UC Davis researchers released a report this week that finds in the past 16 years, gun deaths have fallen in California. This is obvious good news, and the decrease has been attributed to a decline in gang violence – particularly in Los Angeles. Anti-gunners, however, may be quick to point out that California’s overly zealous gun laws are the reason behind the drop, and as usual, will ignore the key issue. The majority of gun crimes (not deaths*) are caused by gangs – so any reduction in gang violence will clearly result in a diminishing of gun deaths.
The following is pulled directly from the Los Angeles Police Department website:
The County and City of Los Angeles are the “gang capital” of the nation. There are more than 450 active gangs in the City of Los Angeles. Many of these gangs have been in existence for over 50 years. These gangs have a combined membership of over 45,000 individuals.
Gang membership in Los Angeles has continued to increase over the past five years even though there have been periodic crime decreases. One of the major factors contributing to increased gangs, gang membership and violence has been the lucrative narcotics trade, with rival gangs vying for the greatest market share.
Gangs are not a new phenomenon. During the last three years, there were over 16,398 verified violent gang crimes in the City of Los Angeles. These include 491 homicides, nearly 7,047 felony assaults, approximately 5,518 robberies and just under 98 rapes.
This is the real story.
Bottom line is this: gang killings go down – deaths by firearms will go down. To reiterate – this has nothing to do with California’s over-the-top gun laws. It has everything to do with – as the study specifically noted – a reduction in gun homicides at the hands of gang members from Los Angeles, the self-proclaimed “gang capital of the nation”. Any day now, though, we can pretty much bet that the left will credit our firearm restrictions as the reason for the drop.
Contrary to what the media and 2A opponents think, the gun debate is remarkably simple to understand: punishing the lawful for the misdeeds of lawbreakers will never have its intended result. The left can bash its head against the brick wall of reason all they like, but it will never change the fact that criminals have better things to do than obey the law. Last we checked, gang members don’t google the Penal Code or head to the library to check out a hard copy of gun laws before they hit the streets. The gang banger who wants to pop a rival dope dealer just isn’t interested in what some liberal legislator gets into statute.
Evidence clearly shows what Gun Owners of California has known since our founding in 1975: it’s about crime control not gun control. Because we understand this fact, GOC has never wavered in our dedication to the 2nd Amendment and its guarantee of protection for one’s self, family and country against the dangers of a broken world.
*Suicides account for over 60% of firearm-related deaths.