Only days after the death of California’s Grande Dame of gun control—Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein—the Los Angeles Times is reporting that data from the state’s Department of Justice suggests violent crime has been increasing since 2014 and it includes an “increased use of firearms in homicides and aggravated assaults.”
This report seems to run counter to a July story at Crosstown regarding violent crime just in Los Angeles. Data from the Los Angeles Police Department at the time said the city logged 402 slayings in 2021, 382 homicides in 2022, and—at the time of the report—145 murders during the first half of this year. But this just covers a single city. California is a big place.
In San Francisco, according to Police Department data, there were 40 slayings as of Oct. 1, which is on par with the same period in 2022.
In Oakland, as of mid-September, there were 91 murders, according to a website OaklandMoFo. Last year, that city reported 119 killings for the entire year.
In San Diego County during the first half of this year, there were 44 murders compared to 53 during the same period in 2022, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
A report on California homicides in 2022 by the office of Attorney General Rob Bonta says there were 2,206 slayings recorded in the state, of which 73.6 percent involved a firearm. The report says this number represents as 6.6 percent decrease in murders from 2021.
The L.A. Times story says data from 2020 shows gun-related homicides in the state were up 40.6 percent over 2019, and assaults involving firearms were up 29 percent.
“The trend continued in 2021,” the Times report continues, “with each category of crimes increasing 8% before dropping off by about as much in 2022, the most recent year for which data were available. But the rate for 2022 remains noticeably higher than pre-pandemic figures. Guns were used in 71.2% of homicides and 21.8% of assaults in 2022, compared with 68% and 16.9%, respectively, in 2019.”
California has among the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation, and anti-gun Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed a handful of new ones, including on that is already the subject of a federal court challenge (Senate Bill 2). As noted by TheGunMag.com, “Several gun rights groups including the Second Amendment Foundation have filed suit against SB2, and just days ago submitted a brief to the court supporting their motion for a preliminary injunction. SAF is joined in the case by Gun Owners of America, Gun Owners Foundation, California Rifle & Pistol Association, Gun Owners of California, the Liberal Gun Club and nine individuals. The case is known as May v. Bonta.”
All of this translates to a massive failure of strict gun control, which mimics what is happening two states to the north: Washington.
But instead of acknowledging that their gun control agenda has been a flop, the gun prohibition effort along the West Coast habitually doubles down, as Newsom’s proposed 28th Amendment to the Constitution underscores.
The L.A.Times story refers to a report from the Public Policy Institute of California, which said violent crime overall in California in 2022 was up 13.5 percent from 2019, and 26.4 percent since 2014. But the institute says homicides in 2022 were down 6.1 percent, but they were “still up by 25.3% compared to 2019.”
From all of this data, the inescapable conclusion is that California gun control laws have not delivered on the promises and predictions of their proponents, who are unwilling to admit it.
As previously reported, there is something of a war of competing philosophies on the West Coast, with gun control proponents overlooking, or deliberately ignoring, possibly the most important part of the equation: Criminals do not obey gun control laws.
As noted in TheGunMag, gun control restrictions have been total failures. “Only law-abiding citizens have been inconvenienced, while criminals have continued hurting and killing people.”
Perhaps nothing better illustrates this than a report from KTLA News earlier in the week about a major crackdown on an unidentified gang, described only as a “violent criminal street organization.” Search warrants were served on Sept. 28 at various locations in Los Angeles County, followed by 10 arrests, the seizure of 14 firearms “including two ghost guns and one short-barreled rifle,” along with cash.
“In total,” KTLA reported, “the law-enforcement operation resulted in 27 arrests, 30 weapons seized, and the recovery of a large cache of illegal drugs that included fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.”
Obviously, it is not just gun control laws that California criminals ignore, but drug laws as well. Passage of more gun laws will not stop such people or even slow them down. Until gun control zealots accept this, they will likely continue pushing more laws in the belief something will change, but as experience has demonstrated repeatedly, it won’t.
About Dave Workman
Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.