Full Scale Assault In Campaign To Kill Local Rule
It's gone viral; gun toters are waging war on our town. So far it's just been a war of words fortunately. What's at stake is Emeryville's ability to orderly plan and regulate how business is conducted, a crucial task at City Hall since Emeryville began, in the nineteenth century.
Gun enthusiasts, alerted by the NRA and other gun groups from all over the state are threatening to inundate our town with lawsuits if the council votes to regulate gun shops like they regulate all manner of other business in town. The council will discuss the issue on Tuesday night at City Hall.
The council members have been hit with a blizzard of letters and e-mails ranging from outright threats to pleading. Many of the e-mails, directed from a firearm friendly Internet site have taken a hostile tone. "I've been barraged" Council member Jennifer West exclaimed. Council member Nora Davis has chagrined some of these gun enthusiasts by simply asking if they reside in Emeryville. Aware of this vulnerability, the pro-gun Calguns.net is pouring over records to see if they can get any actual Emeryville residents to join the fray.
Chief of Police Ken James questioned the logic of the anti-regulation side, "We regulate every business in some form or another in Emeryville. Their point is that we are unduly regulating them (the gun dealers), but the proposed regulation is not any more onerous than the regulation we currently have on card rooms, cabarets, massage parlors, catering trucks or taxi cabs" he said.
This campaign, if successful will limit our town's ability to regulate other businesses like adult bookstores and even fast food restaurants. This goes right to the heart of the sovereignty of our town; should we be able to regulate businesses who's unfettered practice we deem detrimental to our vision we hold for our own city? If the city council gives in to an angry mob of outsiders here, it's easy to see how other businesses will make arguments for questioning our ability to regulate them as well. They would have a point.