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The Los Angeles Times is in serious trouble. The once-great newspaper has lost the pulse of its own community. Its leaders can no longer read the room. They keep shoveling their anti-gun propaganda, but no one is listening. Their readers are too busy trying to buy guns.

If the editors came out of their ivory towers, which are no longer even in LA – the paper moved its operations to nearby El Segundo in 2018 – they would see California is changing. Murders, rapes, car-jackings and “follow-home robberies,” a term the Times itself helped coin, are skyrocketing. Add in disaffected and defunded police, roving gangs of thieves preying upon high-end retailers and even train robbers, and it’s enough to prompt even the most woke Californian to Google gun shops. The Times, however, hasn’t even noticed. Sadly, they are still banging their guns-are-bad gong.

Their latest anti-gun column – “Thinking of buying a gun for self-defense? Don’t do it” – shows just how desperate they have become for commentary that matches their political beliefs.

The author, Dr. Steven J. Sainsbury, an ER doc from San Luis Obispo, California makes a simple point: There is no such thing as a defensive gun use, he claims, because in his 25 years of emergency medicine, “I never treated a single patient who was shot by a law-abiding citizen in self-protection. Not one.”

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First, I doubt Dr. Sainsbury’s claim is even true. He seems to be a man on a mission – the type of zealot who doesn’t let the facts get in the way of a good story. This is certainly not his first foray into anti-gun propaganda. In 2019, he submitted a column warning the newspaper’s readers not to give firearms as Christmas presents. “Guns don’t mean anything positive to me. They signify only death and destruction. They are certainly nothing to put in a festive box with a bow under a Christmas tree,” he wrote.

Second, there are issues with the column that neither the Times nor the good doctor were willing to acknowledge. Dr. Sainsbury claims he has treated hundreds of gunshot victims, but according to his bio, he has been working in an emergency room in San Luis Obispo – a tourist destination, known for its museums, art galleries and historic Spanish mission. The 2010 United States Census recorded a population of 45,119, of which 38,117 (84.5%) were White, 523 (1.2%) were African American, 275 (0.6%) were Native American, 2,350 (5.2%) were Asian, 65 (0.1%) were Pacific Islander and 1,973 (4.4%) were other races. My point is this, while like any city San Luis Obispo has its share of violent crime, it’s not nearly as hellish as Oakland, Los Angeles or San Francisco. I question how many shooting victims the good doctor has even seen.

Also, it wasn’t until just recently that some California sheriffs and chiefs of police began increasing the number of concealed-weapon permits they issue to help their constituents defend themselves against rising crime. Just a few years ago, an applicant had to be extremely wealthy and/or a celebrity to “qualify” for a may-issue CCW permit in the Golden State. As a result, California lagged far behind other states in the number of legally armed citizens who had the means to defend themselves.

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Sainsbury cites a hodgepodge of statistics, which he claims prove that a gun in the home is more likely to be used against the homeowner or a family member. “Be responsible and be wise. Don’t buy into the myth of owning a gun for self-defense. The life you save may be your own,” he wrote. This is somewhat novel. I’ve had the misfortune to read the gun-ban industry’s propaganda for more than a decade now, but I’ve never heard any of them refer to “the myth of owning a gun for self-defense.” Even Gabby, Everytown and the Demanding Moms admit that self-defense is the number-one reason why an overwhelming majority of new gun owners said they purchased a firearm. There’s certainly nothing mythical about carrying a firearm for self-defense, Doc.

Over the past few years, the Los Angeles Times has suffered massive setbacks, including revolving editors and owners, a bankruptcy, shrinking readership and the layoff of more than 200 staffers. It’s become clear that they’ve grown desperate for any content that can, as they say in newspapering, fill a hole.

Guest columns such as Dr. Sainsbury’s cost the newspaper nothing, since guest columnists are not normally reimbursed, their content is free. However, as you can see in this case, you get what you pay for.

The Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project wouldn’t be possible without you. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to support pro-gun stories like this.

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