A recent study from a gun control advocacy group shows that gun-related fatalities have declined 56% in the past 17 years in California. The study attributes the decline to greater restrictions on gun ownership since gun control is strictest in California.
As sort of noted by MSNBC, while the revelation of California’s decline in gun-related deaths is well-received, the subsequent claim is tenuous and debatable. Correlation is not always causation.
The whole United States has experienced a decline in gun-related homicides. However, as the study points out, California’s decline is the most dramatic. Yet despite the decline, California has the 13th highest number of gun murders per capita. Meanwhile Vermont has the least number of per capita gun murders.
In response, gun control advocates will say that states like Vermont have fewer urban areas and less population density, which means that Vermont is not quite comparable to California.
Currently, California has more than 30 laws restricting gun ownership and manufacturing including a ban on military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines. While gun rights activists do protest these bans, they support increased legal penalties for crimes inflicted with firearms.
While both sides disagree on the extents of gun ownership and the role of government, both are relieved to hear the death toll is coming down.