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Newsom has no room to talk about gun violence

Politicians who use tragedies for personal political gain – such as Gavin Newsom and Beto O’Rourke – are despicable individuals.

Beto, the failed presidential candidate now running for governor of Texas, quickly jumped on the Uvalde school shooting tragedy to use it for political posturing, slamming conservative GOP Gov. Greg Abbott about being too lax on guns.

Abbott had been speaking on mental health in the wake of the shooting when O’Rourke rushed the podium, interrupted and barked: “You are doing nothing. You said this was not predictable, this was totally predictable, and you choose not to do anything.”

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin yelled at O’Rourke: “You’re out of line. I can’t believe you’re a sick son of a b---- who would come to a deal like this to make a political issue.”

O’Rourke was then escorted out of the auditorium by police. It was an embarrassing outcome for O’Rourke.

On the west coast, far from Texas, Newsom held a presser to suggest that Republicans “won’t do a damn thing” about school shootings. Newsom falsely bragged that violent gun crimes are down in California. Really? California saw 23 mass shooting between 1982 and 2022, the highest in the nation. Texas and Florida had 12 apiece.

Apparently Newsom hopes we all have a short memory. Let’s review what has happened in recent years in California:

• Sacramento had a deadly April 3 shooting that left six dead and 18 shot by felonious gang thugs released early from prison because of his policies;

• There was a workplace mass shooting at the Valley Transportation Authority light rail yard in San Jose that left 10 dead on May 26, 2021. That was a year ago.

• Five were killed by a gunman in a The Church of Sacramento shooting on Feb. 28, 2022. I didn’t hear Newsom call a press release to announce his state has “refused to do anything” about preventing mass shootings.

• Four were killed and six wounded in a Fresno backyard gun massacre in November 2019. California currently has a death penalty moratorium, thanks to Newsom.

• Two killed at Saugus High School when a student shot five students, killing two before killing himself on Nov, 14, 2019.

• Five were killed, four wounded in an Orinda Halloween party at a rental mansion on Oct. 31, 2019.

• Four dead, 17 wounded at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on July 28, 2019

• Five dead on June 23, 2019 in a private home in San Jose.

• Four Oakland police officers murdered on March 21, 2009.

•  On May 15, 2022 a gunman attacked a lunch banquet at a Taiwanese church in Laguna Woods, killing one person and wounding five others.

• A man killed six students and an employee and injured three others at the Christian vocational college in Oakland on April 2, 2012.

• A gunman went on a shooting rampage on June 7, 2013 in Santa Monica, killing four people and injuring several others before police killed him in a gun battle at Santa Monica College. 

• A 16-year-old Saugus High School student opened fire on his classmates on Nov. 14, 2019, killing two and injuring three others before turning the gun on himself.

Newsom had some gonads for lecturing other governors about gun violence but the facts show him to be a fraud.

Actor Matthew McConaughey weighed in on the tragedy, saying “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

Hold on just a minute. Who is “we”? Responsible gun owners who don’t cause problems with their weapons and only use them to protect their families? Or the “we” being the mentally ill and psychotic people who get their hands on the instrument and use it for destruction?

The actor pontificated a little more, saying “every American” needs to ask what “small sacrifices” can be made to preserve life.

Well, if you’re talking about giving up my gun that is available to protect me from evil doers and make me less safe, nice try. That “small sacrifice” could end up costing me the loss of life within my domain.

The shooting grieved all of us, including Gov. Abbott and Ted Cruz, but Democrats like Joe Biden trying to blame Republicans for the shooting is just sick and only divisive.

If we’re really honest with ourselves, we’ll come to the realization that there is no way to end tragedies like this no more than we can prevent poverty in the world or death in the world. These are conditions of a fallen world.

More gun laws are not a solution as evidenced by the myriad of gun laws on the books.

America has a spiritual problem and without a moral check, evil knows no bounds. Absent guns, if someone is intending on killing they will pick their tools – knives, machetes, crossbows, bombs, a foot on the accelerator of their car, and yes sometimes an airplane. You name it. The farther you get from an abiding faith the worse your society becomes.

If we’re honest, Democrats routinely vilify Christians in word and deed. They cast a pall upon people who are grounded in traditionally held values. No wonder kids think the worst thing you can do is attend church and be the uncool kid.

Effective solutions, like an armed guard on every campus, have long been proposed but Democrats claim that’s not going to work.

We also need to understand how excessive social media immersion contributes to depression among young people and can cause some to act out. The isolation they felt during the blue state lockdowns has also affected mental health of thousands of young kids.

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While Newsom pontificates about other states’ crimes, he glosses over his contribution to increased crime in California. The governor likes to release felons out of prison early so they create havoc for the police and public alike.

Shane Thomas, 35, got out of prison early under Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) and went right back to stealing cars and trying to run over police with them. Last week he ran a stolen car into another car in Ceres before running to hide but ended up being bitten by a police dog. Needless pain and suffering because our governor is failing us.

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Things are getting tight out there economically and some folks are getting really desperate.

The scams are up and so are the thefts.

Someone locally was even complaining about a clerk at the local AM/PM keeping a penny in change.

You see it everywhere. The malaise that defined the Jimmy Carter Administration is back.

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I recently spoke about how Republicans have given up hope of ever having a balance of power in California and a check of voter registration shows that it’s gotten worse. As bad as things are in California it appears the voters are disconnected in putting two and two together and arriving at the conclusion – as I have – that Democrat policies are ruining California. We don’t have enough power or water, you can count on devastating forest fires each fire season because they are not well managed, the poor and homeless are increasing, infrastructure is crumbling, our taxes and gas prices are too high and regulation is so heavy-handed that corporations are leaving California. Abortion is encouraged here and lawmakers want to disarm citizens at a time when dangerous prisoners are released to victimize them because the Democrats want to defund police and reinvent our judicial system.

Pardon my pessimism but Republicans don’t have a chance of providing meaningful input on policy in California. There are too many folks used to the handouts and giveaways at the expense of others. Sorry, folks, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

In 2001, 35 percent of California voters were registered Republicans; today, only 24 percent. But then again, the No Party Preference voters went from 14.5 percent in 2001 to 22.9 percent today.

Big city voters rule the state. For example, Alameda County is comprised of 81.22 percent Democrat voters; only 10.9 percent Republican.

At least Republicans have a chance in Stanislaus County where voter registration is about even. Democrats have 38.93 percent of the votership and Republicans at 34.62 percent. Rural and mountain counties are Republican heavy. Take Tuolumne County where only 29.08 percent of voters are Democrats, versus 44.15 percent GOP.

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I had to chuckle when I received state Senate candidate Jeff McKay’s political flyer in the mail. It featured a manipulated photo of opponent George Radanovich wearing a bow tie and holding a glass and bottle of wine with the words: “George Radanovich’s political career is old enough to drink. George Radanovich has been a politician for 21 years.”

I laugh because Jeff McKay has been in politics just as long. Radanovich’s foray into politics came in 1988 when he became a Mariposa County Supervisor – after Jeff McKay had been appointed to the Ceres Planning Commission. McKay had been appointed to the Ceres City Council in 1983, was elected twice to spend 10 years total on the council. Since moving to ritzy Del Rio, McKay has been elected to and still serves on the Stanislaus Union School District board of trustees, a seat he has held for 11 years. Do the math: 21 years, certainly “old enough to drink.”

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What cracks me up about political attack mailers is that there would be a way to attack any candidate for any office. Find the worst photo of your opponent – sinister looking shots work best – dress him up comically or run it in black and white and twist the crap out of his record, or criticize him/her for not living in the district as long as you have. Of course, on the flip side, run a flattering photo of you talking to a farmer out in an orchard to prove you are pro-ag or run a 35-year-old photo of yourself in a Navy uniform.

Politics is such a funny business.

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A former Ceres resident living in Texas, enjoys reading what I have to write in my column and often provides feedback. Regarding my story about California leaders blowing it with regards to generating enough power for Californians, Stan wrote this: In 2020, Texas generated 473.5 TWh, California generated 193 TWh of electricity. Average retail price in California was 18 cents per KWh, in Texas it was 8.36 cents per KWh. Net summer capacity for Texas is about 129 GWh; Net summer capacity for California is about 78 GWh. Does this help in the understanding of why all the predictors of gloom want Texas to become part of the national grid? BTW, Texas is a net exporter of power while California is a net importer of power.“

This column is the opinion of Jeff Benziger, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Ceres Courier or 209 Multimedia Corporation. How do you feel about this? Let Jeff know at