This gun control issue is no longer just about Second Amendment rights, this is about the assault of innocents around the nation. We all have a moral and pragmatic obligation to stop what is now being described as "domestic terrorism."
That is why I was proud of the more than 20 Bay Area mayors, among 249 mayors nationally, who signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, asking him to reconvene Congress and address action on gun violence. The local mayors were Eric Filseth of Palo Alto, Ray Mueller, Menlo Park; Lisa Matichak, Mountain View and sort-of local Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose.
It’s a wonderful gesture, but sadly I am not optimistic about McConnell’s even reading the letter He’s already decided not to call back for a special session Senate members from another long vacation.
Do gun-rights promulgators like the National Rifle Association cringe, at least a little, when they see scores of people shattered to death in a church, or two young patents get shot down while trying to protect their infant – the orphan infant Melania Trump was holding in her hands in El Paso earlier this week?
This week Santa Clara County Board President Joe Simitian and Supervisor Susan Ellenberg announced they were co-sponsoring a resolution that will be voted on this week by all county supervisors, urging Congress to pass legislation banning assault weapons. Those kinds of guns have been used in so many mass shootings the last decade, the supervisors said, killing more than 2000 people and injuring nearly 1,000 “In the face of evidence like this, a federal assault weapons ban is more than common sense. It is a moral imperative,” the supervisors said. And I hope they are also asking for a ban on those huge magazines that can rat-a-tat and kill hundreds in minutes.
I personally feel that this anti-assault ban is desperately needed. And no, it is not an attempt to take guns and rifles away from you. If they make you feel safer in your homes, as you say, fine; and if you think they are fun because you like to go out and shoot at wild game and little rabbits. so be it. I like little rabbits but their lives don’t hold a candle to killing innocents and young infants at a Gilroy Garlic Festival.
The distinction we need to make is that while for many in this country, their guns are either fun or necessary, I understand that. But there is more to it than that. I ran into two middle-aged women this summer eating lunch in a nice restaurant in Vicksburg, Miss. The conversation went like this: “Where are you ‘al from?” “California.” “Californians don’t like guns, do they!”? “Many of us don’t.” “Oh, too bad. I like my guns. I am a Second Amendments rights person. And today I feel bad because I left my gun home.” “Do you carry a gun with you?” “Yes, in my purse all the time.” “Why. Is Vicksburg unsafe?” “Oh no, this city is safe but I need my gun to protect me. In fact we have a lot of guns. I have mine, my husband has his, we have two in our nightstands, two in the closet, and we just gave our 6-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter blue and pink tiny guns so they can protect themselves.
Scary tale for me, and not fine with me, but these are guns and not assault rifles and semiautomatics that do fine in battlefields when soldiers protect our country. Those are not fine – or even belong – anyplace on the streets of our towns.
That is why I am really proud of our supervisors and mayors. We are starting locally to try to end these terrible gun massacres that are occurring in our country and that have happened for years. We need to get rid of assault guns and semi-automatics and magazines. Period.