Midweek Message

LABC Update – Thursday, January 26, 2023

Jim Hopkins

January 24, 2023

From the Monday January 23, 2023 NY Times


It is a point this newsletter has made before: All over the world, there are people who argue, fight over relationships, suffer from mental health issues or hold racist views. But in the U.S., those people can more easily obtain a gun and shoot someone.

The data bears out this explanation. The U.S. is a clear outlier for both civilian gun ownership and number of gun deaths among the world’s developed countries, as this chart by my colleague Ashley Wu shows:

Ownership rates are for 2017 and homicide rates are for 2018. | Source: Small Arms Survey

If anything, the chart, which uses data from 2017 and 2018, understates America’s problem. The U.S. rate of gun homicides has increased in recent years, according to the Small Arms Survey.

The data exposes a clear trend: Where there are more guns, there are more gun deaths. Studies have found this to be true at the state and national level, and for homicides, suicides, mass shootings and police shootings. Stricter regulations on firearms are linked to fewer gun deaths.

But efforts to reduce access to firearms have mostly stalled in the U.S., unable to overcome the Supreme Court’s interpretations of the Second Amendment, mixed public opinion and a closely divided federal government.

So America continues to suffer more mass shootings and gun deaths than its peers. Monterey Park, Calif., is simply the latest tragedy.

From Pastor Jim – The current gun violence crisis is a crisis of our own creation. In California, because we have a measure of common sense gun ownership laws, we are 25% less likely to die from gun violenvr than the citizens of states that do not have such laws. Still, that is very slight comfort, especially to those who have had loved ones die because they were shot. 
Also, it is important to note that, even if by some miracle, there were no new guns added to those we already have, there would still be 1.25 guns per every person in the country. That is far, far more than in other countries with much lower rates of gun violence.
Lord, have mercy.



Pastor Carolyn will lead Together In Spirit tonight at 6:00

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