By: Cody McLaughlin
New Jersey’s junior U.S. Senator, Cory Booker, is pursuing a long-shot bid for the presidency in 2020, and with his campaign comes a need to stand out among an increasingly liberal and extreme left-wing crowd of challengers.
Booker seems to be making gun control his focus, vowing to a crowd in April that he would “bring a fight to the NRA like they have never, ever seen before -- and we will win.”
In his latest call to action for anti-gun extremists, Booker has called for a whole slew of new federal gun regulations, including forcing gun owners into a background check process even for innocuous “gun transfers” – such as lending a visiting friend a shotgun to go bird hunting with, or having your hunting buddy hold your weapon while you tie your shoe – and banning so-called “assault” weapons, bump stocks, and “high capacity” magazines.
Booker is also proposing limiting handgun purchases to one per month (which is a recycled New Jersey law that has failed), instituting a “safety class” and licensing requirement for gun ownership, and making it easier to frivolously sue gun manufacturers for murders committed with their products (although Booker has suggested no such stipulation for manufacturers of kitchen knives or cars, both of which are popular murder weapons throughout the world).
Booker’s Record on Guns Doesn’t Add Up
As mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Booker should be no stranger to gun violence. And it’s therefore puzzling how he has come to the conclusion that tougher gun laws (of which New Jersey has the toughest in the nation) will reduce violent crime.
According to City-Data.com, Newark’s crime index is higher than 91.1% of other U.S. Cities. Moreover, during Booker’s tenure as mayor (from 2006 through 2013), the crime rate in Newark increased significantly.
Now consider the context of the aforementioned numbers and the failed policies Booker is proposing be implemented on the national stage: 98 percent of violent gun crimes in New Jersey (Newark included) are committed with handguns, yet Booker has proposed recycling the “One Handgun Sale Per Month” legislation that was passed in New Jersey in 2009. From 1995 to 2000, a total of 18,624 multiple handgun sales in New Jersey were recorded. The total number of handguns used in a crime that were recovered, traced, and linked to multiple sales during the same period?
Just 25 – that is 0.13% of handgun sales in the state.
In fact, statewide, the ten-year average prior to the enactment of the law was 219 murders per year using handguns. The seven-year average since enactment of the law is 263.3 handgun murders, proving that murders with handguns have continued to increase even after passage of the law.
Gun Owners Aren’t the Enemy, Violent Criminals Are
Liberal extremists, and the politicians vying for their votes and the donations of deep-pocketed, billionaire-backed anti-gun groups, such as Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown For Gun Safety, love to tout “common sense” policies, like those Booker parroted in his proposal, as the answer to the gun violence problem in America. Everything from raising taxes on law-abiding gun owners in New Jersey to claiming that people should have to endure testing and strict licensing requirements to pursue a right that is ingrained into the Constitution our country was founded upon.
But is there any evidence that training a violent criminal to “safely” operate a firearm will stop him from murdering innocent human beings? The answer is, of course, no. As a matter of fact, one could come to the conclusion that training a violent criminal in marksmanship might not be such a great idea. There is, however, evidence that providing a stable social and economic environment discourages violent crime – and that is what politicians should be focusing on, rather than scapegoating law-abiding citizens.
Cody McLaughlin is a GOP consultant for conservative political causes and a trustee of the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, representing the state’s 1.2 million sportsmen in the political arena.