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Gov. Gavin Newsom refutes Sen. John Cornyn’s tweet with a clear fact-check

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) called out Sen. John Cornyn on Monday after the Texas Republican shared a headline suggesting California’s strict gun laws aren’t working to prevent mass shootings.

“California has over 100 gun laws. Why don’t they stop more mass shootings?” Cornyn tweeted alongside a New York Times article of the same title in the wake of three mass shootings in the state that have left at least 19 dead.

Newsom shared Cornyn’s tweet, noting that Texas’ “gun death rate is 67% higher than California.”

This is verified. In terms of gun death rates, California is among the lowest in the nation, with 8.5 gun deaths per 100,000 people in 2020, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Texas, on the other hand, had 14.2 gun deaths per 100,000 residents that same year. That’s higher than the national rate of 13.7 per 100,000.

Either way, this month’s shootings have drawn renewed attention to California’s gun laws, the toughest in the nation.

As the Times noted in its article, the state has a patchwork of more than 100 gun laws, including bans on semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines and restrictions on gun ownership for domestic violence offenders and people considered a danger to them themselves or for others. .

It still wasn’t enough to avoid this month’s tragedies. Already gun safety advocates are rallying to close the loopholes that allowed them to happen, while gun rights advocates have profited from the shootings because gun laws don’t work. (As The Times also noted, they do: According to the Public Policy Institute of California, Californians are about 25 percent less likely to die in mass shootings.)

Cornyn, who is one of the top recipients in Congress of campaign donations from gun rights lobbyists, was seen as a member of the chorus when he shared the story.

Newsom was not alone in his rebuttal, with commentators pointing out, among other stark statistics, that five of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history occurred in Texas, which has some of the laxest gun laws and the most gentle from the country.

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