MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Kamala Harris Now on Senate Judiciary Committee; Bad News for Second Amendment

The former California attorney general has a long history of hostility to Second Amendment rights.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) was named to the Senate Judiciary Committee today. What might that mean moving forward for the Senate's attitude toward potential legislation effecting the Second Amendment? Nothing great.

Like us on Facebook at CAGuard on Foter.com / CC BYLike us on Facebook at CAGuard on Foter.com / CC BYGun rights advocates often raise the specter of armed state agents going door to door to confiscate firearms. Kamala Harris helped make that worst-case-scenario a reality in California. Her attorney general's office presided over California's Armed Prohibited Persons System, which spent at least $24 million sending police to citizens' homes to take away weapons.

The target of this "common sense gun control" measure: people who had once been legal gun owners, but had since lost their right to own a firearm due an ever-expanding definition of unfitness, which includes having committed certain crimes, falling under a restraining order, or being adjudicated mentally ill. (The state's databases of these failings are known to be highly unreliable.)

In April 2017, California was forced to return 500 weapons it had illegally confiscated from one citizen in 2015 under Harris' aggressive implementation of that program. Despite the fact that she never demonstrated any concrete threat from the over 18,000 citizens who received visits from her agents and had property taken from them, Harris proudly announced that "removing firearms from dangerous and violent individuals makes our communities safer."

As attorney general, Harris tried to ensure that people couldn't get carry permits for weapons in California merely for reasons as petty, to her mind, as that they felt they needed one. She has fought in court to ensure that only police officials should be able to decide whether a citizen can defend himself outside his home. She got sued in 2016 in her former capacity as California attorney general for her office's policies toward open public carrying of weapons.

Her general attitude about gun possession and gun law—despite the fact that she is a senator of a state where gun ownership continues to climb even as violent crime has dropped faster than the national average—is that gun policy should be dictated by how comfortable you feel after looking at autopsy photos of the children murdered at Sandy Hook elementary school. Literally. Speaking in October 2015 at "Politicon" in Los Angeles she advised that before any vote related to gun control or gun rights "They should have closed the chambers of Congress, on the House and the Senate side, and said all you members go in there, only you, and spread out the autopsy photos of those babies and require them to look at those photographs. And then vote your conscience."

Harris is so uncomfortable with the Second Amendment she's willing to jab at the First Amendment while hobbling it, as shown by her support as California's attorney general for a state law restricting how handgun sellers can advertise. She so delights in pettily bedeviling gun owners that her department in California tried to enforce restrictions on how many guns could be purchased per month by those who hold certain special collectors' licenses even though both the letter of the law and previous practice said they were exempt, and stuck to her lack of principle on the issue until she got sued over it in 2014.

In rhetoric and action, Harris is especially proud of her role as someone out to keep more guns out of more people's hands for any reason, legal or not, constitutional or not. It's a bit disheartening to see on the Senate Judiciary Committee someone with a specific, lengthy, and proud record of literally taking legally purchased guns from Americans via armed agents going door to door.

Photo Credit: Like us on Facebook at CAGuard on Foter.com / CC BY

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    She has fought in court to ensure that only police officials should be able to decide whether a citizen can defend himself outside his home.

    Those are the exact people we need guns to protect ourselves from.

  • Rebel Scum||

    They seem to forget the "bear" part of keep and bear.

  • Wanderer||

    Spot on

    The first 2 amendments are some of the strongest backbone sof US freedom, and the second amendment was precisely directed against the Kamala Harrises of the XVIII century

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Harris is a good example of why we need to force all the progressives out.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Christ, what an asshole.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Would it change your mind to know that in that picture she's standing in front of the destruction caused by just one (1) hand gun?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I am stating a fact.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Hand guns are like those petite crazy chics that once they get set off don't stop until everything around them is wasted.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Ex-wife?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    What type of gun handgun did that, and where can I buy one?

  • Fat Hubie||

    What kind? I want one!

  • Cloudbuster||

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Clearly it was the Nuke .50 BMG.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Speaking in October 2015 at "Politicon" in Los Angeles she advised that before any vote related to gun control or gun rights "They should have closed the chambers of Congress, on the House and the Senate side, and said all you members go in there, only you, and spread out the autopsy photos of those babies and require them to look at those photographs. And then vote your conscience."

    And my conscience would tell me that citizens have the right to be armed to prevent such a thing from happening. It's a crime that the adults at Sandy Hook had nothing but their bare hands to defend those children with.

  • Rebel Scum||

    And then vote your conscience.

    It is my understanding that they swear an oath to the document that created the government. That is the only consideration to be had.

  • Brandybuck||

    Do the same thing for aborted fetuses and I GUARANTEE you that Harris would be in the front of the rage pack over it.

  • Wanderer||

    Pictures of dead babies !

    Is she a closet pro-lifer ?

  • Rebel Scum||

    The former California attorney general has a long history of hostility to Second Amendment all rights.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I'm sure she champions Tony's right to fuck underage teenage boys.

  • Hugh Akston||

    She so delights in pettily bedeviling gun owners that her department in California tried to enforce restrictions on how many guns could be purchased per month by those who hold certain special collectors' licenses even though both the letter of the law and previous practice said they were exempt, and stuck to her lack of principle on the issue until she got sued over it in 2014.

    It doesn't sound to me like she lacks principles so much as she adheres to terrible principles.

  • esteve7||

    My proggy friends are praising Kamala Harris just like they praised Obama. Both were nobodies before they said a bunch of far left crap and won over lefties hearts with a bunch of emotional rhetoric that wouldn't pass a basic logic class.

  • Brandybuck||

    Welcome to California. Kamala actually makes me long for a return of Boxer. Sigh.

  • Longtobefree||

    Congratulations; you just put lefties and logic in the same sentence. Please take one of those basic logic classes.

  • Rhywun||

    Wow, she's far worse than I thought. AKA a "rising star".

  • JoeBlow123||

    Free publicity. Who cares who she is?

    You are falling into the Trump Trap. Free publicity to loons, publicity makes loons famous, loons become more powerful, more publicity on the loon, and the cycle continues.

    BREAK THE WHEEL!!! Free yourself.

  • Rebel Scum||

    My comment was eaten. Let's try this again.

    The target of this "common sense gun control" measure

    The only "common sense" measure is to use both hands. Incidentally, I typically assume that people who use "common sense" to describe their ideas have no legitimate supporting argument. I find this holds particularly true in the gun control arena. The historical/constitutional argument always wins. Just start citing the federalist papers until they give up or lose their minds.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    California can't seceed fast enough...

  • Elias Fakaname||

    No. They are welcome to leave. CA is ours. No progressive gets to keep one square inch of American soil.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    The U.S. needs to come up with a method to eject states rather than wait for them to secede.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Before voting on whether to reinstitute alcohol prohibition, I want you all to look at these autopsy photos of children killed by drunk driving accidents.

    Before voting on whether to crack down on prescription opioids, I want you all to look at these autopsy photos of grandfathers killed by overdoses.

    Before voting on whether to expand the TSA's security duties, I want you all to look at these photos of people jumping from the WTC during the 9/11 attacks.

    Before voting on whether to ban prostitution, I want you all to look at these evidence photos of women raped by their pimps.

    Before voting on whether to censor hate speech, I want you all to look at these photos of children killed in concentration camps...

    The only thing more enraging than the non-existent logic of this woman's arguments is the uniform non-scrutiny with which they will be met by the pseudo-intellectual rabble that dares to have the gall to style itself the Party of Science...

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Before you vote on global warming legislation, I want you all to look at these photos of pristine, sandy beaches...

  • Longtobefree||

    Not to mention the recent NPR photos of the snow covered Sahara -- -- --

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Kamala Harris was in my top 3 2020 Presidential hopefuls, but reading this has made her fly past Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand and secure the clear #1 position. You older libertarians need to realize that young people like me are attracted to the movement because of its stances on immigration and reproductive rights, but that its dogmatic view on "Second Amendment rights" is a major turnoff. The sooner the libertarian movement distances itself from the NRA, the better.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    FOAD, you douchebag. >>>>>>DU is that way, you should not be anywhere near anything libertarian.

  • Morbo||

    It's a parody account, dude. It amazes me how many people around here fall for it.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Yeah, a little too garishly over the top. Kind of like the way Aaron Soorkin when he writes dialogue he thinks real conservatives would say.

  • Longtobefree||

    Lead me through the logic, o wise young one.
    Here is the text:
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Historical hint: A militia is a military unit formed entirely of individual volunteers who have submitted to orders of the military only for a designated period of time, or in a designated place. They supply their own weapons. (The second part is key)

    Now explain how a party founded on individual freedom and the constitution should not be dogmatic about individual freedom and the constitution.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    I think your sarcometer may need to be recalibrated.

  • Robert||

    spread out the autopsy photos of those babies and require them to look at those photographs.


    Suckling long pig—delicious!

  • mpercy||

    Harris supports California's Armed Prohibited Persons System, but god help us if someone is asked to show a valid ID to help prevent prohibited persons from voting.

  • uunderstand||

    If it wasn't for incomprehensible positions, the progs would have no positions at all.

  • Wanderer||

    Good point

  • shawn_dude||

    ::yawn::

    It's the hypocrisy tit-for-tat game!

    Republicans believe former felons shouldn't get the right to vote back after serving their time but do believe they should be handed a gun.

  • PaulTheBeav||

    She would have made a good noble. She knows that the law is just for us peasants. She's above that sort of thing.

  • tlapp||

    Our government is based on "We the People" why would WE give up our guns and only allow our employees to have them.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    People like Kamala Harris should be hauled out of their Congressional office for violating their oath of office and the US Constitution.

    2nd Amendment:
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

  • shawn_dude||

    You can't go buy a nuclear bomb, right? Isn't that an infringement on your right to keep and bear arms?

    Every single politician in Congress supports limits on the sorts of arms people can own. So the question isn't whether limits are acceptable but where to draw the line.

    Saying people who have demonstrated, to a judge, the inability to be a responsible gun owner shouldn't have guns seems fairly uncontroversial.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Every single politician in Congress can go fuck themselves with a freshly sharpened claymore to the hilt, and no one "bears" a nuke- it covers handheld weapons only. And a rocket launcher can't kill more people than a French ice-cream truck, so no, no limits are acceptable.

    Have fun letting judges take the right to abort, marry, travel and vote from people who have "demonstrated the inability to be a responsible aborter/spouse/traveller/voter".

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "it covers handheld weapons only."

    Actually the 2nd Amendment does not limit keeping and bearing arms to handheld weapons only.

    Quite a few families owned cannons that they rented out to the Continental Army.

  • Hank Phillips||

    2A also protects the right of States to set up nuclear antimissile systems. The SALT and ABM treaties with the Soviet Union need to be lit with a match. Search "Constitutionality of the ABM Treaty" and you'll find Socialists have no problem with the Commander-in-Chief surrendering unconditionally to communist invaders, but object to any presidential action against treaties that violate the Bill of Rights.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "Every single politician in Congress supports limits on the sorts of arms people can own. So the question isn't whether limits are acceptable but where to draw the line."
    Well, it should not be up to Congress to decide what and what is not acceptable under the 2nd Amendment. The whole point of the BoR is to prevent government from "interpreting" what the 1st and 2nd Amendments "mean", so they can undermine your rights.

    But yes, every American should be able to build and/or buy nuclear weapons. Good luck with that.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Shawn should amend the Constitution to say what he wants to hear. Conservatives hear the First Amendment saying kicking in doors is "the free exercise" of their mystical pseudoscience, and lay socialists hear it saying to exact a Carbon Tax as sacrifice to Goddess Gaia. Maybe another Kristallnacht religion would do the trick for disarming voters.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""You can't go buy a nuclear bomb, right? Isn't that an infringement on your right to keep and bear arms?""

    No, A bomb is not consider an "arms"

  • shawn_dude||

    "...people who had once been legal gun owners, but had since lost their right to own a firearm due an ever-expanding definition of unfitness, which includes having committed certain crimes, falling under a restraining order, or being adjudicated mentally ill."

    You try to make this sound horrible, but this really outs you as a fear monger on this issue.

    - Committed 'certain' crimes = people who committed violent crimes and have proven they aren't responsible shouldn't have legal access to guns.

    - falling under a restraining order = people who meet the requirement for a protective restraining order (stalkers, abusive spouses, etc) shouldn't have legal access to weapons. They've been shown, to a judge, to be enough of a risk that their free movement civil rights should be temporarily curtailed.

    - Mentally ill = mentally ill. Seriously. Mentally ill people shouldn't have guns.

    What do you do when someone has gone through a fair judicial process and been designated unfit to own a gun? If they have guns, they need to relinquish them. That's simple enough.

    What do people who advocate for unlimited access to weapons say when crazy people shoot up women's clinics or slaughter guests at a country and western concert in Vegas? "People like that shouldn't have guns." But the next step in that logic is to define "people like that," ensure they get an opportunity to defend their right in court, and then remove the guns for those that lose the right.

  • ||

    But the next step in that logic is to define "people like that," ensure they get an opportunity to defend their right in court, and then remove the guns for those that lose the right.

    And by "people like that" you mean "poor minorities". Seriously, I'm pretty racist but the fact that white leftists keep proposing this shit like it doesn't observably and documentably lead to minorities being stripped of their rights and even jailed for non-crimes at disproportionate rates makes the old "blacks are inferior because phrenology" racists look objective and impartial.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    What do people who advocate for unlimited access to weapons say when crazy people shoot up women's clinics or slaughter guests at a country and western concert in Vegas? "People like that shouldn't have guns."

    No, we don't. We say that they "should", because as Nice, Bataclan, Oslo, Brussels, Manchester, and a dozen other mass-caj attacks in Europe have shown, "crazy people" are the one group that are almost completely immune to the State's prohibitions. People who already plan to die or go to prison for the rest of their lives tend not to be fazed by threats of prison time. Shocking, I know.

    And, yes, the next step in that "logic" is to define "people like that", etc.- which is exactly why that illogic needs to be stopped in its tracks, for the same reason that censorship of hate speech and restrictions on immigration or narcotics need to be: because you aren't smart enough to define them.

    Your list is a classic example: you use these words- "committed violent crimes"; "mentally ill"; "opportunity to defend their right"; "designated unfit"; "fair"- as if they have objective definitions. But no word has an objective definition! You think "mentally ill" means violent schizos, but in practice it will mean people with OCD or anxiety issues; you think "opportunity" means an impartial court and judge, but it will actually mean the whim of a sheriff. (cont.)

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    (cont.)

    Perhaps the biggest problem in your assertions is your assumption that courts are actually fair; that the wise latter-day Solomons up on the bench can be trusted to find the "right way of doing things". But applying this to any other activity reveals its ignorant bigotry: imagine if anyone who wrote a critical article about their congressman was subjected to a fair judicial process, given an opportunity to defend their right in court, and then had their article removed if they lost that right. Let's say that it's the same judges you were going to use for those "unfit" gun owners. And then let's apply that same system to abortions. And marijuana use. And marriage. And travel between states. And voting...

    You are right about one thing, though; it is "simple". The problem is that the presumptuousness of your musings and the all-too-material policies they lead to is the only simple element in the equation. The pluses and minuses of guns in a household? The wisdom of the state officials, frocked and otherwise, assigned to the determining of such? The capacity of the state to actually enforce their policy, and the collateral damage and expenditures resultant from the enforcement? Those aren't simple. Any more than the price of a loaf of bread in Caracas is. And the best way to manage a complex system... Is to let it manage itself.

    So fuck off.

  • Rockabilly||

    Fuck comrade Kamala Harris and her fucking marxist agenda.

    fuck off !!!

  • Presskh||

    This is the result of so many stupid Alabamians falling for the last-minute, made-up smear campaign against Roy Moore. Losing this seat to Jones resulted in replacing a Republican on the Judiciary Committee with this left-wing POS. I hope those in other states remember this and don't repeat the mistake of so many dumb-ass Alabamians in the 2018 midterms - ALL THAT REALLY MATTERS IS HOW A CANDIDATE WILL VOTE ON IMPORTANT ISSUES. I live in Alabama, by the way.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Somebody fetch this poor mistreated Alabaman a butthurt form to fill out!

  • California Right To Carry||

    This is the problem with left-wing libertarians. All that dope smoking clouds their brains. The CRPA never sued Kamala Harris over the right to Open Carry back in 2016. I am the only one who sued her and my lawsuit was filed in 2011. My claim, in Nichols v. Brown, is that Open Carry is the right guaranteed by the Constitution. The NRA/CRPA argument in Flanagan v. Harris is that California can ban Open Carry in favor of concealed carry and therefore they are entitled to concealed carry permits. Sound familiar? It should as it was the same nonsensical argument they made in their failed Peruta v. San Diego lawsuit.

  • Hank Phillips||

    "Right-wing" only has meaning as an euphemism for religious socialists (fascists). Left-wing libertarians are in the same zoo as perpetual motion machines, Muslim atheists and results of division by zero, since the qualifier only serves to identify the socialist laity.

  • Om Vishnu Private Limited||

    As I read this article after watching the title of blog you have a great knowledge about topic. As you explained about it I am become your fan. You have a great knowledge about this. I read your articles all time and your writing is very good. I found new word all time. New topic and new things I found all time. You are expert in blog writing. I am big fan of your writing. I am website designer and developer. Omvishnu.com is my website and I am writing blog for my website. I always inspire from your website to write a blog. I write my own blog for my website. It's getting very easy to write a blog after reading blogs such like yours. I am glad that commenting on your blog after reading lots of blog. And I am started blog writing for my website and for others also. Omvishnu.com is my website. Visit my website for web design and development. Thank you.

  • Hank Phillips||

    It is Republican votebait doublethink to imagine Kamala can do anything to jeopardize the Second Amendment. Much more dangerous is her belief in Misanthropic Global Warming, a religion that has visions of temperature data trendlines reversing the sign of their first derivative by priestly Transubstantiation or "rectification." This, the Faithful declare, must be backed by using deadly force against "deniers" (raw data advocates), an act which THEIR First Amendment defines as "the free exercise thereof."

  • Lester224||

    What's with so much attention paid to Kamala Harris? Is she a big deal now?

  • American Veteran Patroit||

    This wacko liberal piece of debris more useless then obozo & carter melded into one person. She is a threat to good order the country. It's her agenda or nothing, plus she is a lousy attorney!

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online