By: José Niño
California, a state long associated with radical gun control measures, is now starting to see the enthusiasm for gun control among its citizens begin to decline.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Californians’ confidence in gun control reducing violent crime has lessened. The Times cites a new poll conducted by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies in tandem with the Times that analyzes these findings.
The poll reveals that 56 percent of California’s surveyed voters view gun control laws as an effective way of making their communities more secure. Though there is one caveat to these findings: They represent a decline in the support for gun control in the Golden State compared to three years ago, when 60 percent of California voters supported these measures.
Similarly, the poll found that 57 percent of California voters believe it's more important to restrict gun ownership than it is to protect Second Amendment rights; however, this number has dropped significantly since 2018, when it stood at 64 percent.
The past year, violence has increased in major California cities, including Los Angeles. Shootings in LA have soared by 43.9 percent so far in 2021, compared to the previous year. Moreover, homicides have swelled by 28.9 percent in this same period.
Despite California’s draconian anti-Second Amendment legislation, gun sales rose by roughly 66 percent in 2020, compared to 2019, according to a report the state attorney general released in July.
In May 2021, a gunman slaughtered nine co-workers at a light rail yard in San Jose, rekindling talks about gun policy. Nevertheless, the overall mayhem that has ensued since the Antifa and Black Lives Matter riots of 2020 has made many people, even Californians, hesitant about passing more gun control. They’ve realized that law enforcement cannot be fully relied upon to protect the public. In addition, an armed individual is still the most effective first responder against criminals.
The Times noted that in California, “…gun control is seen as effective by large majorities of voters in coastal areas, including 66 percent of those in Los Angeles,” though, “most voters living in inland areas believe the laws are ineffective.”
The coastal vs. interior divide is a prevailing trend in American politics, where major urban centers hold more leftist views on matters such as gun control. By contrast, their interior counterparts are more receptive to laxer restrictions on bearing arms.
California is likely outside Second Amendment supporters’ reach for the foreseeable future, but it makes sense for gun owners to focus on building up their power bases in the state’s interior for the time being. One way they can do so is by nullifying unconstitutional gun control laws that are passed in Sacramento. From there, they can recapture lost ground.
José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.