The Wuhan coronavirus has understandably caused major panic around the world.
And governments often use widespread panic to grab more power.
But one government power-grab just backfired in a major way.
California is the most populous state in the country and was one of the first to issue sweeping shelter-in-place orders to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Predictably, some politicians are using the emergency to push for other extreme policies.
For example, one mayor in Illinois tried to grant the city the power to confiscate guns “if need be.”
Officials in New Orleans did this in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
California is notoriously bad on the issue of guns. Libertarian think-tank, The Cato Institute, ranks California 49th on gun rights.
And the sheriff of Los Angeles County, Alex Villanueva, recently tried to shut down gun stores after deeming them “nonessential” businesses.
However, amid the backlash, Villanueva was forced to reverse his order and allow the gun shops to re-open.
Villanueva beclowned himself further when he re-closed gun shops based on a vague statement from California Governor Gavin Newsom.
However, gun rights groups, including Gun Owners of America, threatened to sue Villanueva for his infringement on the Second Amendment.
So Villanueva reversed – yet again – and allowed gun shops to operate.
The embarrassment of this latest flip-flop caused him to be stripped of his title of Director of Emergency Operations.
Meanwhile, as Villanueva was harassing people trying to exercise their constitutional rights, he announced that 1,700 criminals would be released from prison and no crimes with bail under $50,000 would be prosecuted.
These are the Orwellian policies that big government proponents are always pushing for – and many LA residents are calling for Villanueva’s resignation.
Furthermore, despite Villanueva’s gun control gambit, gun sales are up significantly in Los Angeles. In fact, gun sales are at an all-time high across the nation.
Liberal outlets have been forced to report on stories of first-time gun buyers, many of whom were traditionally against gun rights. And some are finding themselves appalled by the hoops they’ve had to jump through, including waiting periods, just to purchase a gun.
Perhaps now they’ll realize that the overwhelming majority of Americans don’t buy guns for nefarious reasons, but to protect themselves – especially in an emergency situation.
Gun shops in Los Angeles have seen lines of customers out the door. Demand is high and they’ve had to switch to appointment-only in order to stay in compliance with the social distancing guidelines.
If there’s any silver lining to this crisis, hopefully it’s that more people have realized that government overreach is bad and that the framers of the Constitution may have had more wisdom than gun-grabbers grant them.
Hopefully, they will remember how hollow, dishonest, and misinformed their arguments were.