I am a native Southern Californian. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, have worked on a hit television series in Hollywood, and am… a Christian Conservative. (Gasp!)
Despite my political disagreements with the majority of the state, California is my home and I adore many aspects of it. The weather is the envy of the country, the mountains majestic, the deserts divine. The coastline is unequaled in its diversity and beauty. We boast Disneyland, the Golden Gate Bridge, and award-winning wineries up and down the state. California appears to be a little piece of heaven right here on earth, so what more could a person want?
Well… plastic bags, for one. Followed closely by ammunition. Ultimately, bullets could end up being far more important, but they’re not something I use every day. Plastic bags, on the other hand, are a necessity. Because I have a dog. And dogs don’t use toilets.
A slew of unnecessary propositions burdened the California ballot this year. One was the ban on single use plastic bags; another required background checks for the purchase of ammunition; still another increased the cigarette tax by two dollars.
I have a dog in an apartment. I am a gun owner. And I am a smoker. I hit the trifecta of ‘screw you’ in this election cycle.
Why Proposition 57 Is Scary
There were also a few reasonable propositions, but they were offset by the schizophrenia of California voters. We passed Proposition 62, which upheld the death penalty. However, we also voted to release violent criminals early via Proposition 57. Cloaked in the deceptive language of “allows parole consideration for nonviolent felons,” it neglected to mention that the list of nonviolent offenses included:
- Rape of an unconscious person
- Human trafficking involving sex acts with minors
- Assault with a deadly weapon
Those are only a few examples. Call me crazy, but shouldn’t a crime that includes the word rape or assault be considered, I don’t know… violent?
Cigarettes and Plastic Bags Are Now Forbidden
We legalized recreational marijuana, but imposed a two-dollar tax on cigarettes. When the state proposes a tax increase, it always includes some health, education, or environment language to present it as well-intentioned and for the general good. But plain and simple, this was the state proclaiming, “if we don’t like what you’re doing, we’ll tax the bejesus out of you.”
The plastic bag ban wasn’t a total shock since Los Angeles banned those devilish things in 2014 via a city council decree. However, its neighboring incorporated city of Burbank had not, and since I live on the cusp, I was able to load up with a jaunt to the Vons around the corner. I no longer jaunt.
A Background Check to Buy Ammo? Really?
I still have a few years to stockpile ammo, but come July 2019, lucky me, I get to submit to a background check. That I’ve already undergone for the purchase of my gun. And I get to pay $50 for the pleasure of undergoing that same background check. Don’t applaud yet, it gets better: my name gets put on a list that vendors must be submitted to the state Department of Justice.
What precisely are they going to do with that information? What inferences will they make? And how wrong will they be?
I might practice at the range every day to ensure safe handling of my weapon. I might watch “The Walking Dead” and have come to the conclusion that I should prepare for a zombie apocalypse. Either way, it is none of the state of California’s business how many bullets I purchase.
An ammunition background check is the equivalent of saying we need a background check to purchase gasoline as a preventative measure against drunk drivers. Does any rational person actually believe it’s going to prevent a criminal from shooting someone?
Picture your average gangster at the local Walmart. “Gimme one box of nine mil.” The clerk checks the database, and Cheetoh (gangsters have such fascinating names) is met with a denial. “Really? I was about to go on a drive-by and bust a cap in someone’s ass, but now…” He scratches his head and says, “I bought my piece on the street without a background check, but wow, I can’t get ammunition without one? I’m beginning to rethink this whole murder thing.”
Californians’ Sanctimonious Attitudes Shone Through
The crafting and passage of these ludicrous propositions are rooted in a sanctimonious, holier-than-thou narcissism. When it became clear that Donald Trump had won the White House, the CA Twittosphere lit up calling for the state to secede from the union, whining that the rest of the country doesn’t share its values.
Why continue participating in a country that doesn’t believe in our values, and provides us with nothing but debt?#Calexit— Free California (@Calexiteer) November 11, 2016
Republicans now hold the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives. Thirty-three states are under the leadership of Republican governors, and there are 67 state legislatures in GOP hands compared to the Democrats 30. Could it possibly be, #Calexiters, that maybe it’s you who don’t the share values with rest of the country?
Free California’s tweet, claiming that the rest of the country provides us with debt, proves that this state reeks of denial (and now, also pot). The tarnished Golden State currently has $400 billion dollars in unfunded liabilities and debt. The San Francisco Chronicle reported, “Since 2000, voters approved more than $103.2 billion [in general obligation bonds]. The state is paying on $86.8 billion in bond debt with another $32.3 billion expected to be issued in the coming years.” In addition, on November 8 of this year, voters approved another $9 billion dollar school construction bond.
The outcome of this election cycle has made this dog owning, gun-toting smoker consider taking a lot of road trips to Arizona (AZ actually banned cities from banning plastic bags) in the near future. Is trafficking plastic a crime? Eh, what’s the harm—Proposition 53 allows for the early release of criminals trafficking children for sex, so they should show mercy for simply crossing state lines with plastic bags.
Although… it is California… I probably shouldn’t bet on it.