Gavin Newsom clapped back at John Cornyn's tweet about California's '100 gun laws' with statistic about the higher gun death rate in Texas.
Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn tried to make a bold claim California's strict firearms laws don't make any difference in preventing mass shootings. But California Governor Gavin Newsom shut down that argument with some simple statistics.
The topic of mass shootings has been at the forefront of many people's minds lately, as there have been a disturbing number of them in rapid succession since the beginning of the year—52 as of time of writing after only 31 days into 2023 according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Cornyn shared a New York Times article about recent mass shootings and firearm regulations with the title:
"California Has More Than 100 Gun Laws. Why Don't They Stop More Mass Shootings?"
\u201cCalifornia Has More Than 100 Gun Laws. Why Don\u2019t They Stop More Mass Shootings? https://t.co/R6do7Fdheg\u201d— Senator John Cornyn (@Senator John Cornyn) 1675077971
Cornyn declined to comment on the article in his tweet, seemingly thinking the title said all he wanted to say.
However, it seems likely he did not read the article, as it indicates greater regulation at the federal level—rather than each state having to come up with and enforce their own gun laws—is part of the answer to preventing mass shootings and other gun violence.
In response, Newsom quote-tweeted Cornyn's share of the article with a pretty clear statistic.
Texas has a higher gun death rate per capita than California.
\u201cTexas' gun death rate is 67% higher than California's.\u201d— Gavin Newsom (@Gavin Newsom) 1675119778
Newsom was far from the only person disagreeing with Cornyn's apparent take on the situation.
\u201c@JohnCornyn I don\u2019t know of a gun that obeys state borders. That\u2019s why there has to be a nationwide, universal system of background checks and controls.\u201d— Senator John Cornyn (@Senator John Cornyn) 1675077971
\u201c@JohnCornyn John, if you follow the link in that article, it will take you to another article that explains how California gun laws have made them one of the lowest per capita states for gun violence, whereas TEXAS HAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST! Stop the gaslighting & get to work on this.\u201d— Senator John Cornyn (@Senator John Cornyn) 1675077971
\u201c@BlueHeronFarmTX @JohnCornyn Seriously. Cornyn trolling Twitter for policy answers is embarrassing.\u201d— Senator John Cornyn (@Senator John Cornyn) 1675077971
\u201c@JohnCornyn Better look at your states statistics. Not good John. Not good. Like close to 70% higher. Do better.\u201d— Senator John Cornyn (@Senator John Cornyn) 1675077971
\u201c@JohnCornyn This article literally makes the case for more laws, most notably at the federal level.\u201d— Senator John Cornyn (@Senator John Cornyn) 1675077971
\u201c@JohnCornyn Four of the 10 worst mass shootings in U.S. history have taken place in Texas. Oh wait...the story is out of date. With Uvalde, it's 5 of the 10 worst mass shootings in U.S. history.\nhttps://t.co/545PPfPTiO\u201d— Senator John Cornyn (@Senator John Cornyn) 1675077971
\u201c@JohnCornyn ^^^How to say I didn\u2019t read the article without saying it.\u201d— Senator John Cornyn (@Senator John Cornyn) 1675077971
\u201c@JohnCornyn Why don\u2019t you know the answer? There have been multiple studies published in peer-reviewed journals that explain this phenomenon. \n\nHint: the persistence of gun violence in a state with strong gun regulation is not because of *its* laws regulating guns.\u201d— Senator John Cornyn (@Senator John Cornyn) 1675077971
Though Newsom didn't cite his source, it is likely he pulled his data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) table of Firearm Mortality by State.
This table shows the number of firearms-related deaths in each state per 100,000 people.
In California, the rate is 8.5 deaths per 100,000, whereas Texas is 14.2 deaths per 100,000 people. This works out to about 67% more than California.
While it is likely true nobody has the perfect answer to ending gun violence, it is abundantly clear something must be done—and decreasing gun regulations definitely isn't the answer.