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Dustin Hawkins

California's Gun Conundrums

By December 29, 2012

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The Sacramento Bee has some interesting charts today showing gun sales and gun deaths/injuries over the last decade.

There have been over 4 million new gun purchases in California alone over the last decade, with the number of gun purchases increasing nearly every year. If the gun control advocates are right, gun deaths and injuries should likely increase, right? Turns out that injuries from firearms have fallen for 7 straight years while deaths have fallen for at least 6 years in a row, and are at the lowest level in well over a decade. Most of the deaths due to firearms are split between suicide and "assault," including gang violence. It would be interesting to see statistics on the percentage of guns used in assaults were purchased legally or not.

At the same time, the city of Los Angeles ran a gun "buy-back" program, where they exchanged guns for giftcards. They had a no-questions asked policy and even promised to melt down the guns without doing any crime-checking. So hey, I guess if you had a murder weapon to effectively dispose of that was the time to do it. The police would destroy the evidence for you.

While it was an interesting gesture, many of the firearms were reportedly non-working or worth less than the gift-cards they were traded in for. The hyped turn in of a non-functioning rocket launcher from a former member of the military was deemed to keep the streets safer. I'm guessing because it would hurt if you threw a broken rocket launcher at someone. But needless to say, it's probably unlikely that criminals and gang members and people who commit gun crimes were the ones turning in their weapons, likely making the streets no safer. But hey, with 1,700 guns off the street out of over 10 million in the state, I'm sure they will probably claim this as the reason for the drop in gun crimes.

Oh, and a fun fact: The 1,700 (mostly useless) guns turned in is less than the estimated 1,900 that are purchased every day in California. So even with the buyback there was no real "progress" in getting guns "off the streets." But taxpayers sure did pay a lot of money for this exercise...

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