Magazine | October 1, 2018, Issue


(Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Shattered Dreams of Californiacation

I found the article “More Important than Motorcycles” (August 27), by Kevin D. Williamson, quite interesting, and quite true! I’ve been a resident of the San Francisco Bay area all my life. California or, as I now like to call it, “The People’s Republic of California,” has changed dramatically during the last 25 years alone, and not for the better. There is more state-government intrusion, and the bureaucrats in Sacramento know no bounds to their control of our lives. The semi-automatic-firearm-ban craze by the politicians in California started in 1989 and has not ceased. It began based solely on brand names such as Uzi,  MAC-10, or Ruger Mini-14. As the years went by, they started banning firearms based on cosmetic appearances, such as a firearm that has a folding stock or a barrel shroud, etc. Now it’s if a gun holds a magazine, has a magazine latch or a cocking bolt, or can hold more than ten rounds.

I would not put it past the California politicians to try to ban firearms that have a barrel where a bullet goes through! I should not have mentioned that, it may give them crazy ideas. I have considered moving out of California for the same reason as Jesse James: California’s suffocating political and social atmosphere, despite our unbeatable weather. California’s crime rate, too, will be on a dramatic increase and is already starting because of the various propositions that the voters foolishly passed.

Making felonies into misdemeanors encourages criminal activity, since there are no severe penalties. One proposal right now is to eliminate bail for people arrested for crimes, because the liberals think it is unfair that poor people should have to pay for bail! I have considered moving to Reno, Nev., but California high-tech companies are opening up shop there for the same reason many California businesses leave the stateits oppressive taxes and excessive regulations.  

My only fear is that as time goes by, many Californians who move to Nevada might bring their political poison with themgun bans, higher taxes, sanctuary cities, and eco tyranny. I would not want the “Californication” of the state of Nevada. 

I can fully understand a Texan’s fear of the Californication of Texas. Being a native Californian, I don’t blame them one bit for not wanting us there!

Cray T. Foley
San Jose, Calif.

Kevin D. Williamson replies: I thank Mr. Foley for his kind letter, and I share his concerns about Nevada, where I lived for a time. It’s a pattern we’ve seen played out in the suburbs of the major northeastern cities: Democratic misgovernance ruins the city schools, taxes keep rising, and crime rises, too, sending relatively affluent urban Democratic voters out to the suburbs, where they vote for the same kind of politician and the same kind of policies that pushed them into the suburbs in the first place. The problem for conservatives is that politics is more about tribe than about policy, and recruiting California refugees to our cause is not going to be easy. But we must try.

NR Editors — NR Editors includes members of the editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

In This Issue


In Defense of the Constitutional Order

Books, Arts & Manners




Kevin D. Williamson responds to a reader's thoughts on his article, “More Important than Motorcycles.”
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