An unsophisticated forecaster uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts – for support rather than for illumination – Andrew Lang (Scottish poet and literary critic / 1844-1912)

Gavin Newsom has been leaning on a lamppost his entire political career.  He obviously has no interest in talking about all things good and noble because he is playing so fast and loose with the truth that it has GOC’s head spinning.  It’s not easy keeping up because the lies are coming at warp speed, but we aren’t going to let him go unchallenged.

According to Newsom, since the mid-1990s, when new gun laws were enacted, the gun murder rate in California has fado_not_cross_crime_scenellen 56 percent, more than double the rate of a national decrease in gun murders.

Oh really?

He is likely the only one who has come to that conclusion.  Consider the following:

According to the most recent data provided by the FBI, in 2014 the U.S. homicide rate was 4.5 per 100,000. This total follows a significant downward trend and is the lowest homicide rate recorded since 1963 when the rate was 4.6 per 100,000. In fact, since the majority of Americans are unaware that violent crime has taken such a dip (according to Pew Research), it would amaze most that we’d have to return to the days of Leave It to Beaver in 1957 to find a lower rate of homicides at a level of 4.0 per 100,000.  Surprising, eh?

Indeed, American homicide rates were considerably higher from the 70’s into the 90s, but have fallen non-stop for the past 25 years.

What is likely even more shocking to the public at large is that in roughly the same time period, the number of new guns in the U.S. increased by a whopping 141 percent from 6.6 million new guns in 1994 to 16 million in 2013. For those who can do even the simplest of math, that equals a total of 132 million new guns which were plunked into the U.S. population in that time frame.  It’s pretty clear to us – and again, no surprise – that the numbers very clearly show what we have always known:  more guns simply do not translate to more crime.

So why has there been such a precipitous drop?  There are many variables – but it’s worth noting that the only people who come to the erroneous conclusion that it’s all about guns are those with a political ax to grind.

According to the Washington Post, criminologists say the decrease is linked to several factors.  James Alan Fox, a crime statistics expert and professor of criminology, law and public policy at Northeastern University, points to longer prison sentences (think the implementation of 1994’s 3 Strikes here in California), improved community policing, a changing drug market and an aging population.

There are more police officers on the beat nationwide, largely due to a major crime bill signed by President Clinton in 1994 that set aside enough federal funding for law enforcement agencies to add upwards of 100,000 to local police ranks.  Plus, technology has assisted law enforcement in a big way – they utilize computers to collect data on crime and to guide officers’ energies in a more efficient manner.  Franklin Zimring, a criminologist at the University of California at Berkeley says that police in New York were among the first to realize the potential for computers to aid in fighting crime.

Some even cite less drinking as a reason for drop in crime – the Brennan Center for Justice cites data from the National Institute of Health that waning alcohol consumption can account for a 5% to 10% of the overall decline in crime.

Less lead in vehicle emissions and a better economy are also listed as factors – Amherst College Economist Jessica Reyes has estimated that the removal of lead from car exhaust could be responsible for a reduction in violent crime by a startling 56%.

Even the Brooking Institute – which is decidedly to the left of center, states:

Today, the national crime rate is about half of what it was at its height in 1991. Violent crime has fallen by 51 percent since 1991, and property crime by 43 percent. In 2013 the violent crime rate was the lowest since 1970. And this holds true for unreported crimes as well. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, since 1993 the rate of violent crime has declined from 79.8 to 23.2 victimizations per 1,000 people.

Funny.  They never mention gun control as the reason for declining crime.

Newsom’s argument falls even more flat when considering that crime rates have dropped dramatically in other countries as well – even those with long-standing restrictions on firearm possession, such as our neighbor to the north in Canada and across the pond in England .  According to an article from MacLeans (Canada’s national weekly news magazine), “It’s already well-established that the story of crime in Canada does not align with our darkest fears.  Indeed, since 1991, both violent and non-violent criminal code offenses have been falling…showing that crime rates continued their decades long decline.”

The 2015 article “The Real Reason Crime is Falling So Fast” goes on to state “The overall crime drop has been described as the most important criminological phenomenon of modern times, and in North America, Europe, Australia and other developed counties, many common street crimes have fallen by half since the early 1990s.”  Why?  Better security (improved locks, closed-circuit television, home alarm systems), more police on the street and actual bodies in prison.

Another interesting component noted by British criminologist Ken Pease is that “Frankly, there are more interesting thing to do indoors now than going out and ‘nicking’ (stealing) things.”

Every day, Gavin Newsom is stirring a pot that is quite literally bubbling with dishonesty.  He’s not just raising money from entertainment big wigs, but he’s exploiting tragedy and taking dollars from frightened moms, dads and grandparents.

Will the truth win out?  Not unless more people wake up and arm themselves with the facts.

Don’t buy into the Big Lie of the Big Politicians.  Join Gun Owners of California in spreading truth rather than fiction – facts, rather than slurs and a sincere dialogue rather than disingenuous drivel.