January 26, 2023

California Shootings

“A farmworker accused of killing seven people in back-to-back shootings at two Northern California mushroom farms was charged Wednesday with seven counts of murder and one of attempted murder… It was California’s third mass shooting in eight days, and the largest in San Mateo County’s history… It followed the killing of 11 people in the Los Angeles area amid Lunar New Year celebrations Saturday.” AP News

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From the Left

The left calls for additional gun control laws, arguing that they save lives.

“California has the strongest gun laws in the country… [Those gun laws] only go so far in a country awash in guns, where there’s almost no action at the federal level, and where there is so much variation in gun laws from state to state and even within states. But it would also be wrongheaded to look at [the recent shootings] and argue that all gun laws don’t work…

“Thousands of Californians die from gun violence each year – 3,449 in 2020, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is a heartbreaking number. But California also has one of the lowest gun death rates in the country – 8.5 per 100,000 people, according to the CDC’s figures. California’s rate of gun homicides – 3.9 per 100,000 people – is lower than Texas’ rate – 6.1 per 100,000 people, according to data compiled by Everytown.”

Zachary B. Wolf, CNN

Similarly, “Conservatives often think New York is an example of failed gun policy, but New York State has a firearms death rate less than one-quarter that of gun-friendly states like Alaska, Wyoming, Louisiana and Mississippi. Gun safety works, just not as well as we would like

“Public health mostly is not about one big thing but about a million small things. To reduce auto deaths, seatbelts and airbags helped, and so did padded dashboards, crash testing, streetlights, highway dividers, crackdowns on drunken driving and zillions of tiny steps such as those bumps in the highway to help keep dozing drivers from drifting off the road. Likewise, we need countless other steps to address gun violence.”

Nicholas Kristof, New York Times

“Last June, following the unspeakable horror in Uvalde, President Biden signed what was hailed as the most significant federal legislation to curb gun violence since the 1994 ban on assault weapons, which was allowed to expire in 2004…  

“The new law provides money for crisis-intervention programs, encourages ‘red flag’ laws allowing confiscation of weapons from dangerous people, and incrementally tightens background checks for gun purchases. But it does not address the central issue: Buying deadly weapons of war and all the ammunition you want can be done more easily and anonymously than, say, buying a new car or obtaining a passport… At a minimum, we urgently need an assault weapons ban.”

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post

"Changes that could have stopped other headline-making shootings in recent years, from better background checks to waiting periods before purchase to red-flag laws, and programs such as government gun buybacks and gun licensing are essential, as is prosecuting dealers who allow their supply to flow to illegal markets…

"It is not yet clear whether any of these efforts would have saved lives in Monterey Park or Half Moon Bay — but they would have saved lives elsewhere at other times.”

Editorial Board, Washington Post

From the Right

The right is skeptical of additional gun control laws, noting that California already has the strictest laws in the country.

The right is skeptical of additional gun control laws, noting that California already has the strictest laws in the country.

California already has all of the gun-control laws that the Democrats wish to add federally — including a strict ban on so-called ‘assault weapons’ — and those laws made no difference whatsoever. And how could they have, given that in neither case did the gunman use one of the commonly owned rifles that Biden’s coveted ‘assault weapons’ bans typically target; instead, they used a couple of standard semi-automatic handguns…

“The mechanisms inside the semi-automatic handguns that were used in California have been legal in the United States since the administration of Grover Cleveland — that is, before the invention of penicillin, fixed-wing aircraft, and recorded video. Under a plain reading of the Second Amendment, those mechanisms are presumptively protected by the Constitution, but, even if they were not, they would likely remain legal in all 50 states. Asked last year by Gallup whether they favored restricting the possession of handguns to the police, nearly three quarters of the American public said that they did not.”

The Editors, National Review

“The Giffords Center ranks California as first in the nation for ‘gun safety’ — ahead of New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey… The Cobray M11 was illegal to possess in California, and yet, somehow, the mass shooter in Monterey Park got his hands on one and used it to kill eleven people…

“Police found homemade firearm suppressors during a search of the shooter’s home. Suppressors are [also] illegal in California… The mass shooter in Monterey Park clearly didn’t care about any laws, legal or moral. That shooter committed suicide as police closed in. How do you deter someone who is willing to die?”

Jim Geraghty, National Review

“The frequency of mass killings in this country is harrowing. But [I find] such tragedies are made all the more gruesome when politicians so often jump ahead of the facts, ascribing motivations or reasons to the violence that are politically beneficial to them or fit their ideological framework. Representative Adam Schiff, for example, pegged ‘bigotry towards AAPI individuals as a possible motive.’ Newly minted Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries tweeted, ‘We must crush the rise of hatred and intolerance whenever and wherever it is found.’…

“The immediate assumption from these leaders after a shooting is that the perpetrator had racist intent. Sometimes this turns out to be true, and sometimes it does not, but irresponsible prejudgments do nothing other than stoke division and fear

“Rather than waiting for the facts, these Democrats leap at the chance to harness the strong emotions that are evoked by mass murder and channel them towards reinforcing their mantra that America is a bigoted nation. What’s to be gained from this rush to an incorrect judgment? It’s foul.”

Cockburn, Spectator World

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