Day After San Bernardino Massacre, Barbara Boxer Says 'We've Proven' Gun Control Works in California

December 3rd, 2015 11:44 PM

Democratic U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer of California today cited how her home state's "important gun safety laws" demonstrate that “Sensible gun laws work, we’ve proven it in California, and we're not going to give up." She apparently means that she and others who won't respect the Second Amendment are "not going to give up" on passing or imposing similar legislation or mandates nationally.

Ms. Boxer apparently failed to notice that San Bernardino, the site of yesterday's massacre of 14 at a San Bernardino County holiday party — with 21 others injured, many critically — is in her home state. A Republican or conservative making a similar observation almost immediately after an event demonstrating an obviously contradictory point as Boxer did would be an object of relentless establishment press criticism and ridicule. But Boxer is a gun-grabbing leftist, so she'll likely get a near-complete pass. Video follows the jump.

The C-SPAN video posted at the YouTube account of the Washington Free Beacon apparently was taken during a Democratic senators' press conference.

New York Senator Charles Schumer is speaking at its beginning. Boxer, apparently annoyed at the nature of a reporter's question, followed Schumer at the 0:10 mark (HT Mediaite):

Relevant transcript:

BARBARA BOXER: I want to make a point. When you ask such a question, you're basically saying, "Why bother?" You know, you've all these other problems, why bother?

That is not what leaders do. They don't just hide because you may not win the vote. You keep doing it.

I'll give you one statistic. In California, since the 90s, we have passed a number of important gun safety laws. And over that period of time, we’ve had a reduction in gun violence of 56 percent.

Now clearly, what we see is, this is not enough. That's why we need national laws. That's why I'm looking forward to Senator Feinstein's reintroduction of some form of her assault weapon ban.

But the fact is, sensible gun laws work, and we've proven it in California. and we're not going to give up! If you look at all the great fights we've had over decades before we were even here, on major social issues, on major, uh, you know, pollution and anti-pollution issues, these things take ten, twenty years. You don't give up.

Senator Boxer's 56 percent statistic, and California's gun laws, have "proven" nothing.

According to this Wikipedia entry, among the 50 states and DC, California's gun murder rate per 100,000 residents in 2010 was 14th highest in the nation. You would think from her boasting that it was in the bottom five. The highest murder rate by miles was in DC, where gun laws have been among the nation's strictest.

Table 19 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2013 Detailed Tables for the National Vital Statistics Report (large file accessible from this web page) reveals that California's total homicide rate that year was 4.9 per 100,000 residents — barely below the national average of 5.1. After taking out ultra-dangerous DC, New Orleans and Detroit, California's homicide rate is roughly equal to that seen in the rest of the nation.

Additionally, a 2013 Pew Research Study showed that the "Gun Homicide Rate (Was) Down 49% the Since 1993 Peak."

Ah, but Boxer cited "gun violence," not firearm homicides or gun deaths. That same Pew study shows that "non-fatal violent firearm crime" fell by 75 percent nationwide from 1993 to 2010, from 725.3 crimes per 100,000 residents to 181.5. Last time I checked, Senator, 75 percent is a larger reduction than 56 percent.

Although Boxer was vague in describing the time frame involved (What does "since the 1990s" mean? Since 1999, since some other time during that decade, the average of all years during the 1990s, or something else?), it appears quite likely that gun violence in California has fallen by less than it has in the rest of the nation.

Even setting aside the astonishing tone-deafness of a United States senator citing the wonders of gun-control laws in force in a state where 14 people have just been massacred, Boxer failed to make any kind of point.

Somehow, the "party of compassion" thinks it's compassionate to demand that everyone who participates at a public event, attends any kind of gathering of several or more people, or even ventures anywhere outside of their home, make themselves defenseless against those who might wish to do them harm. That's not compassion; it's reckless endangerment.

Cross-posted at