Friday, February 19, 2010

Brady Campaign Scorecard Out - California 79, Utah 0

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is making a lot of news today after releasing updated state scorecards rating each states gun laws.  California makes the top spot with a score of 79, while Utah comes in dead last with a score of 0.

Reaction around the 'net has been swift and varied.  A blogger from Arizona lamenting that states low score of 2 quotes Paul Helmke:
"Since Arizona does not require Brady criminal background checks on all firearm sales, including those at gun shows, gun traffickers don't need to leave the state to funnel illegal guns to felons and gang members," says Paul Helmke, Brady Campaign president. "Arizona officials have done nothing in the past year to stop the flow of illegal guns within the state, including closing the loophole that allows dangerous people to walk into gun shows and buy guns without background checks."
 Aw, yes! The dreaded gun show loophole!  Well California has had that hole closed for a very long time indeed. But does anyone actually think that California criminals need to go out of state to get their guns, or that criminals cannot obtain a gun if they want one? Lovelle Mixon did not seem to have much trouble, and four Oakland PD officers were killed by him as a result.

After seeing the effects of our strict gun laws versus Utah's lax gun laws I am beginning to think that if California scrapped most of our gun laws our violent crime and homicide rates would not change much.  After all what do we have to show for our strict gun laws?  A lower homicide rate than Utah?

UPDATE 19 Feb. 2010: corrected typos and language in the original post. Also, take a look at David Hardy's post on the Brady Campaign Scorecards at Of Arms and the Law.  Follow the links to the stories he linked to.  They are worth reading.

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