Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
The third among Sir Isaac Newton’s law of physics is about to come into play with Monday’s edict from the United States Supreme Court.
Thirty-three thousand of California’s finest citizens will have their prison terms cut short and will be rejoining society over the next two years way ahead of schedule.
But that’s not all. The decision effectively caps California’s prison population at 110,000. What that essentially means is you can steal a car, burglarize vehicles, shoplift, and do all sorts of other crimes as often as you’d like and the odds of you going to prison are going to be greatly reduced.
While I don’t have any intention of getting a gun - at least not yet - I’m seriously thinking about investing in any company that sells handguns and bullets. It is about to become a major growth industry in California.
And before you think this is a knee jerk reaction, our very own governor Jerry Brown revealed in April to the Alliance of California Law Enforcement that “I’ve got three guns and a dog.”
There is a reason Brown owns three guns - crime. More specifically, he understood the perversity of crime during his stint living in Oakland when he was that city’s mayor. In 1992 when running for president he pushed a ban for a moratorium on gun sales. But by 2009 as California’s attorney general he filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the National Rifle Association’s attempt to overturn a gun ban in Chicago. He told the Supreme Court he feared “California citizens could be deprived of the constitutional right to own handguns in their own homes.”
The U.S. Supreme Court is the end of the trail. It is now the law of the land. So don’t be surprised if there is a stampede on businesses like Bass Pro Shop that sell handguns and bullets.
Just in case you’ve been living on the space shuttle for the last 15 years, let’s review why Californians may become born again gun owners 160 years after the wild days of the Gold Rush brought vigilante justice to San Francisco, the Central Valley and the Sierra foothills.
•There is no room at the jail. That is already the case in San Joaquin County where catching drug sellers, burglars, shoplifters, auto thieves, and such is now simply a game of catch and release. Even if there were the resources to house them and prosecute them, they won’t be heading to prison any time soon.
•Local government budgets have been slammed which has meant a reduction in police officers.
•If you think parole officers will be able to keep tabs on them, guess again. They are handling workloads approaching 10 times larger than they were 30 years ago. The early release ordered by the high court means their extremely difficult job will now be nearly impossible to perform.
•Unemployment, while improved, is hovering at 11.9 percent in California, 15.1 percent in Manteca, and 17.6 percent in San Joaquin. The county - in all likelihood - will get between 700 and 1,000 people skilled in auto theft, burglary, drug sales, and probably even drunken driving back away ahead of time. How do you think they are going to earn a living? Flipping burgers at McDonald’s where 300 people - including those with college degrees - are competing for one job?
Some will say people shouldn’t arm themselves as it is only property. Let’s see, you work all of your life to obtain things the honest way and not only have them taken from you by thieves but also at the same time they destroy your sense of security. Siege mentality and a concern that you need to protect your family can make people do things they wouldn’t normally consider doing such as arming themsleves with hand guns.
Rest assured the nine Supreme Court justices don’t live in a place similar to South Stockton.
Will it become complete chaos? That’s highly unlikely. Will there be a spike in crime? If you want to bet against it, you’ll find more than a few people willing to take your money.
But when push comes to shove, the folks who will bear the brunt of the impacts of 33,000 felons being released ahead of their time plus prison population being capped essentially to only accommodate violent felons will be people in the poorer sections of California.
The very same people, if the Supreme Court cares, also can’t access needed care for physical and mental illness in a timely manner, which is what the entire case before them that is triggering the early release of prisons was based upon.
Little wonder Jerry Brown has not one but three guns.