California Gov. Gavin Newsom seems to believe that since a divided Congress won’t pass gun control, a constitutional convention will be a better route.
Of course, he only wants such a convention if it’s about gun control, though there’s no evidence that such a thing can or will be limited to just a single subject.
Regardless, Newsom wants it.
However, to get it, the legislature in California has to approve it first. The first step toward that just happened.
California lawmakers in a key committee agreed to move forward with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s call for a constitutional convention to add a set of gun control measures to the U.S. Constitution, despite concerns the process itself could result in other law changes nationwide.
The Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday voted 3-1 to move forward with the measure known as Senate Joint Resolution 7. State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, did not vote, stating he could not support the measure for the uncertainty of what a constitutional convention could look like.
“There’s nothing in the constitution that says a convention needs to be limited to one topic,” Wiener said. “We know the same extremists that have completely rewritten the Second Amendment would also like to rewrite reproductive health access, LGBTQ rights. They want to get rid of separation of church and state. They want to undermine voting rights.”
Wiener’s alarmist rhetoric aside, he’s not wrong that a constitutional convention is unlikely to focus on a single topic, and that many of the other topics are things Democrats won’t actually be in favor of.
Plus, any amendment proposed from such a convention would still have to be ratified by the states, which cuts down on literally anything actually coming of such a thing.
Newsom isn’t exactly unaware of these concerns, either. This has been discussed repeatedly since he first issued his proposal.
So he knows, yet he’s going full speed ahead on it anyway.
That’s because it’s not really about gun control. It’s about looking like he’s serious about gun control.
My belief is that he’s prepping for a run at the White House. He’s taking steps now because he figures that President Joe Biden may well withdraw from the race due to his advanced age and, frankly, questionable mental acuity.
If so, Newsom wants to be able to just step in and take over as the frontrunner.
His proposed amendment is designed to help establish his anti-gun credentials with his base. Couple that with a belief that it won’t actually hurt him in the general election and we can see the thinking here.
Especially since he knows there will be no one-issue constitutional convention, particularly to discuss gun control.
In fact, there’s not much chance of a convention happening within the next decade.
Newsom knows this, which makes this a safe bit of grandstanding. By the time there is something to go on, he’ll be safely out of office and won’t have to deal with the political fallout of his effort.
But that first step still needed to happen and California needs to take all the other steps needed if Newsom is going to be able to hang his hat on this.