More Evidence of Gun Control’s Continuing Failure

Gun control continues to fail as advocates press for more restrictions. iStock-493479140

Nine people, including a 5-year-old girl who was fatally wounded while sitting in her father’s car early Sunday, provide more evidence that strict gun control laws in Illinois—and particularly in Chicago and Cook County—have been a dismal failure.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, at least nine people were murdered over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The problem isn’t just confined to the Windy City, either.

Out in Washington State, where gun control laws have been getting more restrictive over the past decade, the Washington State Standard reported more guns are showing up in schools. Of the 2,275 reported “weapons incidents” during the 2022-2023 school year, 316 “involved possession of a firearm,” the report said. In addition, the story cited an October 2023 report in the Washington Post, which said, “1 in 47 school-age children…attended a school where at least one gun was found and reported…by the media.”

Meanwhile, many people still think the way to reduce gun-related violence is to stage a “gun buyback,” which even gun control proponents reject as truly productive.

In Chicago, according to the popular website, which tracks homicides in the city, 176 people have been fatally shot so far this year. Another 829 people have been wounded by gunfire. Nobody is rushing to declare gun control a success in the city, and the gun prohibition lobby dodges the issue whenever they claim strong gun laws save lives.

The Sacramento Bee reported the city police department “collected at least 17 firearms on Saturday” as part of a bun buyback. Such efforts are symbolism over substance.

Buried in the Sacramento report is an acknowledgement such efforts accomplish little: “Past studies of gun-buyback programs have shown that these events alone do not have any impact on citywide gun crime rates. Typically, the surrendered weapons are not the type used in violent crimes, UC Davis researcher Garen Wintemute said, and often, it is mature adults, not youth, who are turning in weapons.”

All of these reports point to one inescapable conclusion: Gun control laws have failed, and to suggest otherwise might be, at best, described as living in denial.

The Washington State Standard story offers affirmative evidence of this by quoting an academic who reportedly praises Washington’s gun control laws, and asserts the way to deal with the increasing numbers of guns showing up in schools is to make it “even harder to obtain a firearm.” The problem, of course, is that it is already difficult in the Evergreen State to legally purchase a firearm. Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee last year signed legislation mandating a 10-day waiting period for gun purchases. Anti-gun lawmakers—all Democrats—in the State Legislature initially wanted to push a purchase permit requirement but backed off when they were reminded a similar requirement in neighboring Oregon had just been declared unconstitutional under the state constitution.

Go east 2,700 miles to “the other Washington,” where last year saw the body count climb 36 percent over 2022, according to WUSA back in January. In a city with some of the strictest gun control laws anywhere in the country, where the center of government is located, 2023 produced 274 homicides, what WUSA called a “20-year high.” In 2022, the city reported 201 slayings.

Remarkably, nearby Baltimore saw a drop in slayings, but it may have been an aberration. Earlier this year, the Associated Press reported Baltimore murders had dropped below 300 for the first time in a decade. Last year saw 263 killings in the city, which still has tough gun control laws. What’s the secret?

The AP report noted Baltimore’s effort to focus law enforcement on violent offenders, drug trafficking and seizing firearms possessed illegally. After all, Maryland laws are already tough on law-abiding citizens, so perhaps it’s the criminals’ turn.

Out in Seattle, there have so far been 19 homicides and as if to demonstrate the futility of trying to stop killings by adopting gun restrictions on honest citizens, there have been fatal stabbings and two axe murders. There are no background checks on knives, hatchets or axes, and no waiting periods.

Homicides seemed to spike during the pandemic, but various published reports suggest the numbers are generally declining.

Now, however, there is a new demon in the debate: Suicide. Salon is reporting that suicide reached a record high in 2022, with some 50,000 deaths. Approximately 55 percent of those involved firearms, which will give momentum to arguments for waiting periods.

Gun control is already becoming a presidential campaign issue. CBS News is reporting the Biden campaign has released an ad attacking Donald Trump on guns, two years after the Uvalde school massacre. The text confirms Joe Biden is “fighting to ban assault weapons.” The ad accuses Trump of doing nothing to keep people safer.

The ad ignores the fact that the Uvalde killer violated the existing gun law prohibiting guns on school campuses, to say nothing of the law against murder.

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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