Nearly 20 years ago, comedian Chris Rock made an argument in favor of “bullet control.”
“We need to control the bullets,” he said. “I think all bullets should cost $5,000. You know why? Because if a bullet cost $5,000 there’d be no more innocent bystanders.”
It’s a painfully true reminder that the use of guns and bullets need to be regulated in this country. Rock’s stand-up routine came in 1999, the year of the Columbine High School shootings. Sadly, not much has changed. In 2012, the Sandy Hook School shootings occurred, which took the lives of 5 and 6 year-olds. Dozens of mass shootings have occurred on college campuses, churches, and the latest at an Orlando bar. Despite gun control being on the agenda of lawmakers, Congress is still dragging its feet to actually do something about an issue that should be urgent.
In California, however, Gov. Jerry Brown has decided to do something about the out-of-control epidemic. On July 1, he made good on Rock’s proposal and passed legislation to curb the sale of bullets. He signed into law half a dozen new laws on gun and bullet control, including limits on assault weapons and bans on high-capacity magazines.
The governor also signed into law bullet control legislation which will require an ID and background check to purchase ammunition and create a new state database of ammunition owners. To be fair, he also vetoed 5 other bills sent to his desk because he felt they were too vague or placed an undue burden on gun owners.
Two weeks ago, House Democrats staged a sit in and refused to do business until Republicans in the Senate voted on gun reform measures. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan conceded to allowing a vote on gun reform. Democrats are expecting Ryan’s version of the bill to be a narrower version of what has been proposed by the National Rifle Assn.