Op-ed misses key facts about California shootings

(AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File)

I’m never surprised by op-eds from California calling for more gun control, either at the state level or federal. After all, it seems like favoring restrictions is a favorite pastime there.


What is often surprising is that for a region full of gun control advocates, they can’t come up with better arguments in favor of restrictions.

Oh, they wouldn’t sway me or a lot of people, but at least they’d be more interesting to poke holes in than what we’ve been getting.

Take this op-ed from the LA Times, as an example.

In the days following the Cook’s Corner shooting in Trabuco Canyon that left three dead and six injured, Orange County residents increasingly call for national gun reform. This August was a particularly deadly month for Orange County gun violence deaths. On Aug. 3 a man died in a car-to-car shooting in Irvine and an Orange County Superior Court Judge pulled a gun from an ankle holster and shot his wife to death on the same day. Just last year, the Laguna Woods Presbyterian Church shooting that left one dead and five injured, and 6-year-old Aiden Leos was shot and killed in a road rage incident by a ghost gun on the 55 freeway in Orange County on his way to kindergarten. These horrific tragedies have us pleading with our representatives in Congress to act urgently to protect their constituents from gun violence. According to a 2022 poll conducted by Politico, 81% of all Americans support requiring background checks on all gun sales. Keeping our communities safe remains our office’s top priority — which is why we strongly support national gun reform legislation that will keep Orange County families safer.


So, let’s look at the cited incidents for a moment and see what we can see.

First, Orange County involved handguns and a shotgun, all lawfully purchased under California’s strict gun laws by a retired police officer. There’s not enough to know about the car-to-car shooting, though I suspect that one will show that the laws in question didn’t actually stop a bad person from getting a gun.

Then we have a Superior Court judge killing his wife.

Of the first three cited incidents, two involved killers who likely would be exempt from most gun control schemes.

The Laguna Woods shooter appears to have gotten his guns in accordance with all California gun laws, which then suggests that maybe gun control doesn’t stop people from trying to carry out mass shootings.

At the end of the day, these aren’t slam-dunk examples of the need for federal gun control. In fact, they’re evidence that gun control doesn’t actually stop the violence.

Even the other incidents, the kind that are lower-profile shootings that fail to make the national stage but are no less tragic aren’t the sterling examples of the need for anti-gun regulation the author believes. All of this would require at least some evidence that there was a legitimate failing of the law to stop those individuals from getting guns and that a law would actually stop them.


The problem is that no such evidence exists.

Further, polling that says people support gun control has problems. Serious problems. It’s not the slam dunk the author thinks, either.

Yet when that is your opening argument, there’s little reason to look beyond it. It’s clear you don’t understand the issue.

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