Some might argue that the mass shooting that killed 11 people in California somehow proves gun restrictions don’t work. After all, California has the toughest gun-control laws in America. But even a cursory look at the data finds that tragedies like this are the exceptions that underscore the rule.
California has among the lowest gun-death rates in the country, as do Illinois and other states with strong laws. Largely unregulated states like Missouri, meanwhile, consistently have among the highest death rates. What the California tragedy shows is that, in a nation with open state borders and the world’s biggest civilian stockpile of guns, only strong national gun restrictions can ultimately address this national crisis.