It’s election season and San Diego County Gun Owners has received our candidate questionnaire back from San Marcos City Council candidate Ed Musgrove. In a word, it was horrible.
Normally, I don’t publish information from questionnaires. If their response includes a questionable statement or two, I look at it as an opportunity to educate the candidate. I contact the candidate and make sure they fully understood the questions we asked. The anti-gun laws in California are extremely complicated and candidates for public office cannot know every nuance of every issue. We understand that and are happy to be a resource to those who want to make good, informed decisions.
After consideration, I decided I will not circle back with Ed. Ed clearly understands the questions, but Ed is a great example of the worst kind of political enemy our Second Amendment rights have in California. Ed doesn’t really support gun owners and in some ways is against them, but even in some areas where he agrees with gun owners, he won’t help.
What do I mean? Let’s take a look.
Note: On each of these questions, the candidate has the four following options:
- I support and will actively help to support
- I support, but will not help to support
- I do not support, but will not do anything to oppose
- I do not support and will actively work to oppose
“Second Amendment – ‘A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’ The individual right to keep and bear arms for defense, hunting, or sport is an important part of my political philosophy.”
“I support and will actively help to support. The 2nd Amendment is in place to ensure the balance of our rights under the constitution.”
Most Second Amendment supporters would see this as a positive and would take his response as a good sign. However, even elected officials who vote for some of the most extreme anti-Second Amendment legislation will tell you they support the Second Amendment and that the Second Amendment is important to them.
SDCGO: (Regarding Concealed Carry Weapon permits) Do you believe “self-defense” or “personal protection” is sufficient to meet the State’s “good cause” requirement?
EM: “I do not support, but will not do anything to oppose”
Ed’s answer is worrisome, but there is a case to be made that just writing the words “self-defense” or “personal protection” will not fulfill California’s requirement of having proof of good cause in order to be issued a CCW. Fortunately, we don’t have to guess because Ed wrote an extended comment in his response:
“Possession in our our (sic) privately owned property is granted by the constitution. There are some; however, who tend to pose risk to the general public by extension of this right to possession in the public arena. Reasonable safeguards, not infringing on the 2nd amendment are acceptable, but require close scrutiny.”
Ed chose not to stop at “scrutiny” and made sure to heighten his requirement to “close scrutiny.” Keep in mind, this is not keeping a CCW out of the hands of criminals, the untrained, or the insane. Ed clearly states that he wants close scrutiny for sane, trained, law-abiding citizens who simply want to protect their self outside the home.
I wonder what other inalienable rights would Ed like to scrutinize before access is granted.
There is an interesting second layer to Ed’s answer. Ed has discussed this issue in the past with SDCGO staff. During the 2018 election when Commander Dave Myers ran against Sheriff Gore, Ed sent us following message about Myers’ proposed CCW policy:
“…he (Myers) also says he will personally review and approve all applications. I’m learning political speak and this sounds like a loophole to deny based on mitigating factors. If ‘self defense’ is all that’s needed, the records manager could stamp approved and deal done. I know Dave wants to be responsible, but that’s just it – he will be personally responsible. If he gets a “bad feeling” will he keep to his word or deny and risk the backlash. Mike, my personal belief is what he’s said. No criminal record or other disqualifier then issue the permit. Let individual responsibility be the focus, not some ambiguous standard that many counties employ.”
In Ed’s statement two years ago, Ed criticized someone he opposed politically by suggesting that his good cause policy could be abused by requiring close scrutiny. Ed’s statement from just 2 years ago contradicts his questionnaire. Now that Ed is running for a position of power rather than commenting on someone else’s campaign, his view on power has changed.
Ed, I am familiar with “political speak” too and yours is hypocritical.
SDCGO: “California Roster of Handguns Approved for Sale – In order for a manufacturer to sell a model of handgun/pistol in California, it must now have a serial number on the firing pin to stamp a cartridge casing. This technology does not exist and it is not practical, thereby making it impossible for new pistols (or newer versions of old pistol models) to be sold in California. This eliminates more and more pistol options to California consumers. Do you support repealing California’s “Roster of Handguns Approved for Sale.”
EM: “I support, but will not help to support”
The handgun roster is a California de facto ban on normal, popular pistols. Thousands of safely functioning models of pistol from respected manufactures have been banned in California because they are not using a required technology (microstamping) that does not exist. But, if elected, Ed won’t help if we need him.
SDCGO: “Ammunition Registration/Online Purchase Ban – A law passed and now being phased into California which will force Californians to go through all of the steps required to purchase a firearm, in order to purchase ammunition.”
EM: “I support, but will not help to support”
Again, Ed agrees with us on another bad law, but also made it clear that he will not help.
Many will say that I should help educate Ed and work with Ed once he is elected, but the reality is, Ed shouldn’t serve in public office. The usual next step for a candidate loses our endorsement is to call us extreme and/or explain that the Second Amendment simply isn’t why they are running for office. This is standard for the typical John McCann/Nathan Fletcher type politician.
If a candidate cannot agree to support middle of the road and reasonable stances like ours, why would gun owners want that person in public office?
Ed’s too close to the anti-gun extremism of groups like Moms Demand Action, but the reason he is even more dangerous is because he portrays himself to be on the side of gun owners in order to get elected. With all the ridiculous gun laws from Sacramento and proposals from Washington D.C., people often ask “how?”
The answer is simple: because voters elected people who won’t stop the madness from happening.
Many gun owners focus on elected officials/candidates who are vocal gun ban fanatics. Ed is far more dangerous to Second Amendment because he makes you believe he is a true supporter of the Second Amendment, but scratch the surface, and he is not. Even the areas where he does agree with the Second Amendment, he has no interest in helping to protect or restore its principles.
Ed Musgrove is misleading voters and supporters in San Marcos. Ed should not be elected to the San Marcos City Council and he should be far away from any kind of government power.