In one of the most beautiful examples of hypocrisy, a former California State Senator has been convicted of weapons trafficking. Former Senator Leland Yee had been one of the leading voices in support of gun control in the state of California.
Yee’s story just reinforces many of the arguments made by gun rights activists. How would a law that restricts the type of firearms a citizen can buy going to effect a criminal in any way? The answer is it will not. Here we have a public official partnering with a known criminal—the colorful Chinatown gangster Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow—to buy “…weapons overseas and bringing them to the U.S.” All while championing the Brady Campaign for Gun Violence Prevention. Just two years before he was arrested he told CNN that “It is extremely important that individuals in the state of California do not own assault weapons. I mean that is just so crystal clear — there is no debate, no discussion.” At the same time he was bringing in real assault weapons from East Asia. How can the public ever have confidence that anything their legislators do in the supposed pursuit of public safety will mean anything when in fact the very people championing these laws are profiting from them? The only people who are effected by these crime prevention laws are the citizens of California.
Also, this is the perfect example of why trusting the government with your safety is a terrible idea. The largest argument pro-gun activists put forward is that they have the right to possess firearms because of the inherent right to defend themselves. How can citizens trust a government that would bar them from purchasing the most effective means of self-preservation, while selling these same banned weapons to criminal enterprises in the inner cities of the state? All the legislators accomplished was providing a monopoly on firepower. Now only criminals and the police have access to the most effective weapons. All behind the façade of a senator who “…styled himself as an outsider removed from the corruption that plagued San Francisco governments past.” Behind his outward appearance, Yee “…abused that trust” of the people of California. All for “…thousands of dollars in campaign contributions in exchange for political favors”. It is likely that more people were killed by the firearms he brought into the country illegally than by those purchased legally by citizens who wanted nothing more than to enjoy a challenging sport, or defend their families and homes.
Senator Yee is the perfect example of why gun control in America will never have the desired effect. Here we have California with some of the strictest gun laws in the country, yet it has the highest number of gun murders of any of the fifty states. The citizens are barred from buying many types of firearms that are supposedly too dangerous for them to own, but criminals can find public officials that are willing to turn a blind eye for campaign contributions and political favors.