What part of “criminal” is unclear to our lawmakers?

In the aftermath of a brutal hammer attack on a waiter in Oakland, California, so-called “city leaders” are reconsidering a law that would make it illegal to carry makeshift weapons at protests.  The law would preclude participants in protests from carrying items that could be used as a weapon in an attack, like a hammer, fireworks and wrenches.

Not to be outdone by the stupidity of other state’s lawmakers in their ill-conceived attempts to disarm the American people, Oakland city leaders are – like their counterparts nationwide – apparently unaware that criminals do not follow the law.  Banning hammers will never prevent another hammer attack.  Banning fireworks will never prevent them from being lit.

Sadly, Oakland’s interim police chief Sean Whent said “The more opportunities we have to take enforcement action against people, the better it is.”  Evidently in Oakland, the city’s own police want laws designed to enable them to arrest almost anyone, for any reason.  If you find yourself in a protest wearing a work belt that happens to contain a wrench, you’re breaking the law – off you go.

This law was first drafted during the Occupy protests last year but was ultimately abandoned after several protesters threatened a proponent of the law.  Like the Occupy protesters, this law will never prevent another attack on anyone, regardless of the blunt instrument used.  What this law will do, however, is authorize police officers to arrest more people, who are not breaking the law, simply because they possess an object that could be used as a weapon.

The collective stupidity of our nation’s leaders is becoming downright tragic.