Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Friday | February 28, 2003

US to sue California over gun database

Who can tell the difference between Onion stories and reality any more? Segregationist Ashcroft, lounging about with too much free time on his hands (if he could only find something worthwhile to do in these peaceful times) is threatening to ... well, let me just quote directly:

The U.S. Department of Justice has threatened to criminally prosecute California's top firearms official over the state's continued use of a federal databank to hunt down illegal gun users, The Chronicle has learned.

The threat marks a significant escalation in the war between California law enforcement and U.S. officials over gun control and background checks. State officials said that until John Ashcroft became U.S. attorney general in 2001, California's use of the databank was not questioned.

Federal authorities believe the list of convicted felons, drug dealers, suspected terrorists, spouse beaters, illegal immigrants and others should only be used to help gun dealers determine if someone is allowed to buy a gun, not police investigating other gun-control violations.


"At a time when Ashcroft is pushing for maximum police powers in almost all areas of our lives, the one exception is guns," said Luis Tolley, Western regional director with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "They are going in the opposite direction."

To their credit, California officials are staring down Ashcroft, shouting back "bring it on!"

I have this fantasy where California, Oregon and Washington (and perhaps Brittish Columbia) all break off and create the new progressive nation of Pacifica. But where would that leave New England and the Great Lakes states? Abandoning those poor souls would be too cruel.

Posted February 28, 2003 01:40 PM | Comments (47)


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