For America’s political left, the problem in San Bernardino, Calif., wasn’t terrorism. It wasn’t pure evil perpetrated by extremists. Many liberals see the fundamental cause of the murders in San Bernardino as gun ownership itself.

California’s strict gun controls aren’t enough to satisfy them; the truth is that nothing short of state confiscation of firearms ever will be.

In the Golden State, an individual can’t sell a gun to another private citizen without a “private party transfer” through a licensed gun dealer. The process includes a background check and a 10-day waiting period. Gun laws are so restrictive that even firearm transfers between adult siblings in the same family aren’t exempt.

Buying a handgun is another ordeal entirely. A Californian must prove residency, obtain a handgun safety certificate, demonstrate safe handling, purchase a firearm safety device, select a state-approved handgun, pass a background check and wait for 10 days before they can purchase.

To be clear, that’s just the tip of the iceberg in a state that’s known for its hostile policies toward gun ownership.

But take a look at the left’s responses to the recent senseless shootings in San Bernardino. President Obama called for “commonsense gun safety laws” and “stronger background checks.” In separate remarks, Hillary Clinton noted, “Something needs to be done to prevent gun violence” before yet again calling for “commonsense” gun reforms. One liberal politico or pundit after another will chime in with a refrain long on “do something” and short on specifics.

The left flatly ignores that the San Bernardino attacks happened in one of the most restrictive states for guns in America. For the political left, even California’s laws must be insufficient because Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook appear to have legally obtained guns to cut down 14 people at a holiday party. For opponents of private gun ownership, it doesn’t really matter whether a crime is committed in California or a gun-friendly state like Alabama, they want one kind of control: More.

Liberal gun opponents recognize the same reality as many gun owners: As long as there is a legal path to gun ownership, otherwise law-abiding citizens will be able to own them and commit atrocities. Conservatives respond by ensuring citizens maintain the ability to defend themselves with firearms; liberals respond by trying to make gun ownership as excruciating as possible.

The left’s true aim isn’t “reasonable” regulation; it’s confiscation. But most liberals aren’t willing to admit their true intentions—and it’s not because they’re afraid of the gun lobby.

The likes of Obama and Clinton routinely attack the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America or other gun-related organizations. Recent Democratic presidential primary debates look like a contest to determine which candidate hates the NRA more.

Liberal politicians aren’t specific about their confiscatory preferences because they’re afraid of voter reaction and knowledgeable of the Constitution’s safeguards against such a policy. Many of us who might embrace the nondescript sentiment of “commonsense” or “reasonable” gun laws would bristle at the notion of government seizure.

Instead, the left clamors for an ever-increasing web of gun regulations and tracking mechanisms designed to reduce gun ownership. The fact that California’s aggressive gun laws aren’t “common sense” enough demonstrates that objective clearly.

If liberals wanted commonsense reforms, they’d open up the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to private gun sellers who’d like to volunteer to ensure they’re not providing a gun to a felon or mentally ill person. That could certainly improve and support laws already on the books that prevent private sales to prohibited individuals.

But that’s not sexy and it won’t eliminate guns.

For gun opponents, the only solution to keeping firearms out of the hands of evildoers beyond current restrictive laws in a state like California is to press for more laws designed to keep them away from everyone.

Next time a liberal friend argues that the answer to senseless violence is more “commonsense” gun control, ask them what they really mean.

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