CALIFORNIA — The coronavirus pandemic introduced a number of state legislatures to an early halt in 2020, threatening any potential progress to deal with gun violence in California and different states.
However, the deaths of Breonna Taylor in Louisville and George Floyd in Minneapolis, each by the hands of police, sparked historic protests and requires policing and gun reform. The swell of activism additionally prompted stalled lawmakers in a number of states to behave by introducing and passing new gun laws regardless of the continued pandemic.
In all, 43 new gun security legal guidelines have been handed in 13 states in 2020, bringing to 180 the whole variety of legal guidelines enacted because the 2018 college capturing in Parkland, Florida, in line with the most recent Annual Gun Scorecard compiled by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
This year’s scorecard reveals California is among the many finest within the nation on the subject of enacting legal guidelines and insurance policies geared toward decreasing gun violence.
In 2020, California ranked No.1 out of fifty states for the energy of its gun legal guidelines. Our state additionally ranked forty fourth out of fifty states in gun dying charges — roughly 7.2 out of each 100,000 individuals in California are killed by weapons every year, beneath the nationwide common of 11.9 individuals.
California obtained an general grade of “A” — the identical grade our state obtained final year.
To grade every state, Giffords Law Center tracks and analyzes gun laws in all 50 states, assigning every gun legislation and coverage some extent worth primarily based on their respective strengths or weaknesses. Once factors are tabulated, states are ranked and assigned letter grades, that are then in comparison with the newest gun dying charges launched by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Last year’s scorecard revealed that between 2012 and 2019, the variety of Americans residing in states with A grades elevated by greater than 45 million, whereas the variety of Americans residing in states with D and F grades declined.
In 2019, for the primary time within the historical past of the Gun Law Scorecard, extra Americans lived in A states (98.7 million) than in F states (94.7 million.)
This previous year, nonetheless, positioned a highlight on the connection between policing and gun violence, in line with the newest scorecard.
Underserved communities of coloration — and particularly Black communities — proceed to bear the brunt of gun violence. In states receiving a failing grade on the scorecard, Black Americans are dying by gun violence at a rate 117 p.c increased than the nationwide common. At a nationwide stage, Black Americans are additionally 10 occasions extra prone to be slain by a gun.
To finish cycles of gun violence, “we must address police brutality and harmful practices that fuel mass incarceration and retaliatory violence,” the scorecard says.
“Ensuring law enforcement accountability is the first step in building police-community trust and fostering an environment where citizens don’t have to live in fear of being killed or wounded by a bullet,” the scorecard says. “Ending this crisis will require sustained work by the new administration, state legislatures, and advocates to fund community violence intervention programs and reform policing practices to create a safer and more just America.”
Despite accounting for under 4 p.c of the worldwide inhabitants, the United States accounts for greater than 35 p.c of world firearm suicides and 9 p.c of world firearm homicides, in line with this year’s scorecard.
A month after taking the oath of office, President Joe Biden urged lawmakers to deal with gun violence on the federal stage.
On Feb. 14, the third anniversary of the Parkland college capturing, Biden known as on Congress to strengthen gun legal guidelines, together with requiring background checks on all gun gross sales and banning assault weapons.
When the gunfire at Parkland ended, 14 college students and three employees members have been lifeless, and 17 others have been wounded. The suspect, Nikolas Cruz, continues to be awaiting trial, in line with an Associated Press report.
Over the years, lethal violence concentrating on colleges has shaken the nation — together with the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007 that claimed 32 lives and the Sandy Hook Elementary School bloodbath in 2012.
Even earlier than the Parkland tragedy, there was already loads of anguish in Florida over gun violence. Less than two years earlier than, one other gunman shot up the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 individuals.
None of the lethal occasions have produced complete federal gun legal guidelines.
“We owe it to all those we’ve lost and to all those left behind to grieve to make a change,” the president stated. “The time to act is now.”