By Austin Snedden, Ranching Contributor, Valley Ag Voice
There are certain things that have such a strong correlation to each other that you have to be ignorant to not see causation. From not incarcerating criminals, releasing prisoners, not supporting law enforcement, and over-regulating good guys, Governor Newsom and the California Democrat super majority have created a situation where the productive public will either leave the state or protect themselves and their property through whatever means necessary. It is human nature, when you are attacked you either fight back or retreat. Historically, with logical competent governance, the law-abiding citizens were willing to stand aside and let the justice system handle the folks that chose to break the law. Unfortunately, for the majority of crimes, the justice system in California will leave the victim completely vulnerable. Do pro-crime politicians want the rest of us to pack up and leave, or stand up and fight? Those are the only choices.
AB 109, Proposition 47, and Proposition 57 have created a situation where the dregs of society who have victimized others are either not incarcerated or released early from prison to resume their victimization of productive citizens. There are fighters in our State Legislature that look to protect and defend us as law-abiding citizens. One of those fighters is State Senator Shannon Grove. Senator Grove proposed SB 1042, which would make the crime of human trafficking added to the list of serious and violent crimes, making this crime a strike on a criminal’s track record. Kern County DA Cynthia Zimmer and many law enforcement officials and DAs scattered across the state supported Senator Grove’s bill to protect the innocent and put away bad guys. But, to the bewilderment of sane individuals, the Democrat majority voted down party lines against victims and against Senator Grove’s bill.
The pro-crime policies of our majority liberal politicians, coupled with negative messaging towards law enforcement, have created a situation where criminals are emboldened, and law enforcement is hamstrung. In Kern County, we are blessed to have pro-justice law enforcement in District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer and Sheriff Donny Youngblood. Still, their goals of seeking justice are hampered by what State laws allow them to do in terms of penalizing criminals. In addition, the state putting more criminals on the street increases the workload of local law enforcement; couple that with tying their hands on prosecution, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Deciding to retreat from a place you have chosen is always hard regardless of the career or business, but it is often a non-starter for those of us in agriculture. Whether it is the literal deep roots of permanent crops, or the deep roots of many decades and many generations invested in the land, bailing out because of bad governmental policy is something many of us aren’t willing to do. Agriculture operations have been hit repeatedly with copper theft, equipment theft, vandalism, and many other things making production difficult and expensive. Liberal politicians condoning criminal activity has put us in a place where they have made themselves clear we are to either get out or defend our property. To be clear, if those of us productive citizens end up having to stand and fight a criminal element to protect our property and livelihood, it is not our choice. This has been imposed upon us by an incompetent or malevolent state government. I pray we can politically steer back toward sanity. Still, in the meantime, I pray those of us put in this situation by an incompetent government can make wise decisions when it comes to persevering and protecting what has been built and toiled for.