Everytown for Gun Safety, the billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobbying group, was making headlines over the weekend because a state-by-state new scorecard named California as “first in the nation” for having the most restrictive gun control laws.
In a report published by the Sacramento Bee, Everytown—often mischaracterized by the establishment media as a “gun safety” organization—and its subsidiary, Moms Demand Action, were taking credit for tough gun laws. A volunteer with the California Moms chapter was quoted boasting, “For over a decade, our grassroots army has worked in lockstep with our gun safety champions to keep California families safe from senseless acts of gun violence — this ranking showcases how far we’ve come and the road ahead.”
However, there was a glaring omission in the story. California, according to a recent report from Statista, also produced the biggest homicide body count of any state in the union in 2022, the most recent year for which data is available.
During 2022, the website notes, 2,197 Californians were murdered, a fact about which the gun control crowd has so far remained quiet.
As reported elsewhere by Ammoland News, the latest restrictive gun law known as SB2 is being challenged in federal court, and based on a ruling by a federal court panel Saturday which restored a preliminary injunction granted by District Judge Cormack J. Carney in December, the law could be in big trouble. The case is known as May v. Bonta, filed by the Second Amendment Foundation and the California Rifle & Pistol Association.
Everytown made headlines a few days ago when CNN reported the group’s prediction that some 298,000 lives “could be saved from the nation’s wave of gun violence” if only all states would adopt restrictive gun control laws like California.
But a quick look at the “Top 8” states on the Everytown honor roll might give lawmakers in the other 49 states cause to step back and take a deep breath.
Trailing California in the top spots are New York (762 slayings in 2022, according to Statista), Illinois (881 slayings, most of them in Chicago), Connecticut (136 murders), Hawaii (28 slayings; tiny state), Massachusetts (148 killings), New Jersey (254 murders reported), and Maryland (511 slayings).
Contrast those states with places such as Montana, identified by Ammo.com as the state with the highest percentage of gun ownership (66.3%) and a 2022 body count of just 49, yet with the low ranking of 47 on Everytown’s list of 50, and the gun control group’s credibility suffers. Neighboring Wyoming has the most guns per capita, the Ammo.com report noted, with 245.8 guns for every 1,000 residents. Wyoming is 44th on Everytown’s list, even though with all those people owning guns, the state produced only 14 murders in 2022.
Two more important points were listed by the Ammo.com report:
- “The top five states for gun ownership comprise only .8% of the nation’s firearm-related homicides (185 homicides between all 5 states).
- “The bottom five states for gun ownership accounted for 4% of the nation’s firearm-related homicides (1,038 firearm-related homicides).”
Rounding out the Top 5 states for gun ownership are Alaska, Idaho, and West Virginia. Everytown’s scorecard places them at 41st, 48th, and 27th, respectively.
This tale of irony is being overshadowed by the opening of the civil trial against the National Rifle Association and three of its senior leaders in recent years—Wayne LaPierre, Wilson “Woody” Phillips and John Frazer—unfolds in a New York courtroom. The civil lawsuit was brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who has leveled allegations of financial misconduct, according to UPI. The 74-year-old LaPierre last Friday announced his resignation from the position as executive vice president, which he has held for more than three decades. The resignation is effective Jan. 31.
By no small coincidence, Everytown for Gun Safety is headquartered in New York, same as the NRA, though the latter has been around since 1871.
Also coincidental to the Everytown grade for California is the state’s adoption of three laws, including SB2, which prohibits licensed concealed carry in a broad list of so-called “sensitive places.” Perhaps not surprisingly, some California law enforcement agencies have announced they will not enforce provisions of SB2 while it is being adjudicated.
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms was quick to criticize the Everytown scorecard.
“One of the signals this is bogus research is the way Everytown graded Washington State, where the Citizens Committee is headquartered,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb in a statement to the media. “Washington is position ninth on the list, and is described avs ‘making progress.’
The state has adopted increasingly restrictive gun laws in recent years, and the number of homicides has more than doubled since 2014, according to FBI data and statistics from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. Seattle just set a new homicide record in 2023. If that’s what Everytown calls ‘making progress,’ we would be better off going back to living in caves.”
About Dave Workman