Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom of California criticized Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott's failure to acknowledge the state's high gun death rate in his recent attack on California's gun control laws.
On Fox News, Abbott claimed gun violence affects all states regardless of their laws in an attempt to shift attention from the frequent mass shootings occurring in Texas, in particular a recent mass shooting at a mall in the town of Allen resulting in the deaths of nine people including the gunman.
You can hear what Abbott said in the video below.
“What Texas is doing in a big-time way, we are working to address that anger and violence but going to its root cause, which is addressing the mental health problems behind it." ...
“People want a quick solution. The long-term solution here is to address the mental health issue." ...
“I think that the state in which the largest number of victims occurred this year is in California, where they have very tough gun laws."
Newsom, however, responded on Twitter by pointing out Texas has a gun death rate that is 73 percent higher than California's. He also stated Abbott's comments inadvertently highlight the need for federal gun safety laws.
You can see Newsom's tweet below.
The state of California received an "A" grade on the Giffords Law Center's annual gun law scorecard. It ranks highest among all 50 states for gun law strength.
California ranks 43rd out of 50—only 7 states did better—in the gun death rate, with nine gun deaths per 100,000 people. In contrast, Texas received an "F" grade on the gun law scorecard and ranks 27th in the gun death rate, with 15.6 gun deaths per 100,000 people.
The recent mass shooting in Allen was among over 200 mass shootings that have occurred in the United States this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Tragically, gun violence has claimed the lives of 14,780 people this year.
Abbott was swiftly called out for his remarks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Texas had 4,164 gun deaths in 2020, compared to California's 3,449. However, when taking into account California has around 9 million more residents than Texas, California's average gun death rate was 8.5 per 100,000 people, compared to Texas' 14.2 per 100,000 people.
An analysis of census data by the Public Policy Institute of California revealed mass shootings account for just 3 percent of all homicides in the state. Furthermore, compared to other U.S. states, Californians are around 25 percent less likely to die in a mass shooting.
Despite Abbott's attempts to downplay the impact of gun laws on gun violence, it is clear California's strict gun laws have contributed to its comparatively low gun death rate. The tragic frequency of mass shootings in Texas highlights the urgent need for stronger gun safety measures nationwide.