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View Full Version : Why not a Proposition?


SoCal_Shooter
04-23-2010, 3:46 PM
It seems like every week there is some new anti-gun bill floating around Sacramento. All of us spend lots of time and money trying to defeat it. I have spent hours myself on the phone and writing letters to Sacramento and it really never matters. The Democrats vote for the anti-gun bills no matter what you say to them. And if a bill does eventually die for one reason or another, it is just brought back next session. Which means we need to fix it so that the anti's cannot keep doing this.

So why not a proposition? Somewhat like a Gun Owners Bill of Rights? We can write it so that it will amend the California Constitution and repeal the California Roster of Safe Handguns, repeal the normal magazine capacity limit, require the State to issue CCW for self-defense, and repeal the ammunition registration law. I understand a proposition has to be limited to one specific law, but I am sure there can be a way to write it to amend the Constitution and prevent any further gun laws from being passed without specific criteria being met, such as showing proof of necessity.

I know you may be thinking that this does not have a chance of passing, let alone getting the signatures, but I think it does. California is not as liberal a state as the legislature would make you think. The reason for the Democrats controlling Sacramento has much to do with gerrymandering. Certain districts ARE very liberal but those are mostly concentrated in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. A proposition would be voted on statewide, and statewide we have already passed Propositions like 187, 209, and 8, just to name a few of the more "conservative" ones. We also have a Republican governor and before Gray Davis we had another Republican governor.

We may have enough active members just on this forum to get signatures from friends and family, and maybe through donations paid signature gatherers can be hired. I know I would rather pay $100 to get something on the ballot than another $100 sent to the NRA when it seems it is just going down the toilet here in California.

Just throwing this out there to see what everyone thinks. It is either something like this or I have to think of leaving this state. The constant fighting is tiring.

Dr Rockso
04-23-2010, 3:48 PM
See here

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=156804

berto
04-23-2010, 4:14 PM
How much money ya got? $50 million?

OleCuss
04-23-2010, 4:31 PM
It seems like every week there is some new anti-gun bill floating around Sacramento. .
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So why not a proposition? Somewhat like a Gun Owners Bill of Rights? .
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It is either something like this or I have to think of leaving this state. The constant fighting is tiring.

Dr Rockso's link is a good one. Upshot is we get our butts kicked after a big investment of time, money, and political capital.

But hang around. A lot of this is likely to get fixed in the courts over the next few years. Oh, they'll likely never do everything that I want but it is likely to get much better!

SoCal_Shooter
04-23-2010, 4:39 PM
See here

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=156804


Ok, I read that thread from 2005. I also read some responses to it on how we can win in the courts, etc..


Since then, it has NOT gotten any better in this state, and even more stupid gun laws have been passed.


Don't get me wrong, I am also watching what happens in the court, but even best case, if we get incorporation, it is not going to change much, and the legislature will just find ways around it. I am talking about a permanent fix here.

And I don't think you would even need to be pro-gun to vote on a measure such as this. It is more about personal liberty.

Dr Rockso
04-23-2010, 5:08 PM
Ok, I read that thread from 2005. I also read some responses to it on how we can win in the courts, etc..


Since then, it has NOT gotten any better in this state, and even more stupid gun laws have been passed.


Don't get me wrong, I am also watching what happens in the court, but even best case, if we get incorporation, it is not going to change much, and the legislature will just find ways around it. I am talking about a permanent fix here.

And I don't think you would even need to be pro-gun to vote on a measure such as this. It is more about personal liberty.

Okay...you still haven't addressed where you're going to get $50-$100 million to run a successful ballot initiative campaign.

I think you're underestimating the moderate success we've had over the past few years, too.
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=252923

SoCal_Shooter
04-23-2010, 5:19 PM
Okay...you still haven't addressed where you're going to get $50-$100 million to run a successful ballot initiative campaign.

I think you're underestimating the moderate success we've had over the past few years, too.
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=252923


Well I don't think it is going to cost anywhere near $100 million; Prop 8 was one of the most highly fought propositions in recent history and the combined total of both sides was about $60 million. Most propositions are not as high profile and don't require nearly that amount.

Of course it is going to take money and time, but we are spending that right now. How many NRA and CRPA members are there in California? How many gun owners? Will they spend $10 each?

No matter how much money is spent or not spent, if this has no chance at the ballot then it would be a waste of time, I agree with you there, but there has to be a better option than just waiting for the courts.

Barkoff
04-23-2010, 5:23 PM
With CA you would have to take baby steps, start with the right of citizens to protect themselves at a time gangs are on the rise, authorities are losing the war on drugs, and are in the process of releasing thousands of convicted felons back on the street at a time there are no jobs. I'd start there, IMHO tinkering with the list would give the antis ammo against CCW rights.

OleCuss
04-23-2010, 5:26 PM
Well I don't think it is going to cost anywhere near $100 million; Prop 8 was one of the most highly fought propositions in recent history and the combined total of both sides was about $60 million. Most propositions are not as high profile and don't require nearly that amount.

Of course it is going to take money and time, but we are spending that right now. How many NRA and CRPA members are there in California? How many gun owners? Will they spend $10 each?

No matter how much money is spent or not spent, if this has no chance at the ballot then it would be a waste of time, I agree with you there, but there has to be a better option than just waiting for the courts.

In terms of the legal or legislative process, the courts are your best option.

But if you really want to gradually move the process along to the status which you and I want? Take someone shooting who has never done that before. If we all gradually turn the state into a state composed of people who shoot and understand guns - this will turn into a pro-gun rights state.

If we abandon the fight in California then you will see the anti-gun cancer eventually metastasize to the rest of the country one way or another. So if you run to another state you may just find the nuttiness follows you there.

Barkoff
04-23-2010, 5:33 PM
In terms of the legal or legislative process, the courts are your best option.

But if you really want to gradually move the process along to the status which you and I want? Take someone shooting who has never done that before. If we all gradually turn the state into a state composed of people who shoot and understand guns - this will turn into a pro-gun rights state.

If we abandon the fight in California then you will see the anti-gun cancer eventually metastasize to the rest of the country one way or another. So if you run to another state you may just find the nuttiness follows you there.


There it is...fight them here or fight them there.

berto
04-23-2010, 6:06 PM
Well I don't think it is going to cost anywhere near $100 million; Prop 8 was one of the most highly fought propositions in recent history and the combined total of both sides was about $60 million. Most propositions are not as high profile and don't require nearly that amount.

Of course it is going to take money and time, but we are spending that right now. How many NRA and CRPA members are there in California? How many gun owners? Will they spend $10 each?

No matter how much money is spent or not spent, if this has no chance at the ballot then it would be a waste of time, I agree with you there, but there has to be a better option than just waiting for the courts.

Is $30 million better spent on a windmill tilt proposition effort bound to lose or on a lineup of court battles that will accomplish what we want?

The safe roster, AB962 restrictions, and CCW issue are likely to go our way in court post-McDonald for a lot less than $30 million.

A proposition that loses at the polls will only embolden our opponents. They'll be able to say the people of CA chose to not repeal common sense measures created to prevent gun violence (their terms not mine) and make a case that the vote shows there is public support for even more restrictions.

Guns aren't a priority issue for most voters. Guns are an easily emotionalized issue. It's easy to make a manipulative 30 second commercial urging a NO vote for the children. It harder to make a 30 second commercial urging a YES vote that will resonate as much. The bad luck of a school shooting or some other high body count massacre happening a week before the election would sink us.

Our money and effort are better spent in court and in changing peoples opinion of guns and gun owners.

Librarian
04-23-2010, 6:16 PM
How many gun owners? Will they spend $10 each?


We don't know (neither does anyone else).

And evidence suggests no, they will NOT spend $10 each.

As I pointed out in the referenced thread (thanks, Dr Rockso!) it's hard to get people even to register to vote; go set up a registration table at a gun show and see how much participation you can get.

Please read "Democracy by Initiative: Shaping California's Fourth Branch of Government, 2nd Edition ", the links are near the middle of the page http://www.cgs.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=5&Itemid=72, especially chapter 7 - The majority of ballot measures are decided by voters who cannot comprehend the printed description, who have only heard about the measure from a single source, and who are ignorant about the measure except at the highly emotional level of television advertising, the most prevalent source of information for those who have heard of the proposition before voting.With the media in LA and SF against us, all the voters will hear is "do it for the chillllldrennnnn!"

Barabas
04-23-2010, 6:30 PM
I'll never understand why people are so afraid of the courtroom. That's the forum our founding fathers intended us to redress our wrongs in. Call me sue-happy, but it's the only civil way to get an unwilling party snared into a legal obligation to do what is correct or face real penalties.

Our proposition system is responsible for a lot of the ills we face in this state, do we really trust the majority of voters to pass a prop favorable to our position?

G17GUY
04-23-2010, 6:38 PM
We don't know (neither does anyone else).

And evidence suggests no, they will NOT spend $10 each.

As I pointed out in the referenced thread (thanks, Dr Rockso!) it's hard to get people even to register to vote; go set up a registration table at a gun show and see how much participation you can get.

Please read "Democracy by Initiative: Shaping California's Fourth Branch of Government, 2nd Edition ", the links are near the middle of the page http://www.cgs.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=5&Itemid=72, especially chapter 7 - With the media in LA and SF against us, all the voters will hear is "do it for the chillllldrennnnn!"

From my viewpoint, guys at my work will not register to vote because they don't want jury duty. Most of them are gun owners and would benefit the ballots.

Dr Rockso
04-23-2010, 6:42 PM
With the media in LA and SF against us, all the voters will hear is "do it for the chillllldrennnnn!"

That's probably the most important point. This would be a controversial ballot measure, in which you'd probably have the CLEOs of large cities/counties on TV saying 'Prop N could allow gang members to legally carry handguns near your children's schools' and other such nonsense. We can't make this argument in sound bytes because we can't sensationalize it to our advantage. The opposition can and will.

Lost in MA
04-23-2010, 6:55 PM
Your idea has one fatal conceptual flaw. The guarantee of a rights is not subject to a popularity contest. In fact, rights protect us from the tyranny of the majority.

All of the substantive progress in gun rights had been a result of positioning RKBA as a fundamental civil right. Sometimes rights are not popular. I'm sure that a ballet initiative to censor certain people or to curtail the practice of certain religions might be popular. At one time it was very popular to deny people certain rights based upon the color of their skin. Do you really want to take gun rights out of this sphere by subjecting it to a popular decision.

It's a right, it's above popularity. By suggesting that the majority should pass judgment on it, you are, in effect, diminishing it's significance.

BluNorthern
04-23-2010, 8:13 PM
If we abandon the fight in California then you will see the anti-gun cancer eventually metastasize to the rest of the country one way or another. So if you run to another state you may just find the nuttiness follows you there.
I don't see that at all. States like Montana, Arizona, Idaho, etc...are not ever going to have the restrictions that California gun owners enjoy. The citizens and gun owners there flat out will not let it happen. Any politicians that tried what they pull off here as a matter of course would be out of office at the first opportunity.

OleCuss
04-23-2010, 8:34 PM
I don't see that at all. States like Montana, Arizona, Idaho, etc...are not ever going to have the restrictions that California gun owners enjoy. The citizens and gun owners there flat out will not let it happen. Any politicians that tried what they pull off here as a matter of course would be out of office at the first opportunity.

I appreciate your confidence in the matter. I don't share it. What is now is not necessarily what will be in the future - especially since it is not unknown for the Feds to pick up on what California is doing and implement a version of it at their level.

SoCal_Shooter
04-23-2010, 8:42 PM
Your idea has one fatal conceptual flaw. The guarantee of a rights is not subject to a popularity contest. In fact, rights protect us from the tyranny of the majority.

All of the substantive progress in gun rights had been a result of positioning RKBA as a fundamental civil right. Sometimes rights are not popular. I'm sure that a ballet initiative to censor certain people or to curtail the practice of certain religions might be popular. At one time it was very popular to deny people certain rights based upon the color of their skin. Do you really want to take gun rights out of this sphere by subjecting it to a popular decision.

It's a right, it's above popularity. By suggesting that the majority should pass judgment on it, you are, in effect, diminishing it's significance.


This is a very good point, but what I am talking about is not simply voting on the right to keep and bear arms, as we all know this is a right guaranteed by the Constitution and should not be put up for a vote. I am talking about a proposition that would specify what "reasonable restrictions" California can place on our rights. Even in Heller the SCOTUS stated that there are reasonable restrictions and the 2nd Amendment has limits. This is what the states will use to continue their anti-gun agenda even if we get incorporation.

SoCal_Shooter
04-23-2010, 8:51 PM
I'll never understand why people are so afraid of the courtroom. That's the forum our founding fathers intended us to redress our wrongs in. Call me sue-happy, but it's the only civil way to get an unwilling party snared into a legal obligation to do what is correct or face real penalties.

Our proposition system is responsible for a lot of the ills we face in this state, do we really trust the majority of voters to pass a prop favorable to our position?


Well the government of the U.S. has been violating the Constitution for as long as it has been around, in my opinoin. And that is the problem, it is all about opinion; the opinion of the Supreme Court at the time. The U.S. has been able to justify much of the control they have over the States through the Commerce Clause, and a Supreme Court opinion that was so convoluted as to be laughable. So no, I don't really trust the courts, especially in this state, and especially at the federal level in this district.

I'm willing to wait and se what the courts do. These are looking to be some good times for the 2nd Amendment in this country with Heller finally establishing an individual right, but how long do we wait? How long should we wait?


And I don't agree with you that our proposition system is responsible for a lot of the ills we face in this state. Bond measures, yes, but not the propositions. In fact, if it were not for prop 13, many of us could not afford to even stay in our homes and our property taxes would look like New Jersey right now. Our proposition system works very well.

Nodda Duma
04-23-2010, 9:07 PM
Having grown up in a Republic, the ability to introduce and vote on Propositions goes against everything I know is good and just about our nation's form of government. The Founding Fathers would be horrified at the idea of mob or majority rule.

Barabas
04-23-2010, 9:19 PM
I'm willing to wait and se what the courts do. These are looking to be some good times for the 2nd Amendment in this country with Heller finally establishing an individual right, but how long do we wait? How long should we wait?

Don't wait, get involved. It's a lot easier to see progress when you make yourself a part of the process. If you don't want to get involved, have patience, they don't work on your schedule.


And I don't agree with you that our proposition system is responsible for a lot of the ills we face in this state. Bond measures, yes, but not the propositions. In fact, if it were not for prop 13, many of us could not afford to even stay in our homes and our property taxes would look like New Jersey right now. Our proposition system works very well.

We'll have to agree to disagree on that point.

Freedom isn't free, especially here in California.

SoCal_Shooter
04-23-2010, 9:23 PM
Having grown up in a Republic, the ability to introduce and vote on Propositions goes against everything I know is good and just about our nation's form of government. The Founding Fathers would be horrified at the idea of mob or majority rule.

What is the difference between a proposition that the people vote on and a bill that the legislature votes on? Both are subject to majority vote and both are subject to judicial review to determine the Constitutionality.

The only difference I see is that the legislature votes for whoever bribes them with the most money.

The Founding Fathers believed in majority rule, subject to the limitations of the Constitution. That is a Republic. That is the mechanism for passing laws setup in the Constitution. The only difference is with a proposition it is a direct vote rather than a representitive vote. Why would they be horrified?

bwiese
04-23-2010, 9:42 PM
The quotes on the money amounts above are generally correct.

Most ballot propositions take at least $50mil and often go way, way more - that's why they're typically for tobacco, gambling and insurance matters, perhaps with some union stuff thrown in. It's also why several of Arnie-supported propositions (incl 77) failed - too much dilution and not enough money.

Besides that money, you need paid signature gatherers to get it on the ballot - which was part of the problem last time. Volunteers just don't cut it, and you want a ~30% margin to overcome invalid signatures. That's several million dollars there.

There is also a risk of losing - look, we only had a few people show up to AB962/AB1663 hearings in Sacto. Gunnies don't always seem to wanna get off their arse.

Prop 8 was a rare exception and much of the money at least on the pro-Prop 8 side was somewhat undocumented and appears to have been funneled thru the Mormon church/Salt Lake City. Remember that Prop 8 bigots appear to hold on to their beliefs much more strongly than they desire gun rights, so the fervor for 8 might not be paralleled by gunnies.