Mass Awakening: California Gun Owners Ready to Fight

We never let poor Jeff Avery live it down.

Among those of us in Mr. Sterling’s 11th-grade homeroom class, no one was more excited for our upcoming field trip. The thought of touring the local power plant generated an altogether different kind of electricity in Jeff. The rest of us were more interested in a day out of school. We saw the power plant every day, and it was an eyesore. But for Jeff, that ugly green monster of steam and steel disguised something beautiful, and he couldn’t wait to break past the facade and see it for himself.

Tragically, on the day of the field trip, he fell ill. Maybe all the excitement was too much for his body to handle; all hands were on deck, preparing for what might be the greatest day of Jeff’s life, if his brainwaves were anything to go by. With every cell distracted, a flu bug got in through the backdoor, set up shop, and replaced the electricity with fever. That morning, Jeff became the first student in the history of our high school to feign wellness so his parents would let him get on the bus.

He put up a good fight, but he never stood a chance. It was a 15-minute bus ride from the high school to the power plant, and Jeff was fast asleep by the halfway point. A volunteer parent offered to sit with him when we got to our destination; we each shook our heads as we passed him by, struck speechless by this (hilariously) sad turn of events.

Over the next couple of years, Jeff would roll his eyes when we called him Sleeping Beauty or when we used “Need a ride to the power plant?” as our go-to response for a yawn. He didn’t care, he told us over and over again. He’d never given his missed opportunity a second thought.

We doubted his honesty, but who knows? No man can know another’s mind.

On the other hand, California gun owners might be able to sympathize with our old high school buddy. When Gov. Jerry Brown signed a collection of astounding gun control bills into law last month, they probably felt a certain kinship with Jeff Avery. They woke up, rubbed their eyes, and slowly realized that they’d arrived at an unsettling destination without any memory of the ride there.

“These laws are completely insane to almost anyone with a real knowledge of firearms, and I did not think Gov. Brown would sign them,” San Diego-based CEO Barry Bahrami told “Many California gun owners are still unaware they will be criminals soon.”

Bahrami is heading up “Veto Gunmageddon,” a grassroots movement to put each of Brown’s new gun laws up for public referendum in November. So far, the group is well on its way to the 365,880 signatures needed to get on the ballot.

If they’re not successful, the laws will go into effect on the first of the year. They include regulations that will expand the definition of assault weapons, ban large-capacity magazines, strengthen ammunition background checks, and ban “bullet buttons” on rifles.

Last month, the NRA’s Amy Hunter said the bills comprised a “draconian gun-control package that turns California’s law-abiding gun owners into second-class citizens.”

You can’t blame California conservatives for falling asleep; liberals have turned the West Coast into a horrorshow worth missing. With these guns laws, though, liberals went just a little too far. They made too much noise. They woke up their sleeping passengers.

In November, they may be sorry they did.

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