Sacramento shooting shows failures of gun control | VICTOR JOECKS

Sacramento shooting shows failures of gun control | VICTOR JOECKS

If gun control worked, last weekend’s mass shooting in Sacramento, California, wouldn’t have happened. Instead, the details reveal the false promise of gun control and the dangers of the left’s soft-on-crime approach.

Early last Sunday, dozens of gunshots rang out in the downtown of California’s capital. The shooting killed six people and wounded a dozen more. The high death toll briefly made it a major national story. It faded from prominence once the details came out. Mass shootings that don’t advance the left’s gun control narrative quickly become little more than local crime stories.

Police attributed the shooting to gang violence and said there were at least five shooters. On Monday, they arrested Dandrae Martin, a 26-year-old with a substantial criminal history in California and Arizona, which includes aggravated assault and domestic violence.

How is it legal for someone with his background to have a firearm?

It’s not. But as it turns out, criminals aren’t known for following the law. Police arrested Martin on charges of assault with a firearm and illegally having a firearm. Officials have hinted that more serious charges are forthcoming. Given the complexity of the investigation and amount of evidence to sort through, the delay isn’t surprising.

On Tuesday, police arrested his 27-year-old brother, Smiley Martin. He also has an extensive criminal history. That includes a 2017 attack when Smiley repeatedly struck his girlfriend after finding her hiding in a closet. He dragged her out of the house by her hair. He then used a belt to assault her further. Evidence also showed Smiley had been directing her work as a prostitute.

He pleaded guilty in 2018 and received a 10-year sentence. You may notice that it hasn’t been a decade since 2018, but he was released in February.

In opposing his early release, Deputy District Attorney Danielle Abildgaard wrote these eerily prescient words, “Inmate Martin has committed several felony violations and clearly has little regard for human life and the law.”

Go figure that California’s strict gun laws wouldn’t stop someone such as this from having a gun either. Police took him into custody for illegally having a firearm and possessing a machine gun.

If gun control stopped gun crime, this wouldn’t have happened. California has the most gun laws of any state, according to Boston University’s State Firearm Laws project. The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence’s annual scorecard gave California both an A and the top ranking in the country.

But this wasn’t even the first mass shooting in Sacramento this year. In late February, a man shot and killed four people, including his three children, at a church there.

These details should make gun grabbers re-evaluate the effectiveness of the policies they push. Instead, leftist politicians reflexively called for more gun control.

President Joe Biden said, “We must do more than mourn; we must act.” He talked up his administration’s “historic executive action to implement my comprehensive gun crime reduction strategy.”

The irony of bragging about one’s “gun crime reduction strategy” after a major gun crime appeared to be lost on Biden.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom echoed a similar refrain, “The scourge of gun violence continues to be a crisis in our country, and we must resolve to bring an end to this carnage.”

There is a proven way to reduce violence. Hire more police. Arrest criminals. Charge them with the crimes they commit. After a conviction or guilty plea, don’t let violent criminals out of jail early.

Another gun law won’t stop criminals from illegally obtaining guns. Keeping them in jail for their full sentences will.

Contact Victor Joecks at or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.