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May 17, 2015
IRVINE, CA - The state of California is well-known for being a hotbed of the political battle of between liberals and conservatives. California has had both Democrats and Republicans govern the western state. While California's western and northern regions tend to be liberal, the eastern and southern parts are strongholds of conservatism and of Republicans. In fact, Orange County ranks as one of America's most conservative regions.
This swing tug-of-war battle is no exception when it comes to gun rights and gun control in California, with the state having both staunch supporters of the Second Amendment's Right to Bear Arms and that of further gun control legislation.However, it's not just the Democrat-Republican divide that contributes, the issue of gun rights is still divided, even within the conservative and Republican communities of California. The California Republicans are different than say a Georgia, Texas or a Mississippi Republican when it comes to the issue of gun control.
A poll showed that 63% of California Republicans support gun control, whether gun owner or non-gun owner, show much more more mixed the issue becomes even within one political community. A poll showed that only 48% of those California Republicans who answered, are gun owners. These stats conclude that even within California's conservatives, still, a minority, though a large minority are gun owners.
But these people are pledged-Conservatives in just about every other issue such as religion, LGBT issues, abortion issues and economic matters.
William Howard, a religious radio-talk show host from rural northern California says that he's within the pro-Second Amendment and gun-owning group.
"I own a Winchester Model 21 and a Glock 17 pistol. If I see some mad jihadi or some crazy armed freak in my property, I'm not waiting for the police, no patriot does that. I'm going to shoot back, just like our Founding Fathers did."Jacob Davidson, an accountant from the city of Irvine is not within the gun-owners group. He said, "I don't want a gun, I don't have a gun, because I have no use for one. They're very dangerous tools, and they're used in too many crimes. I don't want anybody in my family ending up on the news. If other people want one, that's great, that's their freedom but I prefer not to have one in my house. No, I'm not a Democrat, I am a Republican and I am a proud Christian."
But there are even some Republicans, who want guns completely banned.
Rose Palmero-Lopez for example, is a soccer mom who works as a superintentant at a school. Though a devout Catholic and Republican, she excludes guns from her love of the Republican Party.
Rose said, "Guns are a subset of criminal activity. Nobody should own them except for members of the military or law enforcement. It's not a Democrat or Republican issue, it's a common sense issue. If we could get a Catholic Republican governer to just take them all away, I'd vote for them in an instant."
Lopez says that while she's okay with gun ranges, she states that only police should own gun ranges and make all the guns un-purchasable for citizens.
"If people want to visit a shooting range, that's fine. I recognize that target-shooting is a legitimate sport and has its dangers just like any sport. But I think all gun ranges need to have their owership transferred to the police or military. If people want to use guns for sport, that's fine. Then leave the guns at a locker [outside of the home], in a range or better yet, don't give citizens the ability to purchase them. Renting is enough."
In fact, Lopez is part of a gun control organization known as the Orange Country Prevention Against Gun Violence. She is also a Moms in Demand Action member.Aaron Joseph, a car mechanic said that he doesn't need guns. A devout Christian, he says that God is his protection.
Joseph said, "I don't need guns, when I have God protect me. Nothing on Earth encompasses the power of God."
Joseph is a part of an Evangelical Protestant movement.
So now, let's meet the gun owners who DO support gun control.
Adam Patel is a doctor who works in Anaheim. He owns five handguns, a Kahr CW9 9mm, a Smith & Wesson SD40VE, a Barreta, a Desert Eagle. and Smith & Wesson Magnum revolver. However, Patel says he definitely supports background checks.
Patel said, "I'm all for guns. Just because I earn a lot of money, that's not going to protect me and my family. In fact, it can make us targets for criminals. But I'm also all for background checks, I submitted one and had no problem. This prevents mentally ill for purchasing a firearm. I own five handguns, and hey, me, my wife and daughters have fun times shooting them at the range."
Cameron Gatzky, a businessman from Villa Park states that he owns two shotguns. However, Gatzky supports the assault weapons ban, and says that California's Republicans aren't "assault-rifle slingers" like others.
He said, "The thing that really differentiates use from Republicans in states like Texas or Georgia is that we know that guns are a good tool for self-defense, or even hunting and sport-shooting. But they are also a responsibility. We're not the people who carry assault rifles in public, and in the grocery stores. We store them properly when not in use. That's a major difference. Speaking of assault rifles, those are for use in the battlefield. I really think we must differentiate between civilian firearms and military firearms. Civilian firearms would be shotguns, bolt-actions and handguns while military firearms are those that include assault rifles, sub machine guns and other high-grade weapons."
Michael Rivers, an owner of a Mossberg also supports the assault weapons ban. He said, "There is no reason why a soldier or member of law enforcement should be outgunned by a citizen. I mean, if there was a crook with an assault rifle who was gonna kill his family, the police shouldn't have to hide and retreat due to being outgunned."
However, some of this shouldn't be a surprise, some if is just common sense. No population is "100%" anything, and even in very conservative states like Texas or Georgia, there are going to be people that support gun control or just don't support civilian ownership of firearms altogether. The truth is the same vice versa, in states where the political momentum favors gun control, there are going to very pro-Second Amendment folks.
Let us remember that gun control has been embraced by Republican and conservative legends in the United States, such as Ronald Reagan who supported the assault weapons ban, George H.W. Bush who passed the law forbidding school employees to carry firearms in their schools. Arnold Schwarzenegger, former California governor says that while he supports Americans' right to defend themselves, he supports the assault weapons ban and the Brady Bill. Sylvester Stallone, one of Hollywood's few Republican actors is also well-known for his stance against civilian ownership of firearms. Clint Eastwood is up there with Stallone, who while being conservative-leaning, supports gun control.
Oh, ironically and coincidentally (maybe), Eastwood, Stallone, Reagan and Schwarzenegger all have one thing in common: they are from California, or at least had some association to California. Eastwood, Stallone and Schwarzenegger for example all live in California, well you know...Hollywood. But Reagan and Schwarzenegger were both governors of California before Reagan became president and Schwarzenegger sharing his life to acting.
James Brady, a legend of gun control and the namesake of the Brady bill - was a Republican who along with his wife Sarah Brady, ended up buying their son a .22 Springfield bolt-action rifle.