Investigators search for evidence in the area of a mass shooting In Sacramento, Calif. April 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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By Joe Bartozzi

The senseless homicides of six in Sacramento are tragic. It is a shocking and sober reminder that criminals have no respect for the law or for human life.

That’s why it’s appalling that politicians immediately leaped to calls for more gun control without knowing even the basic facts of what transpired. President Joe Biden and Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom used these senseless murders to call for a bevy of gun control items even before the crime scene was processed.

Gov. Newsom released a statement that read, in part, “The scourge of gun violence continues to be a crisis in our country, and we must resolve to bring an end to this carnage.”

President Biden joined the gun control chorus. He expressed sympathy for the victims of the crimes, but added, “…we must do more than mourn; we must act.”

Joe Biden
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Police are still hunting suspects – arresting two individuals so far – and they recovered a stolen firearm from the crime scene. That was enough to spur Gov. Newsom and President Biden to rehash their tired gun control wish list.

Crime

Crime, unfortunately, is up nationwide. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) showed a 29 percent jump in murders in 2020, the most recent data available. The overall violent crime rate, which includes murder, assault, robbery and rape, rose 5 percent during the same period, according to an NPR report. Homicide rates were up 31 percent in California. Statewide, 1,606 people were killed by guns in 2020, the first year of pandemic lockdowns, the most recent year for which data is available.

Gavin Newsom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

President Biden and Gov. Newsom pitch increasing gun control as the answer. Yet, California has the strictest gun control laws in the nation. This latest incident shows that gun control laws aren’t reducing criminal activity or increasing public safety.

A stolen firearm was recovered at the scene. It’s a crime to unlawfully possess a firearm in California. One suspect was arrested a day after the crime and it turned out he was a felon, charged with unlawful firearm possession and assault with a deadly weapon. One suspect was already the subject of a Riverside County warrant issued in 2015 for allegedly inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, according to court records.

The second suspect was also charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of a machine gun. It’s against the law to transfer a firearm without a background check. It’s also against the law to carry a firearm openly in public and firearms can only be carried with a concealed carry permit issued by a county sheriff.

If this firearm was stolen, the criminal illegally carrying it clearly didn’t obey any of those laws. Gun control simply isn’t working. The obvious answer isn’t to double down – unless you are more concerned about politics than you are about real solutions for public safety.

A photographer with the Los Angeles Police Department, far right, documents the remains of a crime scene in Beverly Hills, Calif., Friday, June 25, 2021. A robbery early Friday in a wealthy Hollywood Hills neighborhood erupted in an exchange of gunfire Los Angeles police said. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The hard truth is there is more of this political games-playing going on in California and across the nation. Gov. Newsom reimagined policing during the wave of “defund the police” calls. He signed legislation in 2021 that adjusted qualified immunity standards for police and created a process to strip police of their badges for misconduct. At the same time, criminals were getting a free pass.

As a result, smash-and-grabs became increasingly common, even in posh communities such as Beverly Hills. District attorneys refused to hold criminals accountable. San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin is facing a forced recall over his city’s out-of-control crime. Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón is facing his own recall with 200,000 signatures collected for a November ballot possibility.

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Prosecutors revolted against District Attorney Gascón after he instituted soft-on-crime policies including ending cash bail, banning prosecutors from appearing at parole hearings and from seeking sentencing enhancements.

Wrong Answers

Fixing America’s crime wave must start with enforcing the law. Gov. Newsom is calling for more gun control laws, but one article in the wake of Sacramento’s tragedy explained that the governor is running out of scapegoats.

“When it comes to gun laws, California’s legislators have passed some of the most stringent regulations in the country, checking off nearly every box on national gun control advocates’ wishlist,” wrote Dale Kasler of The Sacramento Bee. “California legislators may attempt to pass laws allowing individuals to sue firearm manufacturers and retailers for the criminal misuse of lawfully sold firearms, but such suits would run afoul of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).”

President Biden repeated his gun control wish list in his statement following the horrific murders.

“We also continue to call on Congress to act,” he said in his statement. “Ban ghost guns. Require background checks for all gun sales. Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Repeal gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability.”

All those, except repealing PLCAA, are already law in California. These were the answers President Biden proposed, yet it’s clearly not working – and he knows it. Their premise is flawed. They’re attempting to control the gun, not the criminal.

Bad Data

That might be because gun control politicians and the groups supporting them always knew their gun control proposals are a house of cards. A recent examination by RAND Corporation of 27,900 gun control research publications found just 123, or 0.4 percent, tested the effects of their gun control proposal rigorously.

“We took a look at the significance of the 123 rigorous empirical studies and what they actually say about the efficacy of gun control laws,” wrote Aaron Brown and Justin Monticello for Reason.com. “The answer: nothing.”

The authors added that the gun control studies aren’t just useless in their data, they can be harmful to law-abiding citizens and those who are subjected to the gun control laws they promote.

“Not only is the social science literature on gun control broadly useless, but it provides endless fodder for advocates who say that ‘studies prove’ that a particular favored policy would have beneficial outcomes,” they wrote. “This matters because gun laws, even if they don’t accomplish their goals, have large costs. They can turn otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals, they increase prosecutorial power and incarceration, and they exacerbate the racial and socioeconomic inequities in the criminal justice system.”

The reality is that criminals participate in criminal activity. By definition, that’s what they do. Criminals also, by definition, have no respect for the law and, as is becoming increasingly apparent, for life. More gun control laws won’t stop them. Enforcing laws and locking them up does. But I guess that makes too much sense for the Biden and Gavin administrations.

 

Joe Bartozzi is the President and CEO of the National Shooting Sports Foundation

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32 COMMENTS

  1. “It is a shocking and sober reminder that criminals have no respect for the law or for human life.”

    Damn. Has anyone tried to introduce this notion to any government official at any level?

    • There are many criminals and types of criminals. All of them are not blood thirsty cretins that care nothing for others. Some are degenerate gamblers, drug users, alcoholics, prostitutes, and/or sexual deviates. That does not always mean they have have no respect for human life or laws that actually make sense.
      Even organized crime cares about their own and the neighborhoods they came from. If you really think about it, Las Vegas was a much nicer place when the Mafia ran things – they did not take cheating and hustling well, but the people that came to gamble had a good time and the workers were taken care of. Now, casino workers have to have a side hustle just to be able to rent an apartment with another casino worker.
      The real bad guys here are the government and are continuing to get worse. The regular citizen is getting his freedoms squeezed in our police state. We must fight as much as we can for our rights – all of them.
      Sadly, I won’t be here to fight the good fight much longer, but my children, grands and great grands will. We need to fight the political parties that want more control, both seem to want this and we need to fight back. They keep us fighting over issues they do not care about and try to make the high ground about guns and crime. People in both parties want this – they do not care about your self protection.

  2. Politicians don’t care about facts. Their ultimate goal is total gun confiscation so they can exercise total control over us.

  3. Newsom said, “The scourge of gun violence continues to be a crisis in our country, and we must resolve to bring an end to this carnage.”

    A very true statement, but he makes no mention whatsoever of the root cause of “gun crime”, which is the moral degradation of our society that has led to the increase in crime. No, let’s not mention the dehumanization of people through the removal of any respect for life via the push for abortion, or the mockery of all-things-faith such as God, the Bible, etc. And let’s not focus on the criminal by any means. Instead, let’s continue to descend the dark stairway into the Abyss of chaos and confusion, then complain when we reap the consequences for our willing separation from the moral Compass that binds a healthy society together.

    Clown world.

    • You are absolutely correct. Rather than focusing on the human problems the politicians take the easy road and blame an inanimate object.

      After all, looking at people may cost a vote or two.

    • Subsidizing and encouraging broken homes doesn’t help either but good luck approaching that one. On to the next circus act.

  4. CA is what you get with a super majority of dims in charge. Punish those who are not the problem and let the criminals run riot.

  5. Is this message being sent to the swing voters, or is this just more preaching to the choir?

    • The swing voters and all of the republicans combined are likely outnumbered by the democrats. This is a one party state.

      • See also MA, NY, CT, MD and some areas where city dwellers don’t care how bad it gets in normal states.

      • That is why Deukmejian, Pete Wilson, and Arnold were elected as governors./S The government contractors that left Calif took with them the conservative engineers, employees, and their families that voted that way – along with the old guard Republican families that have been here since before the 1929 stock market crash and depression.
        The big industry in Ca anymore is cutting edge computer software and hardware. It appears that the state was glad to see those government contractors(for the most part) leave. They even ran Tesla out. California doesn’t produce many manufactured goods anymore, even the farming has gone downhill since they dump water into the SF bay rather than selling it to the farmers.
        Tourism is not going to fix Ca. We end up with the homeless coming here because they can sleep out most nights in the open. We have illegal immigrants coming everyday, many from Mexico, but others from Asia, Europe, Africa, and all over Latin America. We have become our own 3rd world nation, and neither party wants to even try to do anything to stop it.
        God help us.

        • LOL “Arnold” was NEVER a true GOP candidate, just look at what he was married to at the time
          he was a full blown RINO!!
          When I lived there at the time, I voted for Gary Colman, the only sane person on the ticket he was once rich and now was poor so he could see both sides!
          that ‘actor’ passed more liby laws than anyone!
          Deukmejian, Pete Wilson?
          they were a whole generation ago before all the anchor babies could vote to ruin the state!

  6. One California legislator, acknowledging that California has 107 gun control laws, said that if it takes another 107 laws to reduce the epidemic of gun violence, the Legislature would pass them.

    Uh huh. They are unable to learn from the failures, and fail to acknowledge that passing innumerable more laws will do nothing to dissuade those bent on breaking them, just as happened in Sacramento. Stolen guns, illegal conversion to full auto Glock, felons in possession, attempted murder, murder, assault..and the list goes on.

    P.S. A third guy has been arrested who is a friend of one of the brothers.

    • Mark N.,

      See my comment below: the problem with California politicians is not failing to learn or acknowledge how their policies fail. The problem is that California politicians (and nearly all other politicians) prioritize their consolidation and increase of wealth, power, and control over the well-being of the people in their jurisdiction.

      We, the electorate, really have to stop giving a pass to politicians. Their failures are intentional. Their failures are NOT due to ignorance nor incompetence.

      Note: while a single politician in a vacuum could certainly pursue failing policies due to ignorance or incompetence, an entire bloc of politicians (such as the California legislature) cannot be ignorant or incompetent. There are too many intelligent and competent politicians and advisors in any given bloc to claim that their destructive policies are anything other than intentional.

  7. All of the comments above my comment are touching upon the real truth of the entire situation.

    And that truth is that nearly all Democrat politicians have WAY more concern for their own wealth and power than the well-being of people in their jurisdiction.

    Sadly, we can say the same for many Republican politicians as well.

  8. These articles never mention what we all observe. Never. Until they do, nothing will change.

  9. Meanwhile, one of three shooters has been released on $500,000 bail. What are the chances of him showing for his first trial date?

  10. You can’t stop a sicko from behaving like a sicko with words and laws. You stop a sicko by locking it away from society, electro-shocking it until becomes a docile drone working the Amazon line or putting it in the ground.

    There is no reason to keep these repeat sociopaths among us. Everyone’s quality of life is lessened by tolerating them.

    • Remember in California they don’t execute murderers…They make folk heroes out of them.

  11. quote————President Biden and Gov. Newsom pitch increasing gun control as the answer. Yet, California has the strictest gun control laws in the nation. This latest incident shows that gun control laws aren’t reducing criminal activity or increasing public safety.————-quote

    States with lax laws funnel in tens of thousands of unvetted second hand guns and stolen guns into states with tough laws making their laws useless.

    Biden is only pushing common sense gun laws which will vet all gun sales including second hand gun sales and Safe Storage laws which will cut down drastically on smash and grab robberies both in private homes and in gun stores many of which do not lock up guns after store hours.

    Biden has already directed the ATF to ban Ghost Guns and it cannot come soon enough as the piles of dead innocent people mass murdered by ghost guns are now numerous in every state. I have posted just some of them before proving this beyond all doubt as the horrors are there for all to see.

    • And, if the state with the same federal requirements as Cali copied Cali’s laws, the criminal element would just go further afield to get their weapons.
      Secondly, many of those so called ghost guns are nothing but standard production guns with the serial numbers altered or obliterated. Please explain how a number on the frame makes a gun any more or less dangerous. Please explain how background checks stop criminals from buying guns on the streets or from getting them smuggled in from places like Brazil, or the Philippines. Both countries have flourishing illegal gun manufacturing businesses. Was even highlighted on National Geographic a few months ago.
      In case you hadn’t noticed, both suspects arrested so far were already prohibited from owning. buying, and possessing firearms. As prohibited persons, they could not pass your ineffective background check. As I’ve said before, it’s not the hardware but the person using it. Deal with the criminals and the firearms are not a problem.

    • Biden is pushing open borders and is ruining border security – not to mention his admin left behind billions in guns and military equipment in Afghanistan.

      • There’s still plenty of US supplied weapons south of the border between the Rio Grande and Panama.

    • States with lax laws funnel in tens of thousands of unvetted second hand guns and stolen guns into states with tough laws making their laws useless.

      If you could get what you wanted, then you would be saying, Mexico and neighboring states with lax gun laws are funneling guns into our country. There will always be a next, neighboring state to blame. For right now, you blame the red states, because your blue states suck at following the laws you demand they follow. The reality is, you would rather govern their freedom, than govern their crimes, and you would rather blame other governing states, than your parties’ own crappy governance of their own state and inability to secure their own border.

    • dacian, the Dunderhead. Here we go again with your “Universal Background Checks” scheme. Laxed gun sales laws? Over 90% of the guns used in crimes are illegally obtained and not due to “laxed gun sales laws”.

      Biden’s proposals are not “common sense” at all. These so called “proposals” are schemes to pave the way for gun seizures. According to Wikipedia, “While there are very few instances of privately made firearms having been recovered at the scene of homicides, unserialized firearms have been used in at least two shooting sprees in California. Most notably one at Rancho Tehama Reserve in 2017 by a man who was barred from possessing guns. The shooter also carried and primarily used three firearms he had illegally acquired that were not privately made firearms.[3][20][21][22] Firearms with the serial numbers removed comprise the majority of unserialized guns recovered from the scene of crimes. However, an altered gun is not the same as a homemade firearm, and that distinction is important when considering their prevalence of usage during crimes.”

  12. 3rd world savages will never act civilized. No matter how often progressives like Debbie W call the people who point this out “rayciss”.

  13. Anything to avoid being mean to the criminals. For example, putting them in prison for long periods of time so they no longer have access to victims. It’s expensive and doesn’t go down well with those who believe that criminals are made so by society’s mistreatment.

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