Should New Jersey residents start breaking out the crying towels?
It might seem that way after Gothamist, described as “a website about New York City news, arts and events, and food, brought to you by New York Public Radio,” lamented that “gun violence is plaguing the Garden State” but New Jersey lawmakers don’t seem interested in doing much about it.
Democrats have controlled the New Jersey Assembly for a long time. The story says five gun control bills have been gathering dust in committee. Meanwhile, anti-gun Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy would like to see more gun control.
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The story stated, “Despite the lack of recent current action on gun control, New Jersey already has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country—and as a result, gun control advocates say, one of the lowest gun violence death rates in the country.”
That may depend upon how one looks at the numbers.
According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2019—the most recent year for which data is available—New Jersey, with its strict gun control laws, racked up 262 murders of which 176 were committed with firearms.
But Arkansas, with relatively relaxed gun control laws, reported 231 slayings that year, of which 177 involved firearms. While there are certainly more people in New Jersey and it is smaller than Arkansas, this isn’t about size or population, but body count in two environments, one with strict gun laws and the other with more relaxed laws.
Arkansas has a little over 3 million residents, while the population in New Jersey is about 8.8 million. On that basis, the murder rate in Arkansas is considerably higher.
California has strict gun control laws, and 2019 saw 1,679 people murdered there. That same year, the state to where so many Californians have fled—Texas—has much more rational gun laws, and in the same year racked up 1,379 slayings, of which 1,064 involved guns. California’s population is around 39.5 million and Texas has about 29 million residents.
The point of all this being that gun control laws don’t seem to work in New Jersey or California, for if they did, there would be fewer slayings than in states with allegedly “lax” gun laws.
Bottom line is that there is no easy fix for the uptick in violent crime and murder, without a change in the justice system, and a reversal of social policies that seen to enable, rather than discourage, the commission of crimes.
Instead, the finger of blame seems to point to gun owners who committed no crimes, and the penalties are suffered by honest citizens instead of focusing entirely on the criminal element. Where’s the “common sense” in that?
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