In the wake of the Connecticut shooting, Jesse James recently posted a Facebook missive in favor of the NRA’s position and against gun control.
Encouraging people to join the NRA, he cited his own experience as a business owner in Long Beach, California, a city with an ongoing gang problem.
The 43-year-old says Long Beach is a prime example of gun control’s failings, though his evidence is most anecdotal and may not tell the whole story.
“Since the 1980’s California has led the nation with the strictest gun control laws. In this state I have seen more dead bodies than I can count,” James says.
“On my way to work at least once a week in the early mornings streets are often closed off with yellow tape. Because somebody is dead from a gun shot wound.”
“Or sometimes bodies were just seen laying there waiting for police to arrive.”
Sandra Bullock’s ex-husband adds that police officer friends of his would check in with him weekly “to make sure I was [carrying] a gun at all times.”
“They would want to see it to make sure. They would tell me ‘You better be packing.’ For the last 20 years living in California I could never let my guard down.”
“Not even for a minute. This is what living in a state with strict gun control was like.”
By comparison, the Monster Garage star wrote that “since moving to Texas (a state with far less gun restrictions) I have not seen one dead body.”
“I have not experience any drive by shootings … I have for the first time in my life enjoyed the freedom to purchase and shoot the guns of my choice.”
“I have been able to enjoy and teach my family the safe proper way to shoot, handle, and secure weapons. Using the freedoms that the 2nd Amendment protects.”
Adding that “people that should not have guns, will still find a way to get them,” Jesse urged his Facebook friends to “Please join the NRA Now.”
James, who accompanied the post with a photo of himself shooting a rifle, is certainly entitled to his opinion, and is correct in one key respect.
Gun control restrictions alone will not eliminate violence, as untold millions of legal and black market weapons can still end up in the hands of criminals.
Yet California actually averages fewer gun-related fatalities than Texas. Because of gun control? Maybe not, but it’s hard to see how it hurts, as James argues.
While gun control clearly doesn’t solve all of California’s problems, is it really making them worse overall? The facts don’t necessarily back up James there.
Comparing Long Beach to Austin and citing a correlation with gun laws is probably an oversimplification, as there are safer and more dangerous areas within any state.
What do you think? Is it time for more gun control?