Gun control groups like Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords are in a weird place right now; the Left is pushing to defund the police and “reimagining the criminal justice system,” but the traditional gun control models actually require armed police to enforce the gun laws that the anti-gun activists are hoping to put on the books. The gun control movement is the bastard stepchild of the Left, and I suspect they know it, which is why many of them are now painting police in a negative light and downplaying the push for new gun laws.
Case in point: Giffords, which recently claimed that Oakland, California offers a “violence intervention strategy” that doesn’t rely on “flooding the streets with police.”
How can we stop violence without flooding the streets with police? Look to Oakland where homicides and shootings are down.
— Giffords (@GiffordsCourage) September 9, 2020
Here’s the biggest problem with Giffords’ statement: homicides in Oakland are not down. In fact, they’re far higher than they were in 2019, as the San Jose Mercury News reported just a few days ago.
A 58-year-old man was found fatally stabbed Sunday morning in Jack London Square, authorities said.
The name of the man, believed to be an Oakland resident, was not immediately released pending the notification of his family.
The man was found about 3:48 a.m. Sunday on the sidewalk in the 200 block of Broadway, near a mobile phone store. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The killing is the 66th homicide investigated by Oakland police this year. Last year at this time police had investigated 51 homicides in the city.
I’m actually not opposed to community intervention programs that are designed to de-escalate conflict, but the fact is that these programs alone won’t stop the bleeding. Giffords is either blatantly lying about the homicide rate in Oakland in order to make it appear that this strategy is working (as well as to show their allies on the Left that they can be just as anti-police as Black Lives Matter or antifa), or their crack team of researchers can’t do a simple Google search to find out if the murder rate in Oakland has actually gone up or down. Either way, this would be embarrassing for the gun control group, except for the fact that the anti-gun media won’t say a word about Giffords’ false claims.
In truth, we do need police to help reduce the number of homicides. What we don’t need are gun control laws that turn the mere possession of a 17-round magazine or an AR-15 into a criminal offense, make it illegal to purchase ammunition online, and prevent the average Californian from legally carrying a firearm for self-defense. Giffords still backs each and every one of those gun laws, despite the fact that enforcing them requires putting police on the streets.
Gun control groups are trying to have it both ways at the moment; continuing to call for more gun laws that must be enforced by armed agents of the State, while proclaiming that those armed law enforcement officers are part of the problem. It may help them stay in the Left’s good graces, at least for the moment, but it’s a nonsensical and contradictory stance that relies on falsehoods and ignorance instead of facts and critical thinking.