Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) said she and other progressives had "proven it in California" that "sensible gun laws work" during a press conference one day after the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, that left 14 dead.
Boxer, after making remarks about gun control legislation alongside fellow California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.) and other Democrats Thursday, took the podium back from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) to respond to a reporter who said Congress had not passed gun control laws after mass shootings in the past and wondered why this massacre's aftermath would prove any different.
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"When you ask such a question, you're basically saying, ‘Why bother?'" Boxer said. "That is not what leaders do. They don't just hide because you may not win the vote. You keep doing it. I'll give you one statistic. In California, since the '90s, we have passed a number of important gun safety laws, and over that period of time, we've had a reduction in gun violence of 56 percent.
"Now clearly, what we see is this is not enough. That's why we need national laws. That's why I'm looking forward to Sen. Feinstein's reintroduction of some form of her assault weapon ban. But the fact is sensible gun laws work. We've proven it in California, and we're not going to give up. If you look at all the great fights that we've had over decades before we were even here on major social issues, on anti-pollution issues, these things take 10, 20 years. You don't give up."
Boxer's remarks about California proving the success of gun control laws drew mockery online, in light of the worst shooting in the United States since the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre happening in California Wednesday.
Gun violence has declined nationally by nearly half since 1993, although Boxer's remarks implied that this downturn in her state was directly tied to California's strict gun laws.