The PJ Tatler

Armed Robbery Spikes in California Gun Control Paradise

Back in October, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a spate of new gun control laws into effect. When he signed those laws, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco proudly said of his bill, which requires gun owners to keep their guns in safes if they share a home with someone banned from owning a firearm, “This bill just helps ensure that only law-abiding gun owners have access to weapons.”

Let’s see how that’s working out.

In Oakland, a lot of people who shouldn’t have guns have them, and a lot of people who might defend themselves from those people now have a much harder time obtaining a gun. Armed robbery is up 24% over last year.

It has gotten so bad that citizens have taken it upon themselves to hire their own private police force.

[O]ne morning in September, two armed men robbed a group of carpooling commuters, relieving everyone of their money, smartphones and laptops.

Ferris says such a brazen crime was a game changer.

“To finally have that catalyzing event, where people said, ‘I am ready to take action,’ for me that was awesome,” he says. “I’m sorry that this happened. This finally gets people the motivation to say, ‘Hey, we need to take care of our personal security. The city of Oakland is not going to do it.’ ”

So after the carpool robbery, residents in two different sections of the neighborhood used a crowdfunding website to raise tens of thousands of dollars. They’re using the funds to hire private security patrols on a four-month trial period.

More than 600 households pay $20 a month for unarmed patrols in clearly marked cars to run 12 hours a day, Monday through Saturday.

Lower Rockridge is just one of several Oakland neighborhoods where residents have either hired private security patrols or are actively debating taking that step. In some neighborhoods, the patrols are armed.

The usual objections have been raised: racial profiling might happen, who keeps these private cops accountable? And another: How can unarmed private patrols stop armed criminals? Once the criminals learn that the patrols are unarmed, the patrols may just become a new class of victim.

The obvious objections to the laws that were signed have not been raised enough: Requiring owners to store guns in home safes requires a police state for enforcement, or will breed contempt for the law if it isn’t enforced. That police state will be aimed at people who obey the law, not criminals who evade the law. Gun control laws tend to make it more difficult for those who abide by laws to obtain firearms (duh), which helps criminals (duh) and creates more victims (duh). The fact that California was poised to pass and then did pass new gun restrictions probably encouraged the criminals to go forth and rob. They knew that their victims were less likely to be armed, and they committed their crimes in a state that coddles violent criminals and hates private firearm ownership.

It could be even worse: Gov. Brown vetoed a bill that would have made Oakland’s gun control laws even more restrictive on the law-abiding.