California Governor Gavin Newsom is like the rooster in the fable who says, “Look how wonderful I am. When I crow in the morning, that’s the reason the sun rises.” Simply put, he’s too delusional to see the coincidence.
Governor Newsom just signed 15 new gun related bills into law. During the signing he had this to say:
“California has outperformed the rest of the nation, because of our gun safety laws, in reducing the gun murder rate substantially compared to the national reduction. No state does it as well or comprehensively as the state of California, and we still have a long way to go.”
He also added that between 1993 and 2017, the latest available, there was a 62 percent decline in the gun murder rate in California, nearly double the 34 percent nationally. What he fails to mention is that in 1993 California’s gun murder rate was well above the national average. In 1993 the gun homicide rate in California was 9.6 per 100,000 people, while nationally it sat at 6.75 per 100,000. In 2017 California landed at 3.64, just slightly below the national average of 4.6. Their decline was in line with the national trend, but steeper due to the how high it was initially.
Likewise, Newsom’s claim that California’s drop in gun homicide has anything to do with the state’s ever more restrictive gun laws. Nationally, the 34 percent drop in gun homicide is the consequence of the crack epidemic declining since 1993. As to California’s 64 percent drop in gun homicide, that’s the result of both the state getting a handle on the drug trade, but more significantly, the effect of gentrification from the mountains of cash brought in by Silicon Valley and high-tech. Large swaths of California real estate have been upscaled and where rich people move in, gang-bangers and drug dealers get pushed out. East Palo Alto, one of the most dangerous communities in California, has been swallowed up by Silicon Valley and no big surprise, its violent crime rate has plummeted. Los Angeles has been similarly gentrified. Boyle Heights, another neighborhood notorious for gangs and violent crime, has been recast as a trendy hotspot for the very well-to-do, and its violent crime and gun homicides have gone down.
So if more restrictive gun laws are really the answer, let’s look at two other states that have pursued aggressive gun-control measures like California’s.
From 1993 to 2017, Illinois experienced a 34.9 percent drop in gun homicide–in keeping with the national average. And Chicago is the murder capital of America.
From 1993 to 2017, Maryland experienced a 15.25 percent drop in gun homicide–well short of the national average by half. And Baltimore is the most dangerous city in America.
The big difference between Maryland, Illinois and California? Neither Illinois or Maryland have seen big influxes of cash and gentrification like California.
Let’s look at another telling example about the impact of gentrification: New York City.
In 1911, the city passed the Sullivan Act which required that anyone who possessed a handgun had to get a permit issued by the police and to have all handguns registered.
What was the result? Fast forward to 1981, which was the most violent year in New York City’s history with over 2,000 murders, mostly by handguns. The time was known as the “Death Wish” years when the city was one of the most dangerous in the world.
Now New York City is one of the safest? What happened? The government got serious about stopping organized crime and drug dealers but more importantly, it was New York’s “broken windows” policy. The city cleaned itself up. Research any article about the New York City turn-around and gentrification was key. And you’ll be hard pressed to find any mention that gun control was a factor. Why? Because gun control only affects law-abiding gun owners and they are not the cause of violent crime.
Let’s throw more cold water on the more-gun-control-makes-us-safer myth. Let’s look at Colorado. From 1993 to 2017, the state experienced a 26.2 percent drop in gun homicide. (You have to consider that Colorado was safe to begin with compared to California, Illinois, or Maryland.) In 2014, Colorado enacted two of California’s hallowed gun-control measures, Universal Background Checks and the High-Capacity Magazine Ban. Since then, Colorado’s gun homicide rate has increased by a whopping 47.6 percent. So anyone who claims that gun control has made the state any safer is as delusional as the Gavin Newsom rooster.
What else Gavin Newsom fails to mention is that despite California’s very restrictive gun-control environment, four of the most publicized recent mass-shootings happened on his turf: San Bernardino, Thousand Oaks, the Poway Synagogue, and Gilroy. And three of the most dangerous cities in America are in California: Stockton, San Bernardino, and Oakland. That’s nothing to crow about.
The Right to Keep and Bear Arms must always be defended!
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