal 4: No Regerts (presumably the misspelling was intentional). As the warning label says, “Contains blood and gore, intense violence, strong language, mature humor, and use of drugs and alcohol.” What could be better for California teens?
If you’re still not sure which game you’ll enjoy most, however, check out Fandom’s List of Deaths Wiki. As they describe it, “this is a wiki dedicated to death lists in movies, movie series, TV series, games, etc.”
But, apparently, it’s the ads for a 4-H skeet shoot or a hunter safety course in California that are the problem.
Even liberal champion Bill Maher, who has suddenly become one of Hollywood’s few voices of reason, has had enough of the hypocrisy that has consumed that town where wokeness has become the Left’s new religion. “When liberals scream, ‘Do something!’ after a mass shooting, why aren’t we also dealing with the fact that the average American kid sees 200,000 acts of violence on screens before the age of 18. And according to the FBI, one of the warning signs of a potential school shooter is a fascination with violence-filled entertainment.”
By turning a blind eye to the unmatched cultural influence of such games, movies, and television to foment violence in our culture, Newsom’s new law takes aim at the gun industry and, instead, hits his foot. To quote Mark Twain, “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”
In the meantime, gun groups and sportsman’s organizations (to say nothing of the 30 percent of California households who own a legal firearm for self-protection and recreation) are left to fight the legislation in the courts where, because the law is so broadly and poorly written, it will likely not survive given that most constitutional scholars see it at odds with the First, Second, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments.
“It is unclear to any sane person how this law makes California safer,” says Larry Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “Meanwhile, the Los Angeles District Attorney refuses to prosecute actual criminals.”
California laws written on the backs of napkins often eventually wind up in San Francisco’s Ninth Circuit Appeals Court only to be punted to the SCOTUS docket where they are frequently overturned (hence the court’s nickname: Ninth Circus). That, however, is a time-consuming and expensive process—something the lawmakers in Sacramento count on when they commit legislative malpractice.
In the meantime, many of the state’s target shooting competitions, gun and hunter safety courses, conservation group fundraisers, and the like are being canceled. What, then, are the state’s youth to do?
Turn to video games, no doubt.