Advocates of strict gun control often complain about a supposed lack of well-funded studies of the data surrounding gun violence, as they suspect such studies would bolster their position against the Second Amendment and the widespread gun ownership among citizens that it guarantees.
Many of those same anti-gun advocates also argue that the rest of the country should adopt the same gun control measures implemented in California, such as “universal” and comprehensive background checks for firearms purchase — we already have a law mandating sufficient background checks, by the way — and widening the scope of who should be prohibited from possessing a firearm to include individuals convicted of violent misdemeanor crimes, not just felonies.
But despite the lamentation from anti-gunners that there are no studies on gun violence or the efficacy of the gun control laws they champion, a major study was just published by two well-funded, prominent anti-gun research groups, and much to the shock of everyone, the study actually undermined a couple of the arguments routinely put forward by the anti-gun crowd.
A recent study conducted jointly by the Center for Gun Policy and Research at Johns Hopkins University and the Violence Prevention Research Program at U.C. Davis School of Medicine delved into the data surrounding homicide and suicide rates in California both before and after the 1991 implementation of comprehensive background checks and the expansion of firearms possession prohibitions to individuals convicted of violent misdemeanor (MVP) crimes.
The study looked at the compiled homicide and suicide data from 1980-2000, with a secondary analysis including data up to 2005, and compared that data from California with similar data from 32 other control states, most of which did not have similar laws in place.
They found no observable effect on firearm-related homicide and suicide rates in California that could be linked to CBC or MVP laws.
In other words, the gun control laws changed nothing beyond inconveniencing and infringing upon the constitutional rights of Californians.
To be sure, the gun control crowd will try to spin the findings.
Even the researchers attempted to downplay what their own study had revealed with a series of excuses in the study’s conclusion, blaming the ineffectiveness of the regulations on incomplete or missing records during background checks, a failure on the part of people to comply with the law and state to properly enforce it, and that the prohibitions against gun ownership remained too narrowly constructed.
In other words, not enough gun control had been applied yet — even in California.
That feeds the left’s perpetual “this time it will be different” narrative that they trot out whenever they are questioned on the past failures of gun control (or socialism, or other progressive pipe dreams).
For its part, pro-gun outlet Ammoland credited the researchers for actually publishing a study that undermined the arguments of the anti-gun crowd, but called out the researchers for some questionable methodology, suggesting the researchers may have attempted and failed to fudge the study’s results.
The outlet also criticized U.C. Davis for a blatant effort at spinning the results by suggesting that laws in other states requiring permits to purchase firearms was a significant reason why this study differed from previous studies issued by the researchers.
However, that excuse ignored the fact that California enacted a permit to purchase law in the middle of the study’s time frame, the 1994 law requiring a Basic Firearms Safety Certificate prior to purchase.
In the end, the anti-gun crowd got their wish: a well-funded study on gun violence rates and gun control laws conducted by prominent anti-gun researchers.
Unfortunately for them, the study didn’t back up their mantras at all.
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