I opened up iGoogle this morning to check the news and one of the top headlines is the shootout in Oakland, California that left three police officers dead.
It seems that California, much like PA and many other states in the country, can’t keep it’s dangerous criminals in jail where they belong. “The incident involving the gunman “is bad because he’s a state ward, he’s a state parolee, they let him out,” said California Attorney General Jerry Brown, a former Oakland mayor. “There are hundreds of shooters walking around the East Bay. Our parole system isn’t working.”
Aside from the fact that this criminal shouldn’t have been loose on the street, this story is of interest to me because the gunman was armed with a so-called “assault weapon.” Under current California law (Senate Bill 23 effective 1 January 2000), the sale and ownership of weapons defined is severely restricted. All firearms defined as an “assault weapon” must be registered, and registration for new weapons has been closed.
Lovell Mixon, 27 of Oakland, was a violent felon who was on parole for a charge of assault with a deadly weapon. He was wanted for violating his parole. By federal regulations, as a felon, he couldn’t legally purchase or own firearms. By California law, the weapon he used was illegal. Obviously all the laws in the world wouldn’t have stopped this event from happening.
The big question I keep going back to while reading the updated stories about this incident is “Why was this violent felon released on bail in the first place?’ We can only hope that this event spawns an outcry for mandatory, long-term sentencing for violent criminals. No plea bargains, no reduced sentences.What will probably happen is that the Brady Campaign and other anti-gun groups will try to use this incident as a spring board to push the reinstatement of the failed 1994 Assault Weapons Ban.
As tragic as this event is, it’s obvious that strict gun control doesn’t keep crime from happening. This story proves without doubt what pro-gun people and organizations have been saying for years. Gun bans do nothing except keep law-abiding citizens from owning guns. They have no effect on crime.
Thankfully, the SWAT officers put a final end to Lovell Mixon’s criminal career. Unfortunately, three police officers families have lost their loved ones. Their deaths were senseless and tragic, all the more so because their judicial system failed them.
Prayers to the families of Mark Dunakin, 40, of Tracy, a traffic officer with the department since 1991; Erv Romans, 43, of Danville, a 13-year veteran with the force; and Dan Sakai, 35, a nine-year veteran.