LAPD chief blames guns for California's gun control failures

(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

California has the toughest state-level gun control laws in the nation. They heavily restrict pretty much every category of firearm imaginable and they’re constantly looking at how they can further restrict them.

And yet, cities in the state aren’t necessarily safer than anywhere else in the nation.

Despite that, the chief of the LAPD blames…wait for it…guns.

Thirty-four people were shot in Los Angeles last week, a bloody spike in what is already shaping up to be a violent month and year in the City of Angels, according to authorities.

The bulk of the shootings — 23 — of them occurred in a “remarkably small area” of the Los Angeles Police Department’s 77th Street and Southeast divisions, Chief Michel Moore told the Los Angeles Police Commission Tuesday. Moore called last week a “troubling week,” in a year when violent crime has increased 7.1% year-to-date. So far this year, the LAPD has responded to 575 more violent crimes than this time last year.

Barely halfway through the month, 70 people have already been shot in Los Angeles, up from 55 during the same period last year. There have been 107 homicides so far in 2022, while at this point in 2021 there were 109. While the number has decreased slightly in 2022, Moore said it represents a 37% increase over a two-year period. Overall, violent crime — aggravated assaults, street robberies, and commercial robberies — have climbed 15.2 percent over a two-year period.

“The problem that we have throughout Los Angeles is too many guns in too many hands,” Moore said, reiterating a belief he frequently shares with the commission. The added enforcement in the 77th Street Division resulted in 16 gun arrests involving 20 firearms, including “a number of assault rifles,” Moore said.

So, the issue is guns in the most heavily gun-controlled state in the nation?

Sounds to me an awful lot like all the copious amounts of gun control has managed to accomplish is just make the state more hostile toward law-abiding gun owners, rather than actually do much to curb gun possession by violent criminals.

This isn’t much different than the gang heyday of the 1990s when LA was the epicenter of criminal culture.

Since then, the state has passed tons of gun control, ostensibly to impact those same criminals.

As we can see, it worked like a charm.

Look, I get the desire to do something. I also get that people think the problem is the wrong people having guns. I’m not going to argue about armed criminals.

But the laws on the books were designed to stop precisely them from having them, yet it doesn’t appear to have accomplished a blasted thing. Meanwhile, Californians who want to comply with the law are treated like criminals for even wanting a firearm.

It’s just not right.

Then again, it’s never been right to restrict the rights of the ordinary citizen because of the actions of a handful of criminals.

Yet when the LAPD chief talks about too many guns in too many hands rather than the wrong hands, what do you think he’s proposing? Is he acknowledging that gun control has failed the state, or do you think he’s suggesting more of the same?

Well, since he says the problem is “too many hands” and nothing about criminals in possession, it’s clear where he stands on the issue.

It’s also clear that more of the same isn’t going to make things better.

Aug 18, 2022 5:30 PM ET