Letter to the Editor by Christian Gardinier: We Can Make Shasta County Safe and Sane Again

Safe and Sane meaning: Fireworks are often used to celebrate the founding of the United States of America, some are safe, some not, and some are illegal. In the political realm, orientation, speech, and political behaviors are sometimes safe, some illegal, and sometimes insane.

Safe and Sane Citizens of Shasta County are being held hostage by the illegal, dangerous, and willful stupidity of Supervisors Jones, Crye, and Kelstorm and their Cartel (J.C.K. Cartel), of extreme far-right supporters. Just google Shasta County extremism and you’ll find a profusion of national and international news articles, spearheaded locally by Shasta County’s own A News Café, Shasta Scout, and The Redding Record Searchlight, documenting how the J.C.K. Cartel is conducting its Neo-Civil War on Safe and Sane citizens. The tools of the J.C.K. Cartel war range from far-right conspiracy theory lies, to sexism, racism, threats of violence, extremist governance, and now gun proliferation.

Resolution 2024 was passed on January 08, 2024 by the Shasta County Board of Supervisors, in direct encroachment of Ca. Law and Federal Law. An attorney, the California Department of Justice, and staff in the office of California Senator Anthony Portantino are currently reviewing the resolution and the office of United States Senator Alex Padilla is aware of the issue. There may be litigation headed toward the Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor Patrick Jones, a far-right conspiracy liar who makes his living peddling implements of death, worked with the California Chapter (To view, type in a D.O.B. over 18) of the NRA, a Russian foreign asset, to craft and sponsor Shasta County’s Gun Sanctuary, Resolution 2024, stating that guns are now permitted on all county properties. Nothing in the document makes clear the resolution does not permit guns in schools, county legislative offices, the Shasta County Courthouse, or any “Sensitive Places,” deemed sensitive by the U.S. Supreme Court. In both Heller and Bruen, the court affirmed Heller’s doctrine of “sensitive places.” Each of the Justices all agreed that “It is settled.” “There are sensitive places where carrying guns could be prohibited, consistent with the Second Amendment.”

Most Americans support Safe and Sane gun ownership and Safe and Sane regulation under the Second Amendment, and most think we need stricter gun controls. But I don’t think the sheriff I voted for does. Shasta County Sheriff Michael Johnson publicly stated he has no intention of enforcing Safe and Sane gun use in Shasta County. It seems Sheriff Johnson, as a Constitutional Sheriff, a far-right racist anti-government group, is the supreme law enforcement officer, judge, and jury for our county.

Sheriff Johnson stated he won’t enforce SB 2, regardless of the law’s status and one does wonder if he intends to enforce the law concerning guns in schools, Penal Code § 626.9, and Federal Law 18 USC § 922(q)(2)(A). Instead, will Sheriff Johnson simply direct Shasta County School students and their parents to Jones’s gun shop, with a discount gift certificate, paid for by Shasta County taxpayers?

Permitting guns in Shasta County Schools is the essence of MAGA stupidity. There have been at least 12 school shootings in the United States so far this year, and it’s only February 16. Since Columbine in 1999, more than 338,000 students in the U.S. have experienced gun violence at school. Since 1970, there have been 2,057 incidents involving the discharge of a firearm on school property and 680 people have died. In 2023 alone, there were 346 school shooting incidents across the country, meaning the U.S. averaged nearly one incident every day and saw its highest total on record.

The J.C.K. Cartel and Sheriff Johnson may think killing people in schools will stop killing people in schools. But their real objective is simple, indoctrinating children deeper into the gun cult of fear while normalizing gun violence. The J.C.K. Cartel logic is as twisted as the conspiracies of their far-right darling Alex Jones. But the extrema far-right doesn’t stop at children’s playgrounds and schools.

“For decades, NRA has stood together with our state association, the California Rifle & Pistol Association and fought for our right to keep and bear arms in the state capital, in the courts, and city halls across the state.” (to view the link, enter a D.O.B. over 18) Sounds like a terrorist organization? You bet. But both Jones and the CRPA / NRA wrote the current gun sanctuary resolution for Shasta County, so when considering guns it’s easy to see the straight-line nexus between local and national far-right extremism. But Shasta County’s Safe and Sane majority would say permitting guns in the Shasta County Courthouse and other government buildings is just simple idiocy.

Who cares if it’s illegal, let’s pack our guns and go to court. Well, some do! Perhaps Sheriff Johnson might be a bit amused that as I went through the courthouse scanning process the other day to do some legal business, I mentioned to a deputy that Supervisor Jones just passed a law stating that I could pack my gun into court. The deputy stopped what he was doing, looked me directly in the eye, and said, “Try it.”

Six years ago, 14 students and three staff members were killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. And, a few days ago a few gun owners celebrated the victory of the Kansas City Chiefs Superbowl over the San Francisco Forty Nines, by killing one person and wounding 22 people, including 11 children. Both Jones and Sheriff Johnson would admire that the State of Missouri has no age restrictions on gun use and possession, although federal law largely prohibits minors from carrying handguns. Like Jones and Sheriff Johnson’s desire for Shasta County, in Missouri adults can carry concealed guns without needing any kind of permit. It is easy to see why Missouri has one of the highest rates of gun deaths in the country.

Gun violence is an epidemic. 100 of the mass shootings in the United States between 1982 and October 2023 involved weapons that were obtained legally, a clear majority. Only 16 incidents involved guns that were obtained illegally, and handguns are the weapon of choice. Handguns were involved in 78 percent of U.S. mass shootings. Weakening requirements to carry a concealed firearm increases violent crime. But the extreme far-right blames the messenger for delivering the truth because gun facts are inconvenient truths.

The fact is, American voters strongly support the U.S. Administration taking actions to confront gun violence, including releasing more data on gun violence, requiring firearm manufacturers to follow a code of conduct, placing restrictions on firearm imports and exports, and regulating the stockpiling of firearms and ammunition. Voters also believe President Biden should use his executive authority to take action against gun violence if Congress fails to do so.

Yet Shasta County now endorses the NRA’s unregulated open access to death and violence as necessary collateral damage for the J.C.K. Cartel’s right to bear their arms and sell instruments of death. But hey, business is really good, right Mr. Jones? As reported in A News Café, “Shasta County is home to the highest rates of per capita gun sales among all California Counties. And by the way, the whole nation is well educated about the J.C.K Cartel / Sheriff Johnson gun extremism that is threatening citizens of Shasta County. Jones’s response? “Drop Dead.

As remarkable as Resolution 2024 is, it is not at all surprising coming from the J.C.K. Cartel. They proclaim that as American citizens they alone are the “Constitutional Authority” to decide what is legal and what isn’t. It’s kind of like as individuals, they’re “Constitutional Sheriffs” too. And It’s easy to extrapolate that the J.C.K. Cartel’s anarchism, orchestrated, conducted, and exposed in Shasta County Supervisors’ meetings, is tied to their devotion to Donald Trump, whom many insist is still the president.

Trump, a Putin devotee, criminal, and election denier, gives the J.C.K. Cartel a permission structure for all their belligerent chaos, lies, conspiracies, misogyny, racism, threats of violence, and words of pestilence dished out at every supervisor’s meeting. And yes, U.S. District Judge Lewis did confirm Trump is a rapist. And yes, Trump is anti-military and Trump recently told Putin to attack NATO.

In short, like Jones, Crye, Kelstorm, and some in the J.C.K. Cartel, Donald Trump is not Safe and Sane. And thanks in part to Trump’s permission structure, (an emotional/psychological justification for behavior) the J.C.K. Cartel has sanctified the supervisors’ chambers a MAGA Sanctuary and christened the whole county a Gun Sanctuary. So, what does one do about all this nonsense?

In Shasta County, people on all sides of the Safe and Sane political spectrum are realizing we can end dangerous, costly, and abusive extremism! A good example of that is the bipartisan Recall Crye Movement that has worked hard to help Shasta County Voters restore Shasta County on March 5th. Theoretically, many voters don’t support the J.C.K. Cartel extremist vision for Shasta County, and if enough voters from all social-political orientations join together, Safe and Sane governance will return!

Let’s remove Mr. Pillow, Mr. Crye, Dr. Frank, and Mr. Jones from Shasta County governance! For both the left, right, and in-between, in Shasta County, that means voting for a Safe and Sane conservative. The Safe and Sane are prepared and ready. Are you ready for March 5th? Only you can restore Safe and Sane to Shasta County.

In Peace and Justice

Christian Gardinier

Guest Speaker

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