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I'm sick onto death with the arguments against legislating gun control that run along the lines: "If it's a crime to own a gun, only criminals will have guns." Or that make light of the efficacy of stricter firearm regulations.

They're wrong, first and foremost: during the Assault Rifle Ban mass murders with guns went down in this country.

But the real success story of gun regulation is in my state: California. And a horrific elementary school mass murder over twenty years ago was the catalyst.

In January 1989, Patrick Purdy, 26, stepped onto the grounds of Cleveland Elementary School and raked the school yard with at least 106 bullets from an AK-47 rifle. He killed five children, ages 6 to 9, and one teacher and injured 29 other students, before fatally shooting himself.

"Less than a year later, California enacted one of the first bans on assault weapons... and a slew of some of the country's strictest gun control laws during the 1990s and 2000s. The state Legislature was responding to rising levels of gun violence: Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, California had a higher gun mortality rate than the average for the rest of the country. 1998, California's gun mortality rate had fallen below that of the rest of the country, and it continues to drop faster than the average for the other states. From 1993 to 2009, California's gun mortality rate declined by 53.2 percent -- 23.1 percentage points more than the decline in the rest of the country

California can provide the template, if we have the will. And as Democrats we're less beholden to gun nut voters:

In Gun Ownership Statistics, Partisan Divide Is Sharp

An American child grows up in a married household in the suburbs. What are the chances that his family keeps a gun in their home?

But the odds vary significantly based on the political identity of the child’s parents. If they identify as Democratic voters, the chances are only about one in four, or 25 percent, that they have a gun in their home. But the chances are more than twice that, almost 60 percent, if they are Republicans instead...

Gun ownership has declined over the past 40 years — but almost all the decrease has come from Democrats
. By 2010, according to the General Social Survey, the gun ownership rate among adults that identified as Democratic had fallen to 22 percent. But it remained at about 50 percent among Republican adults."

Originally posted to freelancewoman on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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