Sherman R. Frederick/Properly Subversive

The shootout in downtown Sacramento that left six dead and scores wounded once again underlines the irrefutable fact that one-trick-pony progressives who blame guns first for everything do not have a common-sense answer to American violence.

Look, with each episode over the years of mass violence, legislators have enacted ever-tightening gun laws. California leads the league in punishing guns.

Yet, Sacramento still happened.


Because none of the laws make a difference. It wasn’t assault guns, it was handguns. And it wasn’t legally purchased handguns, but illegal handguns. So, if I may be so bold as to say, controlling the legal purchase of guns – outside of outright banning them, which is unconstitutional – progressives are clearly on the wrong track.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom immediately blamed guns for the shootout in the state’s capital. How the hell would he know since he phoned in that assessment while on vacation at an undisclosed location in South America? President Joe Biden woke from his afternoon nap to say the same thing. They both did this without knowing a damn thing about what happened.

It’s now a week later and police are still working the investigation. Rival gangs are strongly indicated. Shocker. Here are descriptions of two people allegedly involved, pieced together from news accounts.


Brother of Dandrae Martin, below, Smiley posted a live Facebook video of himself brandishing a handgun hours before gunfire erupted. He was arrested while hospitalized with serious injuries from the Sacramento massacre. Martin was released from prison on probation in February — less than a year after prosecutors implored the state parole board not to release him early from a 10-year sentence, noting his convictions for possessing an assault weapon, thefts and beating a girlfriend he encouraged to be a prostitute. “Martin’s criminal conduct is violent and lengthy,” a Sacramento prosecutor wrote in a letter. “Martin has committed several felony violations and clearly has little regard for human life and the law.”


This 26-year-old habitual criminal was convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence upon a spouse or partner in Riverside County and sentenced to 30 days in jail. Two years later, he was convicted of attempting to commit aggravated assault in Maricopa County and served a stint in an Arizona prison. Two years after that, he was convicted of criminal damage, but another charge — assault causing fear of physical injury — was dismissed.

You tell me: Are guns the problem? Or is the system that lets these kinds of bad apples out into society the issue? Clearly, we need some new – and less politically driven – thinking on American violence. Time to do something different.


The Associated Press – one of the few remaining news sources still reliable on the worldwide front – is reporting horrific stories “tumbling out of Ukrainian towns like Bucha in the wake of the withdrawal of Russian troops.” The depravity is on “a scale  recalling the barbarities of Cambodia, the Balkans, World War II.”

The AP reports: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy denounced the killings as “genocide” and “war crimes,” and U.S. President Joe Biden said Vladimir Putin was “a war criminal” who should be brought to trial.

So why do we stand by and allow this to happen? You know why. Because Russia has enough nuclear weapons and delivery capability to alter life on the planet as we know it.

Pray that Biden and his team are more capable than they look.


– The dog ate a Scrabble set. Took him to the vet. No word yet.

– It’s always better to wake up and pee than to pee and wake up.

– I love putting on warm underwear fresh from the dryer. Plus, it’s fun to look around the laundromat and see who they belong to.

– My wife asked if I’d seen the dog bowl. I told her I didn’t know he could.

OK, that’ll do it for today. Until next week, avoid soreheads, laugh a little and always question authority.

“Properly Subversive” is commentary written by Sherman R. Frederick, a Nevada Hall of Fame journalist and co-founder of Battle Born Media, a news organization dedicated to the preservation of community newspapers. You can reach him by email at