In California this year, the most significant new gun-related law is less about the guns and more about identifying people who might be too dangerous to own them, says U-T San Diego. The measure creates a Gun Violence Restraining Order that allows people who suspect a family member is mentally unstable or dangerous to get a court order forbidding that person from owning weaponry and ammo. The Legislature passed the bill in reaction to the mass murder in May at the University of California Santa Barbara.
“This year's mass shooting near Santa Barbara left six dead and 13 wounded,” said U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “The gunman's mother saw signs that her son was a danger, yet she was powerless to prevent him from possessing firearms — even temporarily.” The murderer killed his first three victims by stabbing them, which reinforces a point made by John Lott, author of “More Guns, Less Crime” and president of the pro-gun-rights Crime Prevention Research Center: “Why not commit these individuals? You can't stop them from getting weapons.” Mass killers prepare their crimes for many months and even years in advance, he said, and they rarely are deterred by legalities. Some of the law's supporters argue it won't do as much to protect against killing sprees as it will to keep guns away from suicidal people.