California gun control fails to curb L.A.'s rise in armed robberies

(AP Photo/Nick Ut)

If California’s gun control laws worked as advertised, the state would be the safest in the nation. How on earth could criminals hope to get their hands on a gun in a place with universal background check laws, 10-day waiting periods, background checks on all ammunition purchases, and all of the other red tape that lawmakers have wrapped around the right to keep and bear arms?

The reality, of course, is that California’s gun laws have never stopped criminals from illegally obtaining and using guns, no matter how many new restrictions legislators dream up year after year. Case in point? The rapidly rising numbers of armed robberies this year.

Robberies involving a gun are up a whopping 44% this year, so LAPD Chief Michel Moore is urging residents to keep alert and be aware of their surroundings.

There has been an overall increase in robberies throughout the City of Los Angeles this year, Moore told the Los Angeles Police Commission on Tuesday. The year-to-date statistics Moore presented are a big jump from previous years:

  • Robberies up 18% from 2021, and 5% from 2020
  • Robberies with a firearm up 44% from 2021, 57% from 2020 and 60% from 2019
  • Robberies with a firearm account for 36% of all robberies, and accounts for 74% of the city’s year-to-date total robbery increase
  • LAPD’s South Bureau and 77th Street Area had the most robberies with a firearm, at 227 and 102, respectively

“There’s been a marked increase of armed robberies involving victims wearing expensive jewelry, as well as just other individuals whether they’re at commercial stores such as mini markets, convenience stores, gas stations, or on the street,” Moore said.

In other words, the risk of being a victim is increasing, regardless of whether you’ve got a Rolex or a Timex on your wrist. And thanks to the fact that obtaining a concealed carry license in Los Angeles is almost as difficult as winning an Oscar or an Emmy, the average Los Angeleno has no chance of being able to lawfully defend themselves with a firearm while they’re out in public. Instead, the city’s police department is recommending a few “common sense” lifestyle changes for L.A. residents.

An LAPD alert warned that wearing expensive jewelry in public can make a person a visible target. The LAPD also urged people to travel in groups, remain in well-lit areas, and take a different route home after going shopping. People were also urged to remain aware of their surroundings, pay attention to the other people around them, and if someone may be following, change their routes and call the police.

Better yet, why bother to leave the house at all? Just lock your door, have your GrubHub driver leave your food on the front porch, and hunker down in an interior room of your home for the foreseeable future.

Look, some of those tips like being aware of your surroundings are practical, but others are just insulting. Travel in groups and remain in well-lit areas? Is the LAPD saying it’s unsafe for a single woman to go to the grocery store after dark or too dangerous to take a date to the movies if it’s not a matinee?

If things have gotten that bad in Los Angeles then the right to bear arms in self-defense is needed more than ever, and the state’s gun control laws are clearly more of an impediment to law-abiding citizens than the lawless few who are causing chaos with their crimes across the city. And while Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva promised to issue more concealed carry permits last year, there’s no sign that the county is anywhere close to operating on a “shall issue” standard that recognizes the right of individuals to bear arms. California’s gun control regime has given criminals the upper hand, and unless Bill Maher is correct about the state turning red in the near future, it’s going to be up to the courts to set things right and restore the Second Amendment to the people living there.