The following is an open letter to the Honorable Gavin Newsom, Governor of the State of California.
Recently, you stated that “large capacity clips” were insane, called advocates of the Second Amendment “lunatics” and stated that the Second Amendment, the very amendment which enables every individual American to be his or her own first responder, is in fact a suicide pact.
I understand that your state is reeling from a recent spate of tragic mass shootings in Monterey Park, Half Moon Bay and Oakland, where 26 were killed and 14 were injured. For these horrible events, the victims have my condolences. However, you must understand that all these shootings were perpetrated by people who were violating your gun laws.
Your state has the most extreme gun laws in the nation, including provisions such as prohibiting open carry and the use of “high capacity magazines.” The Monterey Park shooter was using an illegal high capacity magazine, and no “open carry law” can be enforced after a bullet leaves a gun’s muzzle. The fact is your laws only serve to castrate your citizens’ ability to defend themselves.
According to EveryTown for Gun Safety, an average of 1,514 people in California die by gun homicides every year, while 3,459 are wounded by gun assaults. Compare that to Texas, which suffers from 1,374 people killed in firearms-related homicides and 2,092 injured by guns a year. Anyone can plainly see that California’s gun laws do nothing to prevent violent gun crime in your state. The only reason why statistics say that firearm-related deaths in California are so low is because they count suicides. Since Californians cannot buy guns to kill themselves, they find other methods instead. In fact, California was leading the nation in suicides in 2020, with 4,144 souls tragically taking their lives according to the CDC.
However, your gun laws are designed to prevent mass shootings, and they’re simply not doing that. Compared to states who support the Second Amendment, the amount of gun violence in your anti-gun state makes it look worse than Iraq, which even as a war-torn country, only had 740 deaths in 2022.
There are even some survivors of mass shootings who advocate for the Second Amendment such as Kyle Kashuv and Kaylee Stockton, who lived through the 2018 Douglas High School shooting and the 2019 Saugus High School shooting respectively. These two brave individuals, whose lives were actually in danger when insane, violent murderers rampaged through their schools have the common sense to recognize the fact police cannot respond as fast as an armed civilian at the scene of a crime.
Everyone agrees that mass shootings need to be stopped, but as the police response at Uvalde showed, first responders can be slowed by miscommunication or incompetent leadership. Thankfully, an unarmed hero stopped the Monterey Park Shooter, but if there was an armed citizen within the vicinity when the shooting started, the massacre could’ve been prevented altogether, just like how the Greenwood Mall shooter was stopped by Elisjsha Dicken within the first two minutes of the shooting, 3 minutes faster than the average response time of San Francisco PD, the fastest-responding police in the nation.
Mr. Newsom, your argument that “30 round clips” make shooters more deadly makes no sense either, and not just because no one has used 30 round clips to load their weapons since the Japanese did in World War 2. We know you meant “magazine,” but limiting the capacity of a feed system won’t lessen a weapon’s killing power. The Texas Tower shooter, Charles Whitman, killed 18 people and injured 31 with a Remington 700, a bolt-action rifle which only has a capacity of only five rounds. That’s 28 more casualties than the Monterey Park shooter with a weapon that is 100% California compliant.
If you were sincere about your cause, sir, you would at least do your research and find the correct firearms terminology to use. You’d also find out that America is, in fact, not the country with the most gun violence in the world. That dubious honor goes to Brazil, which had a rate of 22 intentional killings per 100,000 people in 2020 compared to the US figure of 7 killings per 100,000 in the same year, according to the world bank.
The Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro ran on a platform of gun rights for “all honest citizens” to restore order to Brazil’s streets, eliminating many of the restrictive gun policies of the previous administration. As a result, Brazil’s murder rate experienced its biggest drop since 1980. Citizens cannot rely on the police to always be there when they are needed.
There is even historic precedence to testify that gun confiscations don’t work. Back in the 17th century, China had an even worse problem than mass shootings. Semi-organized armies of bandits and looters armed with guns and other weapons roamed the country destroying entire villages and making roads unsafe for travel. The Shunzhi Emperor came to the same conclusion as you, Mr. Newsom, and decided to blame the issue on the armed populace. In 1648, he banned all non-military individuals from bearing weapons of any sort and disarmed the peasants.
Much to his surprise, the bandit problem grew worse. The Chinese Army could not be everywhere at once, and the disarmed populace suffered so much at the hands of the bandits, who never had any intention of turning their weapons in, that the emperor rescinded his weapon ban only two years after he instituted it.
Recently, we have heard that the people have no weapons and cannot repel aggressors. Bandits on the other hand can profit, and the good people have to endure bitter and poisonous misfortunes. Now we think that the weapons and armor which the people originally ought not to have had, and which were strictly forbidden in the past, such as muskets, fowling pieces, bows and arrows, knives, spears, and horses, ought now to be retained in their possession and not forbidden. Return to their original owners those weapons which were initially turned over to the officials.
The Shunzhi Emperor, 1650
Even as I write this letter, I know, Mr. Newsom, that will not listen to the wisdom of the ancients, acknowledge the progress of other nations which support gun rights, or see that your state is more dangerous than any of the states that support the Second Amendment. You will forever stand by your narrative that gun restrictions are the only way to reduce violence in your state, even though recent events have proven this wrong.
Therefore, it is my hope that your constituents, upon seeing the data for themselves, will recognize that your policies are ineffective and will either vote you out of office or leave the state. 250,000 people leaving and rising, Mr. Newsom. That’s all your fault.