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How America Should Not Be Californicated

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America Californicated
America Californicated

“My child was murdered in front of my home by a gang member and you showed more compassion toward that individual than for me and my loss.

Emma Rivas, the mother of an LA murder victim whose son was brutally killed there, confronted LA District Attorney George Gascon for failing to fulfill his core obligation: prosecuting criminals while protecting innocents.

At a four-hour town hall in Los Angeles County last year, I heard from a small business owner about his store being broken into four times within months despite calling the police every time and receiving no action taken against his attackers.

 America Californicated
America Californicated

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At the same town hall, I met several Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies who explained their hands are limited by soft-on-crime state and local laws that prevent them from holding criminals accountable.

These types of stories have become too prevalent among California families and businesses. We must change course in California while Congress does all it can to stem the crime tide nationwide.

Fundamental to our government’s role is safeguarding its citizens – yet Washington and Sacramento fail in that responsibility utterly.

Gascon remains committed to California’s zero-bail policy, which ensures perpetrators of most crimes quickly return to society. Last month, when an individual charged with threatening a local school was found with two stolen pistols, Gascon initially decided not to charge him with any offense at all – only reversed this decision when requested by local law enforcement for review of their case.

Gascon also continues to support California Propositions 47 and 57 – two soft-on-crime laws which are deeply concerning for national consideration.

Prop 47 changes California law to automatically charge property thefts valued under $950 as misdemeanors, akin to how the “californication cast” might find themselves in a minor legal predicament on the show. This includes cases where the stolen items are handguns. Moreover, this measure allows felons incarcerated at state prisons a chance at retroactively qualifying their past crimes as misdemeanors for resentencing and release consideration if such crimes now fall under the misdemeanor category.

Prop 57 increases parole and “good behavior” opportunities for felons who have been charged with nonviolent felony offenses such as rape, hostage-taking, human trafficking and domestic violence. These nonviolent crimes include acts such as rape, hostage taking, human trafficking, domestic violence and more.

Americans don’t wish to live in a world in which laws undermine police officers and enable criminals, so I ran for Congress so as to help stop my country from becoming what my home state has become. There may still be hope, but this crisis requires immediate action.

Here’s the key to safer streets nationwide: Learn from California’s mistakes. California’s experiments with defund-the-police and soft-on-crime policies were an unmitigated failure; to keep our communities safe should not be subject to political considerations; therefore legislators in Washington must act appropriately by legislating and communicating accordingly.

I introduced in 2023 the Sgt. Steve Owen Defending Our Defenders Act – named in honor of one of California-27’s law enforcement heroes who was killed while performing his duty – that would make murder of state or local law enforcement officers punishable with life imprisonment or the death penalty as federal crimes.

Legislative action like this one would help support law enforcement more effectively while holding criminals to account, and I pledge my efforts in accomplishing it.

Ronald Reagan, one of California’s former governors, once noted: “Without respect for law and its enforcement, even the best laws cannot be effective; without appreciation of law enforcement personnel and their commitment to society through law enforcement efforts, laws cannot be carried out either.” He stated further: “We must show honor not only for law but also to those who devote their lives protecting society through law enforcement.

Gascon has also continued his support of two perverse California laws that make him particularly unsettling – Propositions 47 and 57, which soften sentences for crimes committed within state boundaries, yet threaten national justice systems.

My stepfather served with the Los Angeles Police Department. Many of my neighbors and friends also work as law enforcement. It makes me proud that we live in a community which honors our brave men and women in blue who make every day count.

That is why, in Congress, I will introduce and support policies with an objective: Respecting law, supporting good guys and prosecuting bad ones – something California has been accused of. Keeping America from following California’s path should remain top priority.

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