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Another Year, Another Lie from Newsom and Everytown

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While many Americans saw the first week of the new year as an opportunity to work toward and achieve new goals in 2024, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) chose instead to publicize some of the same tired propaganda constantly repackaged by gun-control groups and politicians over the past several years.

Unfortunately for Newsom, his newest “revelation” has been well debunked in the past.

“A new study from leading gun safety group Everytown USA confirms what we’ve known: California’s gun laws save lives,” Newsom said in a press release. “In fact, if all states followed our policy lead and matched our gun death rate, Everytown estimates that nearly 300,000 lives could be saved over the next 10 years.”

The press release then highlighted a recent CNN story headlined: “Nearly 300,000 lives could be saved in the next decade if states followed California’s example on gun laws, study says.” That story exuberantly announced a new “study” by Everytown; actually, this is the group’s annual report, which claims to rank how dangerous states are by how many gun-control laws they don’t have. They do this to claim that states with very-restrictive gun laws are safer.

The problem is, despite the fact that Everytown “studied” it, CNN printed it, and Newsom touted it, the assertion simply is not true. The main problem with the claim is that Everytown and other gun-control organizations use hand-picked, ever-changing parameters to come to a pre-determined conclusion.

According to John Lott, president and founder of the Crime Prevention Research Center, “These gun-control groups make up their own measures of total gun control, which are completely arbitrary and change from year to year,” Lott said in an exclusive interview with America’s 1st Freedom. “If an academic were to go and look at the impact of different gun-control laws, you would separately account for each of the different types of gun control that are there. But in the index they put together, one year they may weight things like universal background checks more heavily than they weighted them in other years. So, they see which places have the higher crime rates and adjust the index in order to get as big of difference as they can.”

Lott said the “study” can also be criticized for the fact that nobody doing a real academic study would use purely cross-sectional data, which is only looking at different places at one point in time.

“People on one side of the gun-control debate will go and point to Chicago and say, ‘Look at the high crime rates in Chicago,’” Lott said. “People on the other side will say, ‘Look at the United Kingdom. The UK has very low murder and homicide rates.’

“The problem that I would point out is that before they had the gun-control laws they now do in the UK, they had even lower homicide rates. The homicide rates went up in the UK relative to the United States when they passed those laws.”

Lott said what researchers should do to get an accurate picture of violent crime and gun laws is to look at changes before and after a gun-control law goes into effect—and not just in one place, but many places over time. When the Brady Campaign, formerly Handgun Control Inc., released a similar “study” back in 2018 with the same conclusion, the CPRC came up with starkly different results even when using Brady’s “data.”

“Once one accounts for the average pre-existing differences in homicide and suicide rates across states and the average annual changes in those deaths from year-to-year, stricter gun laws are associated with more total deaths from homicides and suicides,” that study concluded. “Increasing the index of the gun laws in a state by 20 percentage points (about one standard deviation) is associated with an increase in the total death rate (homicides plus suicides) of 0.4 per 100,000 people.”

What are gun owners to do when they see gun-ban organizations, anti-gun groups, and the so-called “mainstream media” pushing such “research” out to the public. The answer, of course, is to find more credible news sources.



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