AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File

Louisiana has a lot of guns. They also have a lot of homicides, unfortunately.

These two facts aren’t necessarily related, but anti-gunners routinely conflate them as if correlation automatically equals causation. Still, it’s brought up by Louisianan anti-gunners as evidence that more gun control is needed in the state.

Luckily, lawmakers aren’t buying it. Instead, they’re heading in another direction.

The Louisiana House on Tuesday passed proposals that would expand the state’s reach over local regulation of gun control and boost existing “stand your ground” laws, indicating a momentum of gun legislation in the state.

The House voted 68-30 to support a bill by Rep. Blake Miguez, R-Erath, which would eliminate the authority of local governments to prohibit the possession of firearms in certain businesses and public buildings.

On the House floor, Miguez contended that the current law is “a patchwork of regulations [that] confuse those trying to follow the law.” Gun law should be consistent around the state, he added.

“A good guy with a gun always stops a bad guy with a gun,” Miguez said.

Indeed.

If there’s a pro-gun criticism to be made, it’s that the new law doesn’t go far enough. While it does bar local governments from creating new gun-free zones, it stops well short of preemption of local laws. For example, there’s still a mandatory reporting law in New Orleans. That’s something that can trip up a recently arrived resident of the Big Easy.

The flip side is for folks like me to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. These draconian anti-gun laws didn’t spring up overnight. It’ll take time to remove them all.

Further, some people are uncomfortable with what has been done. Doing more might well have jeopardized the effort completely. Once these new laws are in place–assuming it passes in the Senate–and the homicide rate does anything short of increasing, it’ll be far easier to pass additional repeals of draconian gun control regulations or outright preemption.

That’s clearly what’s motivating this effort. The truth is, no amount of money being spent on law enforcement will combat a high homicide rate, but what will is empowering ordinary citizens to act in both their own self-defense and in defense of others. Bolstering the state’s Stand Your Ground law is another good thing being accomplished here.

Louisiana residents have a right to want safety. The problem is that the government can’t provide it. They’ve tried for decades and failed. Now, it’s time for the government to get the hell out of the way and empower the citizens to take care of themselves. That’s likely to be far more effective.

Bad guys know to avoid police uniforms. It’s harder to avoid ordinary citizens who are bound and determined to be neither a victim nor a statistic. They’re willing to fight rather than capitulate to the demands of a thug. Empower that and the criminals can’t account for it. They’ll start reevaluating their life choices…assuming they aren’t the types that have to learn the hard way.