Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Walters: Could increasing California crime help Newsom remember it?

Those who want voters to call back the government. Gavin Newsom joined crime victim advocates at the state capitol last Tuesday to accuse the governor of being too liberal on lawbreakers as the state experiences a new wave of crime.

He reprimanded them for unilaterally suspending the execution of the killers and making it easier for criminals to be released from state prisons.

Mark Kloss, whose daughter Polly was murdered, said, “The thing that really worries me about what the governor did is try to undermine the criminal justice system and get dangerous people back on the streets.” for continuity of policies.” Recently released 25 years ago by a criminal. The killer, Richard Allan Davis, is one of 737 murderers who have benefited from Newsom’s suspension of the death sentence.

Hours later, Newsom’s office announced that it would hold a press conference Wednesday in Los Angeles “on state actions to reduce retail theft and crime in communities in California.”

Newsom devoted much of the event to the signing of Assembly Bill 331, which expands on an effort to crack down on organized shoplifting that has plagued California retailers in recent months. But he blamed the sharp rise in violent crime, particularly murders, for the “prevalence of guns on our streets” and said “there is no state that has been spared.”

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Back-to-back incidents mean that crime may be a new frontier in the recall campaign and Newsom feels the need to defend himself.

The Public Policy Institute of California said in a recent report, “In 2020, California saw a disturbing increase of more than 500 homicides, the largest jump in the state’s history since record-keeping began in 1960. ” “The victims were predominantly black and Latino, men, and were killed by guns in our streets, parking lots or vehicles.”

Newsom’s comments about “the proliferation of guns on our streets” echo declarations by gun control advocates that the increase in homicides in California is the result of a huge jump in gun ownership. Californians legally bought a record 686,435 handguns in 2020 — a nearly 66% increase from a year earlier — and sales of rifles and shotguns also surged.

However, Newsom and other gun control advocates offer no evidence of the connection. In fact, a new study by University of California-Davis researchers found no evidence that an increase in legal gun sales resulted in more violent crime, which refutes Newsom’s claim.

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“Nationwide, firearms purchases and firearm violence have increased significantly during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic,” the study from UCD’s Violence Prevention Research Program concluded. “At the state level, the magnitude of the increase in purchases was not associated with the magnitude of the increase in firearm violence.”

“The results suggest that the increase in firearm violence during the period of our study was due to other factors, indicating the need for additional research,” the researchers said.

A more likely scenario is that Californians are buying more guns as their fear of becoming a victim of a violent crime increases. In recent weeks, residents of three Northern California homes, one in Solano County and two in Stanislaus County, have shot and killed violent home invaders.

The increase in crime in both violent attacks and theft is real. Daylight raids at pharmacies and other stores, especially in San Francisco, by burglars fearless of arrest or prosecution, have become cable television and YouTube staples.

While rising crime may not sink Newsom’s recall election in a few weeks, if it continues to rise, he could feel a backlash when he runs for re-election in 2022.

Dan Walters is a columnist for CalMatters.

Nation World News Desk
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