We in the Second Amendment community are always on high alert for new infringements on our right to keep and bear arms. Whenever anti-gun politicians trot out a new law to ban scary-looking features, or a new tax aimed at placing firearm ownership out of reach for society’s most vulnerable, or any of a host of other plainly unreasonable restrictions, we rightfully take to the streets and the airwaves to explain why these laws do more harm than good. It’s not often, however, that our points receive broader support from outside our own community.
Our most recent cause célèbre in California is SB 2, which is the subject of a recent injunction from Judge Cormac J. Carney of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. In particular, we firearm owners take issue with the new California law’s overly broad language criminalizing concealed carry in a wide variety of public places and private businesses, including gas stations, public parks, and Department of Fish and Wildlife lands. Numerous legal scholars have written about the problems with this vindictive provision, but by one of my favorite commentaries on it comes from perhaps the unlikeliest of places.
On the 29th of December, the Fresno Bee published an opinion piece by columnist Marek Warszawski titled, “California Concealed Carry Law Is Clearly Unconstitutional. Even to This No-Guns Guy.” In it, he attacks SB 2’s “sensitive places” restriction not from the perspective of a gun owner, but from his own perspective as someone with an open distaste for firearms and firearm ownership.
Warszawski argues against SB 2’s “sensitive places” restriction on the basis that it is unconstitutional, and even if it weren’t, it still wouldn’t make Californians any safer. Even though he is a legal layperson who generally advocates for gun control, he correctly points out that “the Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms,” not for the purpose of hunting or sport shooting, but “for the protection of oneself and one’s family. This statement alone is more enlightened than the fraudulent narrative that anti-gun organizations and politicians continue to push in the public sphere. Warszawski writes that while he has no desire to carry a firearm, concealed carry permit holders absolutely have a right to do so, as they are not the ones committing homicides. “The problem,” he opines, “is how easily guns… wind up in the hands of criminals or the mentally unstable. The problem is not law-abiding citizens.”
While we may disagree with some or even most of Marek Warszawski’s political opinions, I think I speak for SDCGO’s thousands of members when I say I am thankful that someone outside our sphere recognizes that SB 2 goes too far. Newsom and his acolytes should begin to take notice: they cannot continue to knowingly push bad laws and expect to get away with it. If Warszawski’s column is any indication, the non-gun-owning public is beginning to wake up and realize that they have been duped for decades into supporting laws that exist purely to spite honest people exercising our constitutional rights.
Marek Warszawski of the Fresno Bee has been one of the first outsiders to take a stand and publicly put Governor Newsom, AG Bonta, and Senator Portantino on report. This should serve as a wake-up call to others who may not yet be aware of, or interested in, Second Amendment issues. “It should be obvious to everyone,” writes Warszawski. “Crazy things happen when government overreach extends too far.”