The Times is upset that some states are legislating non-compliance with proposed federal gun laws. Even so, sayeth the Times:
State gun laws matter. Of the 10 states with the most restrictive laws, seven also have the lowest gun death rates, according to a study by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Similarly, lax gun laws correlate to a high level of gun deaths.
Not necessarily. According to this chart, Vermont (where I live) has the least restrictive gun laws in the nation. In spite of this, Vermont ranks among the lowest of the states when it comes to rates of gun violence. And there are, trust me, plenty of guns around and a lot of enthusiasm for gun ownership. After the shooting in Connecticut, the new leader of the overwhelmingly Democratic state senate proposed an "assault rifle ban."
A few days later, he had changed his mind, saying in a written statement that:
It’s painfully clear to me now that little support exists in the Vermont Statehouse for this sort of bill…
This is not to suggest that Vermont should be a model for the nation in much of anything. But it is worth noting. Especially since one of those states where gun laws are very tough is Illinois. And in Chicago, gun killings are depressingly routine.