Several hours after a mass shooting at a bar in California, National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch compared the “evil” incident to the state’s gun laws.
On November 7, at least 12 people were killed when a gunman with a .45-caliber handgun opened fire at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, CA, during a “country-music night” for college students. Just hours after the shooting, Loesch tweeted out a list of California gun safety measures, saying the latest shooting was “horrific” and “evil,” but that “so are CA gun laws”:
What happened was horrific. Evil is real. So are CA gun laws:
- Universal BG checks
- May issue
- 10 round mag limit
- Purchase limitations
- 10 day waiting period
- No reciprocity with other states
- “Assault weapons” ban & registration
- Ammo thru FFL
- Registration if moved https://t.co/lGG6HxxUrc
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) November 8, 2018
It’s true that California does have some of the strongest gun safety laws in the country, including universal background checks, a ban on most assault weapons, regulations on gun show purchases, and 10-day waiting periods. The state also has one of the lowest gun death rates in the country; it dropped by 56.6 percent between 1993 and 2013, which was “29.9 percentage points more than the decline in the rest of the nation.”
Stronger gun safety laws have had positive impacts elsewhere too: Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, pointed out that permit-to-purchase gun safety laws in Connecticut caused a 40 percent decrease in firearm homicides and a 15 percent decrease in firearm suicides. Harvard University’s Injury Control Research Center also found that in study after study, “where there are more guns there is more homicide.”
But in the wake of another horrific mass shooting, the NRA’s spokesperson once again shifted the blame to fearmonger about “evil” gun safety laws.