Quoting stats from the Gun Violence Archives is a usually a sure-fire crowd-pleaser. Unfortunately, Ms. Gay, your “crowd” includes people with the nasty habit of looking closely at glibly related facts.
Yes, there have been 307 “mass shooting” incidents reported by the gang up at GVA. But what they don’t seem to be in any hurry to point out is where these incidents occurred.
The winner in the mass shooting sweepstakes so far this year is Illinois with 35 mass shooting incidents. Chicago, all by itself, had as many mass shooting incidents as Florida. But weren’t Chicago’s gun laws so restrictive that the Supreme Court said they were unconstitutional? Doesn’t Illinois require a firearm owners identification card for every firearm purchase, even private transactions? Why, yes, it does. And there aren’t even any guns stores in Chicago: even the police have to go outside the city to buy their guns.
Runner-up? That would be California with 32. That’s right! California not only beat Texas, it had more than twice as many incidents as the second-most-populous state.
Okay, let’s look at the gun laws already in effect in California:
Universal background checks: Check
More stringent state background checks: Check
Assault Weapons Ban: Check
Magazine capacity limits: Check
Handguns require state approval: Check
Limit on number of handguns that can be purchased in a 30-day period: Check
Gun registration: Check
In-person-only ammunition sales: Check
Waiting periods: Check
Red Flag laws: Check
That’s pretty much the entire gun control shopping list. Come the first of the year, background checks will be required for ammunition purchases. California is the only state with an “A” grade from the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The best grade any other state got was an A-.
I am not sure where the Assault Weapons Ban fits into the Thousand Oaks narrative. The killer was probably issued one in the Marines but like everybody else, he turned it in at the end of his hitch. The military tends to be a bit picky about such things.
So basically, all of the “gun control” stuff everyone is talking about was the law in California. Didn’t work; didn’t prevent the senseless murders of a dozen people, including a career law enforcement officer, but they were there. Most of them were also there when Elliot Rodger went on his shooting spree in Isla Vista and when Kevin Neal shot up Rancho Tehama.
So exactly why should we adopt the same laws that don’t work in California on a nationwide basis? Why should we look to background checks that have been required for all retail firearm sales since February 1994 to make a difference?
What’s the point in repeating the disappointment that the first Assault Weapons Ban? It didn’t have a measurable impact on crime. It didn’t impact the number of mass shootings. Gun homicides in the U.S. continued to decline after the ban was allowed to expire, hitting a nearly 60-year low in 2014.
Moreover, why on earth would we enact a poorly written replacement ban like the one introduced this year?
Why should we do things like raise the age to buy a firearm when only one mass shooter under 21 has ever used a legally purchased AR-15? That’s right, in the 54 years since Colt introduced the AR-15 Sporter, Nikolas Cruz was the only person under 21 to purchase an AR-style rifle and use it to commit mass murder.
Yes, we have frightened ourselves with a boogeyman of our own creation. But not a single one of the proposed gun laws is going to make that boogeyman go away.