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In town hall, local Congress members talk about gun violence prevention

Discussion comes after recent tragedies in Texas, New York, Oklahoma

In honor of National Gun Violence Awareness Day, Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, held a virtual town hall Friday with Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, to address constituent frustrations about gun violence prevention.

Some of the more than 400 guns purchased by Santa Clara County officials on May 22, 2022, in a gun buyback program. Courtesy Santa Clara County via Bay City News.

Eshoo and Thompson both expressed dissatisfaction with the state of gun laws on the heels of the recent tragedies in Uvalde, Texas; Buffalo, New York; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Citing the over 200 mass shooting in 2022 so far, Eshoo mirrored the concerns of her constituents with the seeming lack of action from lawmakers, especially those in the U.S. Senate, she said.

To reduce the reported 110 daily gun deaths in the country, Eshoo and Thompson look forward to the upcoming House vote on the Protecting Our Kids Act, co-sponsored by Thompson.

The bill would raise the age for purchasing semiautomatic weapons, criminalize importing, selling, and manufacturing large-capacity magazines, and regulate firearms storage.

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Current federal firearms regulations would apply to so-called ghost guns, unregistered and untraceable firearms. They are optimistic for bipartisan support in the House; Thompson says it may be difficult to get in the Senate.

When constituents inquired about possible school changes to lessen threats of violence, the representatives spoke in support of background checks, which may be a more sustainable solution.

"After all the schools are fixed, do we harden all the music venues? All the grocery stores? All the post offices? All the churches?" said Thompson. "There's no way that you can make every place immune to any type of attack."

Teacher and Moms Demand Action representative Rudy Espinoza shared a testimony emphasizing the importance of responsible gun ownership. He was in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016, and could have been a victim in the nightclub shooting at Pulse. Instead, he decided to stay in with friends.

"When we woke up that morning, we found out that 49 people had been killed at Pulse nightclub in Orlando," said Espinoza. "And it was in that moment that I knew that I was the target there."

The House will vote on the Protecting Our Kids Act sometime next week, according to a letter from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco. The Senate may take a different approach by compromising on legislation in the hopes of gaining enough GOP approval to become law, Thompson said.

Watch a video of the town hall on Rep. Anna Eshoo's Facebook page.

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In town hall, local Congress members talk about gun violence prevention

Discussion comes after recent tragedies in Texas, New York, Oklahoma

by Olivia Green / Bay City News Foundation /

Uploaded: Sun, Jun 5, 2022, 8:50 am

In honor of National Gun Violence Awareness Day, Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, held a virtual town hall Friday with Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, to address constituent frustrations about gun violence prevention.

Eshoo and Thompson both expressed dissatisfaction with the state of gun laws on the heels of the recent tragedies in Uvalde, Texas; Buffalo, New York; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Citing the over 200 mass shooting in 2022 so far, Eshoo mirrored the concerns of her constituents with the seeming lack of action from lawmakers, especially those in the U.S. Senate, she said.

To reduce the reported 110 daily gun deaths in the country, Eshoo and Thompson look forward to the upcoming House vote on the Protecting Our Kids Act, co-sponsored by Thompson.

The bill would raise the age for purchasing semiautomatic weapons, criminalize importing, selling, and manufacturing large-capacity magazines, and regulate firearms storage.

Current federal firearms regulations would apply to so-called ghost guns, unregistered and untraceable firearms. They are optimistic for bipartisan support in the House; Thompson says it may be difficult to get in the Senate.

When constituents inquired about possible school changes to lessen threats of violence, the representatives spoke in support of background checks, which may be a more sustainable solution.

"After all the schools are fixed, do we harden all the music venues? All the grocery stores? All the post offices? All the churches?" said Thompson. "There's no way that you can make every place immune to any type of attack."

Teacher and Moms Demand Action representative Rudy Espinoza shared a testimony emphasizing the importance of responsible gun ownership. He was in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016, and could have been a victim in the nightclub shooting at Pulse. Instead, he decided to stay in with friends.

"When we woke up that morning, we found out that 49 people had been killed at Pulse nightclub in Orlando," said Espinoza. "And it was in that moment that I knew that I was the target there."

The House will vote on the Protecting Our Kids Act sometime next week, according to a letter from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco. The Senate may take a different approach by compromising on legislation in the hopes of gaining enough GOP approval to become law, Thompson said.

Watch a video of the town hall on Rep. Anna Eshoo's Facebook page.

Comments

Brian
Registered user
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 5, 2022 at 8:25 pm
Brian, Menlo Park: The Willows
Registered user
on Jun 5, 2022 at 8:25 pm

How about using the existing laws, California has the most strict gun laws by far and ones that exceed what some in congress are trying to pass at a federal level? We don't need more laws, not when the laws we already have are not being used. Take this story that I read yesterday:

Web Link

TLDR: convicted felon uses a gun to rob people in a park, pistol whips one of them. Police catch him with the stolen property and the gun. He gets a deal for 3 years in prison (he served less than 18 months), but with time served and good behavior he has already completed his sentence at the time of sentencing and is now on probation. The convicted felon that used a gun to commit a violent crime is back on the streets. I am willing to bet he has a gun within days and will commit more gun crimes. Does this make the community a safer place?

People want to be tough on Gun crime but then you have cases like this. He broke the law, committed a violent felony with a gun he possessed illegally and he only served 18 months in a county lockup. So why pass more laws that won't be used? I guess to get voted by people easily fooled...


MenloVoter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Jun 6, 2022 at 7:23 am
MenloVoter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2022 at 7:23 am

Brian:

spot on. We can make all the laws we want, but if they aren't ENFORCED they are worthless. Until DA's stop not filing, reducing to misdemeanors and dealing away sever punishment for using a gun in a crime or simply being a person not allowed to possess a gun, this carnage will continue.


MACA
Registered user
Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 6, 2022 at 12:54 pm
MACA, Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2022 at 12:54 pm

In my ideal world only police and other law enforcement people like the FBI carry guns in the streets. If you are so important you need personal protection you hire a bodyguard. Otherwise you have guns kept locked up except when using for hunting game like deer, ducks or geese.


Dave Boyce
Registered user
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 6, 2022 at 2:32 pm
Dave Boyce, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2022 at 2:32 pm

It's interesting and concerning that Ms. Eshoo speaks up when it's an issue of immediate currency, such as gun violence and Roe v Wade being overturned, but she says nary a word in public forums about the huge problems we're facing with respect to our democracy.

The far-right is having a field day in one state after another, passing laws to make voting more difficult for people of color, and taking steps to replace nonpartisan election officials with partisan ones, all in service to Trump's Big Lie.

The Great Replacement Theory, in which Democrats are alleged to encourage would-be immigrants of color to relocate to the US and vote Democratic (as if people of color are all Democrats!), amplifies and lends credence to the GOP's seemingly implacable hold on minority rule.

It's a ridiculous theory, but it's got legs. Where are the counter arguments?

The US, in international rankings, is no longer considered a full democracy, but a flawed one. And the signs for the future are not reassuring in the least.

Where is Ms. Eshoo on these existential issues? We don't know. Where is her voice? Where is her outrage?

She strikes me as a foot soldier, not a leader. She has a voice, she has a platform, but does she have a sense of proportion?

She did not get my vote.

Michelle Obama infamously said, "When they go low, we go high." And where has that gotten us? When they go low, "we kick them," says former attorney general Eric Holder. Or, to quote a podcast guest whose name escapes me, "When they go low, we need to be there waiting for them."


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