A Republican model on gun control
LA Times – George Deukmejian was not a flashy governor. Wasn’t a spellbinder. But he was a bold leader on a perilous front: gun control.
In a state that prizes entertainers and celebrities, Deukmejian twice got elected governor anyway. He was the quiet-spoken, strong-willed type. “Iron Duke,” they called him.
We’re coming up on the 24th anniversary of Iron Duke’s outdrawing the gun lobby to enact the nation’s first assault weapons ban — an action hardly anyone could have predicted, given his political past.
I called Deukmejian last week at his modest Long Beach home, which he and his wife, Gloria, have owned for more than 50 years, to ask why he had reversed course on gun control so quickly.
“My thoughts simply were that regardless of what argument somebody might make about having the right to own and possess a gun, there was no common sense reason for someone to have an assault weapon,” the former governor, now 84, told me.
In fact, Deukmejian said, he supports U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s current effort to reinstate the federal assault weapons ban that existed for 10 years until Congress let it expire in 2004.
“There’s no logical reason for anybody to own an assault weapon,” he said.