Gun Control California Style: Almost 1 Million Sales

By Dave Workman

Only in California could gun prohibitionists be credited with spurring a rush on gun stores that resulted in a financial boon to firearms manufacturers and retailers, when what they really wanted was to ratchet down on gun ownership.

But that’s how it looks. Before and after a half-dozen gun bills were signed by Gov. Jerry Brown this past summer, Golden State gun sales skyrocketed. According to figures from the California Department of Justice, by Dec. 9 there had been 364,643 sales of just semi-auto rifles. As noted by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 2015 saw a total of 153,931 rifle sales for the entire year. This is a sales increase of more than 100 percent.

Overall in 2015, sales data showed “just over 700,000 guns sold” for the entire year. By early December this year, nearly 1 million gun sales had been reported to the state DOJ, the newspaper revealed.

It was hardly a unique situation. Every previous time that gun control legislation has passed, or even been threatened, gun sales have spiked. Why gun control advocates don’t understand their part in this puzzle, or at least can’t acknowledge it, may seem naïve.

When people think they will not be able to get something next week, they rush out and get it this week. Gun dealers reported heavy sales; pretty much nothing stayed on the shelf very long.

It was all in advance of the Jan. 1 changes, which got people buying right up to Dec. 21, to allow time for the state’s ten-day waiting period.

California is a living lesson for gun rights activists. Starting with the original ban on so-called “assault weapons” back in 1989, the state’s gun laws have gotten incrementally more restrictive. Once thought to address the angst anti-gunners had over detachable magazines, the “bullet button” became the norm on AR-type rifles. This required a tool or the point of a bullet to activate when it was time to remove a magazine. But now that’s been replaced by a new requirement for an “AR Mag Lock.” This thing makes it even tougher to reload a semi-auto rifle.

Other features that are now prohibited include a folding or thumbhole stock, forward protruding grip and a flash suppressor. Nobody has yet explained how any of these features make a firearm more lethal, but adding them to the list of prohibited items apparently creates the impression that lawmakers in Sacramento accomplished something. Until next time.

A Holiday Weekend In The Slaughterhouse

We made a list and checked it twice, and sure enough, the Christmas weekend in Chicago produced a dozen new corpses and some 50 more people wounded.

By Christmas, there had been so many shootings in the city that the Chicago Tribune could only report that “more than 4,300” people had been shot in the Windy City, and the number of homicides was “around 770.” However, CNN reported that there had been 753 homicides by Christmas. A website called “” said on Dec. 27 that the murder total was actually 787 and that 707 of those involved firearms. Soon as there is an official county, Insider Online will report that.

What isn’t a mystery, at least to Police Supt. Eddie Johnson is that much, if not most of the holiday violence was gang related. Insider Online did a little checking and found that back in the Roaring 20s, Al Capone and his gangsters were comparative pikers.

Take February 1929, the month of the infamous “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.” That month, Chicago logged 26 murders. In February 2016, there were 46 slayings.

The Chicago Sun-Times keeps a running count under the heading “Homicide Watch Chicago.” It carries this subhead: “Mark every death. Remember every victim. Follow every case.”

While police were counting the dead this year, they apparently weren’t making as many arrests as they did last year. The Sun-Times also reported that arrests are down this year, from more than 69,000 in 2015. Final figures are not yet available, but the newspaper reported on the day after Christmas that police were “on pace to make about 50,000 arrests citywide” in 2016.

NY Times Does Editorial Sleight Of Hand

When the New York Times editorialized about how European officials had taken the initiative to move for tougher gun laws when U.S. officials haven’t, the newspaper said this: “Over the last decade, 10,000 homicides were committed with firearms in Europe. This is just a small fraction of the more than 300,000 gun deaths in that time in the United States, where citizens own guns at far higher rates.”

Wait a minute. Comparing ten years of firearms-related deaths to the number of homicides in countries with already-strict gun laws just might be a little disingenuous. Insider Online referred to the annual FBI Uniform Crime Reports for the years 2005-2015 to discover that the agency’s data showed a total of 148,591 homicides during that time span, which actually covers 11 FBI reports. Specifically, 101,400 of those murders were committed with firearms, producing an approximate average of 9,218 slayings per year.

The NY Times evidently reached its estimate by multiplying the oft-repeated “30,000 gun deaths each year” contention used by the gun prohibition lobby. Anti-gunners invariably combine all firearms-related deaths (suicides, homicides and accidents) to create the impression that America is bathing in the blood of crime victims. About two-thirds of all firearms deaths in this country are suicides.

The newspaper can defend its estimate about “gun deaths,” but stacking that against homicides in Europe is a misleading comparison.

Would-Be Robber Will Not Be Whistlin’ Dixie Ever Again

Two would-be armed robbers must have driven to Cobb County, Georgia from somewhere on the far side of stupid because they picked perhaps the dumbest place second only to a police station to attempt a stick-up: A gun store.

According to WSB-TV news, the owner of Dixie Gun and Pawn had just opened up on Dec. 26 when the dimwit duo came in wearing ski masks and packing hardware. Surprise of surprises, at least to the bad guys: the store owner drew his own gun and opened fire, fatally wounding one of the men. The other guy beat a hasty retreat, hopped into a vehicle and sped away.

The unidentified store owner told a reporter off camera that he felt he had no choice. There were at least two customers in the store at the time. One of them, Terrance Coner, told a reporter, “It’s just amazing to see someone try to come into a gun store to rob a gun store. I mean, that was a really un-thought-out plan.”

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