A recent report by WTVR News in Richmond says gun owners in the Old Dominion are concerned that threatened changes in the Commonwealth’s gun laws could mean an uptick in crime.
That’s not as far-fetched as one might imagine. Despite the contention by gun control advocates that proposed restrictions on law-abiding gun owners will help reduce crime, there is some evidence to suggest exactly the opposite, and it can be found in far-off Washington State.
As a recent report in AmmoLand noted, after Washington voters passed Initiative 594, a “universal background check” measure in 2014, the homicide numbers began creeping up annually. In 2016, for example, there were two high-profile shooting incidents—one in Mukilteo at a teen party and the other three months later at the Cascade Mall in Burlington—that claimed a total of eight lives.
According to the annual FBI Uniform Crime Reports, there were 209 homicides in Washington, including 141 involving firearms in 2015, the year after I-594 passed. The next year, 2016, saw a drop in murders overall (195) and those involving guns (127). But in 2017 and 2018, the body count crept right back up to 228 the first year, with 134 of those gun-related, and 232 the next year, with 138 involving guns.
In 2015, Seattle adopted a “gun violence tax” on the sale of firearms and ammunition that was supposed to bring in $300,000 to $500,000 annually. In 2016, the first full year the tax was imposed, Seattle police reported 59 non-fatal shootings and 11 fatalities. The next year, there were 67 non-fatal shootings and 16 gun-related slayings, according to SPD data. In 2018, the city had 67 non-fatal shootings and 13 gun-related slayings. By Dec. 16 last year, there had been 73 non-fatal shootings and 18 gun-related homicides.
Not only did the tax not have the desired result in reducing violence, the actual revenue never came close to the forecast. In 2016, the city collected $103,766.22 and reported 18 murders. In 2017, the revenue shrank to $93,220.74 and there were 28 slayings. In 2018, the city took in only $77,518 with its gun/ammunition tax, and logged 32 murders.
What’s happening in Virginia is also happening in Washington, Oregon and elsewhere. Gun control seems always to focus on the wrong people, because criminals don’t obey gun laws so they ignore the existence of such laws.
But things might get heated in Virginia in the near future as some 87 counties reportedly have adopted “Second Amendment Sanctuary” policies. Gov. Ralph Northam and his Democrat colleagues now controlling the General Assembly may not like that, and they’re threatening to do something about it, but they have an insurrection on their hands, and the wrong moves could turn that into a full scale revolt.
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