Op-ed blames lack of federal gun laws for CA mass shootings

Op-ed blames lack of federal gun laws for CA mass shootings
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Two mass shootings in California were always going to lead to further debate on gun laws in our nation. After all, they happend back-to-back in the most gun-controlled state in the nation. Obviously, there were going to be questions and discussion.


For folks on this side of the debate, it seems pretty clear that while gun laws there do wonders to keep law-abiding citizens from owning certain types of guns and magazines, it doesn’t do jack to people with evil intentions.

Others disagree.

Yet over at The Guardian, it seems one writer thinks California’s failures are really due to the lack of federal gun control. I mean, with a title like: “California gun laws can’t stop mass shootings without federal support,” what do you expect.

Gun rights proponents have cited the two shootings as evidence of the ineffectiveness of California’s laws, but groups like Giffords fiercely reject those arguments. California’s firearm mortality rate has declined dramatically in the years since tougher regulations were enacted, gun safety groups note.

But in a nation where firearms outnumber people, the groups say, such horrific attacks will continue without a coordinated federal response to gun violence.

“California is one state of 50,” said Nick Suplina, senior vice-president for law and policy at the gun safety group Everytown. “There’s just no question that strong, uniform federal laws are substantially better than a mixed bag of strong and weak state laws.”


But that’s moving the goalpost here.

See, this might be a valid line of attack if you could show that either of these shooters were able to circumvent California law by going out of state and that’s the only way they could have carried out such an attack.

The problem is, there’s no evidence of that happening. None.

So why should we accept this claim by Suplina at all?

The short answer is that we shouldn’t. California’s gun control laws failed to stop two mass shootings not because of any other reason than they can’t.

We’ve seen mass shootings happen all over the world with all kinds of strict gun control already in place. If gun control could stop mass shootings, they would have.

Further, since many of those nations also have lower homicide rates than we have knife homicide rates, it seems clear that the issue might just be something deeper than access to firearms.

California’s gun control laws failed to stop these mass shootings, and I’m not going to allow them to just pretend without challenge that the issue here is that Georgia isn’t under the same draconian restrictions. They just can’t admit that these restrictions don’t work as advertised. Instead, every failure is evidence they need more.


There’s a term for doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. That’s what’s ultimately at the heart of this push for gun control. Yes, absolute insanity.

Mass shootings are going to happen no matter what gun laws are in place, but California’s gun control laws made it harder for there to be anyone around to stop any of the state’s recent mass shootings. Somehow, I don’t think Everytown wants the feds involved in addressing that issue, though.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member