Alex Padilla fills California vacancy created by Kamala Harris. (Screen snip, YouTube, Cal. Secretary of State)

Alex Padilla fills California vacancy created by Kamala Harris. (Screen snip, YouTube, Cal. Secretary of State)
Alex Padilla fills the California vacancy created by Kamala Harris. (Screen snip, YouTube, Cal. Secretary of State)

U.S.A.-( As if to quickly dispel any confusion about how he will vote on Second Amendment issues now that he is replacing Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate, Democrat Alex Padilla—appointed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom to fill the Harris vacancy—declared in his acceptance statement, “I’m going to the Senate so we can finally make real progress on our long-challenges… from climate change to immigration reform to common-sense gun safety.”

The firearms community is well aware of the term “common-sense gun safety” is camo-speak for extremist gun control. Padilla, a Democrat career politician who has bounced up the political ladder from his election to the Los Angeles City Council more than 20 years ago, advancing to the State Senate in 2006 and then to California’s Secretary of State, will be another rubber stamp vote on Capitol Hill against gun rights.

Following the July 2019 shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, Padilla was quick to post on Facebook, “The gun used in Sunday’s shooting was banned in California, but the gunman bought it legally in a neighboring state. California leads on gun safety, but we need national common sense.”

As he arrives in Washington, D.C. mouthing his “common-sense gun safety” rhetoric, Padilla will likely get a pass from the establishment media, which has yet to challenge the gun prohibitionist lexicon for its deceptiveness.

As Larry Keane, senior vice president and general counsel at the National Shooting Sports Foundation noted recently in a Washington Examiner Op-Ed, “(T)he media is often caught foaming at the mouth to report on the various ways Second Amendment advocates such as the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation protect the right to keep and bear arms in the courts and in federal, state, and local governments. By contrast, Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety’s support of extreme measures such as gun confiscation and firearm magazine capacity limits are allowed to be billed unchallenged to the public as ‘sensible gun laws.’”

The message on a popular T-shirt produced by, a Washington State-based gun-rights group, sums it up well:

Gun Control is Not Gun Saftey,

Padilla is coming into the Senate in the midst of a surge in gun buying. As recently reported by ABC News, “An estimated 21 million guns have been sold so far in 2020, up 73% over the same period last year, according to an analysis of FBI background check data by The Trace, an independent investigative news site.”

He was one of several named political figures who supported Newsom’s Proposition 63, described by the Huffington Post as “a sweeping gun-control measure that will bolster the state’s already substantial restrictions on firearms and ammunition.”

Padilla joins a herd of Democrat gun control proponents already salivating at the prospect of a 50-50 split in the Senate—with ties to be decided by Harris in her new role as Senate President and U.S. vice president under Joe Biden—so they can make California gun laws the national standard. The Senate balance will be decided on Jan. 5 with runoff elections for both of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats.

But that may not be as easily done as the gun prohibition lobby might believe.

The ABC report quoted some new gun owners including Floridian Trish Beaudet, mother of three who recently bought a handgun, the first firearm she’s ever owned.

“Pulling a gun is the last thing I ever want to do,” Beaudet told ABC, “but I want to know that if I need to protect myself, my family, my, you know, my children, that I can do that.”

The pandemic panic that started in early 2020 was reinforced over the summer by social and racial unrest following the May death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The situation has not been helped by efforts to defund police departments and reduce their manpower, raising in public safety concerns.

It’s a socio-political environment in which an increasing number of people, including Beaudet, have fallen back on their Second Amendment rights. Before 2020, she explained, “I’ve never owned a gun. I’ve never wanted a gun. I’ve never had a gun in my home.”

The surge in gun sales this year has been phenomenal, according to various sources, including the gun control crowd. Anti-gunners are especially alarmed, because they may shift public opinion about firearms ownership.

That much was suggested six months ago by Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, an organization that has seen growing interest in membership this year.

“We’ve witnessed something that is nothing short of a sea change,” Gottlieb said at the time, “and in some cases might approach the level of epiphany, about gun ownership. We’ve heard anecdotal reports from all over the country about people flocking to gun shops who had never before owned a firearm. Now that they are gun owners, we expect them to be very protective of their rights.”

Now that they are gun owners, many if not most are showing an interest in shooting, which partly explains the ammunition shortages being reported on social media.

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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