News

Local students join nationwide gun violence protest

School walkouts held throughout Palo Alto area

Hundreds of students across Palo Alto walked out of school on Wednesday morning to call for stricter gun-control measures, joining a national wave of student activism sparked by the survivors of a school shooting in Florida last month.

Students from Palo Alto High School and Castilleja School joined parents and community members in a large protest outside Paly on El Camino Real shortly after 10 a.m. Independent walkouts were held at Juana Briones Elementary School, Addison Elementary School, Jordan Middle School and JLS Middle School as well as Palo Alto private schools including The Girls' Middle School, St. Elizabeth Seton School and Kehillah Jewish High School. Stanford University and Foothill College students also held rallies on their campuses.

At Gunn High School, students participated in a moment of silence on campus and then hundreds joined an inter-school walkout with other local students that ended at El Camino Park in Palo Alto. Police estimated that about 1,500 students participated in that demonstration.

Across the country, the walkout lasted for 17 minutes — one for each student and teacher killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School one month ago today in Parkland, Florida. The event was organized by Women's March, a national activism organization.

At Paly, students held signs with messages like "fear has no place in schools," "protect people not guns," and simply, "Enough."

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Attendees said they were calling for expanded background checks, a mandatory wait period for gun purchases and a federal ban of assault weapons. A flyer prepared by the Palo Alto Council of PTAs offered a script for calling federal legislators to ask for these changes, paired with a list of local representatives and their offices' phone numbers.

In California, assault weapons as defined under state law are already prohibited, with limited exceptions. California also requires anyone who wants to purchase a gun to submit an application through a licensed dealer to the federal Department of Justice, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers — but not private sellers — to initiate a background check before selling a gun.

On Wednesday, Atherton resident Laura Daschbach Pitchford, whose sister was killed in a mass shooting in Seal Beach in 2011, noted to the crowd numerous local connections to gun violence, from a Sacred Heart Preparatory graduate who was fatally shot in Oakland in 2013 to a Saint Francis High School alumna who was killed at a veterans' home in Yountville last week.

"This is not Parkland. This is Palo Alto, Atherton, Mountain View, Pleasanton -- right here in our community," she said. "Let's push Congress to do what is right: to pass sensible gun laws to ensure we are safe from gun violence."

Student speakers urged their peers to continue their advocacy beyond one 17-minute protest.

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"We can't let this just be a moment in a history textbook that's a footnote," said Castilleja senior Lucy Carlson, who helped organize the walkout.

She said in an interview before the protest that interested Castilleja students have been working to inform themselves about relevant laws and issues to prepare for a next step of advocating for legislative changes. The school held opt-in discussion groups, facilitated by teachers, during lunch last Friday to talk about youth activism, gun violence, the Second Amendment and other topics.

The Castilleja and Palo Alto school district administrations said they did not sanction a walkout but supported the students' right to protest. Some schools adjusted bell schedules to accommodate the demonstration, including at Paly, and students who miss tests or quizzes will be allowed to retake them for full credit. Palo Alto Unified students who arrived late to classes after the walkout on Wednesday would be marked absent, interim Superintendent Karen Hendricks and high school leadership wrote in a message to students and parents on Tuesday.

"Although neither the schools nor the district can legally sanction a walkout, we applaud our students' commitment to be on the forefront of driving social change on this topic and we support our students," they wrote.

They noted that the district is "obligated by law to take attendance; noting that a student has arrived tardy to class is a consequence of leaving an otherwise scheduled class, but it is not considered a punitive measure."

At the district's elementary schools, parents were permitted to sign their children out for the walkout. Hendricks cautioned in a message last week that participation for younger students "may increase the sense of fear and anxiety and would create additional safety concerns in ensuring sufficient supervision."

Juana Briones parent Lama Rimawi planned to participate with her children, who are 7 and 9 years old. She said elementary school students, despite their age, are well aware of school shootings when they occur.

"Just last week my first-grader said, 'I am scared that a shooter will come to our school because that is what happened at the other school,'" Rimawi said. "I think that empowering the children and making them feel that they can do something is a powerful coping tool." 

After the Paly protest ended and most students had returned to class, a sole dissenting voice stayed. Junior Tucker Biorn stood in front of his truck, adorned with a large American flag and a white flag with the text "come and take it," a slogan from the 1835 Texas Revolution that gun-rights proponents have adopted as their own.

He told a group of student journalists that he brought the flags to defend the Second Amendment and his right to express an opposing view. As a conservative student, he said he feels "alienated" when political discussions and protests happen on campus.

Biorn said he supports President Donald Trump's controversial proposal to arm some teachers, as long as they're trained and meet specific requirements. But in a Feb. 23 statement, the president of the California Teachers Association called it a "misguided and dangerously flawed idea" and suggested instead rigorous reviews of schools' safety plans for responding to active shooters.

The night before the protest, the school district's Board of Education passed a resolution to lobby state and federal legislators to "take immediate action to enact meaningful gun-control legislation to prevent even one more child from being harmed by gunfire." The board voted 4-0 to approve the resolution, with Trustee Todd Collins abstaining.

Middle school students at St. Elizabeth Seton also took part in their own walkout Wednesday morning.

"We just wanted to make a statement," said seventh-grader Camila Escodebo. "We don't feel safe in our schools anymore because of what's happening, and (we think) that they should change the gun laws so that we can feel safer."

Students met just before 10 a.m. in the school's gym, where they were first led in a prayer by eighth-grader Marie Rossiter. They then exited the school and walked from the campus on Channing Avenue towards Middlefield Road, eventually looping back towards the school.

"In history class, we were talking about how these shootings were happening, and I heard about them on the news," Rossiter said they discussed shootings in history class and other students suggested participating in a walkout as a way to stand in solidarity with the students of Stoneman Douglas and other victims of school shootings.

The walkout was sanctioned by the Bishop Patrick McGrath of the Diocese of San Jose, according to Elizabeth Cauley, a Seton social studies teacher, but "the students took ownership of it and started planning it for themselves."

During the walkout, which lasted about 30 minutes, students held handmade signs that read "#NeverAgain" and "#EnoughIsEnough" alongside photographs of victims of past shootings, including at Stoneman Douglas and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012. They chanted various slogans, including "Not One More," and "Never Again."

"I'm really proud of our students for participating, and they really took it seriously," Seton Principal Evelyn Rosa said. "I think by us giving them the opportunity, empowering them, I think it makes a difference. I think it's something that they'll never forget, honestly."

Carolyne Wong, a math and technology teacher at Seton, said that the students' participation gave her "hope for the future." A large part of the community at Seton is comprised of immigrants who sometimes don't feel comfortable speaking up, but the walkout gave them a chance to raise their voices.

She added that as a principal, security is one of her biggest concerns.

"We have to do something about it," she said. "We can't just sit back."

Editorial Intern Sarah Klearman contributed to this report.

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Editor's note: This original version of this article misspelled the last name of a St. Elizabeth Seton seventh-grader. The correct spelling is Escodebo. Palo Alto Online regrets the error.

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Local students join nationwide gun violence protest

School walkouts held throughout Palo Alto area

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Mar 14, 2018, 1:20 pm
Updated: Wed, Mar 14, 2018, 4:19 pm

Hundreds of students across Palo Alto walked out of school on Wednesday morning to call for stricter gun-control measures, joining a national wave of student activism sparked by the survivors of a school shooting in Florida last month.

Students from Palo Alto High School and Castilleja School joined parents and community members in a large protest outside Paly on El Camino Real shortly after 10 a.m. Independent walkouts were held at Juana Briones Elementary School, Addison Elementary School, Jordan Middle School and JLS Middle School as well as Palo Alto private schools including The Girls' Middle School, St. Elizabeth Seton School and Kehillah Jewish High School. Stanford University and Foothill College students also held rallies on their campuses.

At Gunn High School, students participated in a moment of silence on campus and then hundreds joined an inter-school walkout with other local students that ended at El Camino Park in Palo Alto. Police estimated that about 1,500 students participated in that demonstration.

Across the country, the walkout lasted for 17 minutes — one for each student and teacher killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School one month ago today in Parkland, Florida. The event was organized by Women's March, a national activism organization.

At Paly, students held signs with messages like "fear has no place in schools," "protect people not guns," and simply, "Enough."

Attendees said they were calling for expanded background checks, a mandatory wait period for gun purchases and a federal ban of assault weapons. A flyer prepared by the Palo Alto Council of PTAs offered a script for calling federal legislators to ask for these changes, paired with a list of local representatives and their offices' phone numbers.

In California, assault weapons as defined under state law are already prohibited, with limited exceptions. California also requires anyone who wants to purchase a gun to submit an application through a licensed dealer to the federal Department of Justice, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers — but not private sellers — to initiate a background check before selling a gun.

On Wednesday, Atherton resident Laura Daschbach Pitchford, whose sister was killed in a mass shooting in Seal Beach in 2011, noted to the crowd numerous local connections to gun violence, from a Sacred Heart Preparatory graduate who was fatally shot in Oakland in 2013 to a Saint Francis High School alumna who was killed at a veterans' home in Yountville last week.

"This is not Parkland. This is Palo Alto, Atherton, Mountain View, Pleasanton -- right here in our community," she said. "Let's push Congress to do what is right: to pass sensible gun laws to ensure we are safe from gun violence."

Student speakers urged their peers to continue their advocacy beyond one 17-minute protest.

"We can't let this just be a moment in a history textbook that's a footnote," said Castilleja senior Lucy Carlson, who helped organize the walkout.

She said in an interview before the protest that interested Castilleja students have been working to inform themselves about relevant laws and issues to prepare for a next step of advocating for legislative changes. The school held opt-in discussion groups, facilitated by teachers, during lunch last Friday to talk about youth activism, gun violence, the Second Amendment and other topics.

The Castilleja and Palo Alto school district administrations said they did not sanction a walkout but supported the students' right to protest. Some schools adjusted bell schedules to accommodate the demonstration, including at Paly, and students who miss tests or quizzes will be allowed to retake them for full credit. Palo Alto Unified students who arrived late to classes after the walkout on Wednesday would be marked absent, interim Superintendent Karen Hendricks and high school leadership wrote in a message to students and parents on Tuesday.

"Although neither the schools nor the district can legally sanction a walkout, we applaud our students' commitment to be on the forefront of driving social change on this topic and we support our students," they wrote.

They noted that the district is "obligated by law to take attendance; noting that a student has arrived tardy to class is a consequence of leaving an otherwise scheduled class, but it is not considered a punitive measure."

At the district's elementary schools, parents were permitted to sign their children out for the walkout. Hendricks cautioned in a message last week that participation for younger students "may increase the sense of fear and anxiety and would create additional safety concerns in ensuring sufficient supervision."

Juana Briones parent Lama Rimawi planned to participate with her children, who are 7 and 9 years old. She said elementary school students, despite their age, are well aware of school shootings when they occur.

"Just last week my first-grader said, 'I am scared that a shooter will come to our school because that is what happened at the other school,'" Rimawi said. "I think that empowering the children and making them feel that they can do something is a powerful coping tool." 

After the Paly protest ended and most students had returned to class, a sole dissenting voice stayed. Junior Tucker Biorn stood in front of his truck, adorned with a large American flag and a white flag with the text "come and take it," a slogan from the 1835 Texas Revolution that gun-rights proponents have adopted as their own.

He told a group of student journalists that he brought the flags to defend the Second Amendment and his right to express an opposing view. As a conservative student, he said he feels "alienated" when political discussions and protests happen on campus.

Biorn said he supports President Donald Trump's controversial proposal to arm some teachers, as long as they're trained and meet specific requirements. But in a Feb. 23 statement, the president of the California Teachers Association called it a "misguided and dangerously flawed idea" and suggested instead rigorous reviews of schools' safety plans for responding to active shooters.

The night before the protest, the school district's Board of Education passed a resolution to lobby state and federal legislators to "take immediate action to enact meaningful gun-control legislation to prevent even one more child from being harmed by gunfire." The board voted 4-0 to approve the resolution, with Trustee Todd Collins abstaining.

Middle school students at St. Elizabeth Seton also took part in their own walkout Wednesday morning.

"We just wanted to make a statement," said seventh-grader Camila Escodebo. "We don't feel safe in our schools anymore because of what's happening, and (we think) that they should change the gun laws so that we can feel safer."

Students met just before 10 a.m. in the school's gym, where they were first led in a prayer by eighth-grader Marie Rossiter. They then exited the school and walked from the campus on Channing Avenue towards Middlefield Road, eventually looping back towards the school.

"In history class, we were talking about how these shootings were happening, and I heard about them on the news," Rossiter said they discussed shootings in history class and other students suggested participating in a walkout as a way to stand in solidarity with the students of Stoneman Douglas and other victims of school shootings.

The walkout was sanctioned by the Bishop Patrick McGrath of the Diocese of San Jose, according to Elizabeth Cauley, a Seton social studies teacher, but "the students took ownership of it and started planning it for themselves."

During the walkout, which lasted about 30 minutes, students held handmade signs that read "#NeverAgain" and "#EnoughIsEnough" alongside photographs of victims of past shootings, including at Stoneman Douglas and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012. They chanted various slogans, including "Not One More," and "Never Again."

"I'm really proud of our students for participating, and they really took it seriously," Seton Principal Evelyn Rosa said. "I think by us giving them the opportunity, empowering them, I think it makes a difference. I think it's something that they'll never forget, honestly."

Carolyne Wong, a math and technology teacher at Seton, said that the students' participation gave her "hope for the future." A large part of the community at Seton is comprised of immigrants who sometimes don't feel comfortable speaking up, but the walkout gave them a chance to raise their voices.

She added that as a principal, security is one of her biggest concerns.

"We have to do something about it," she said. "We can't just sit back."

Editorial Intern Sarah Klearman contributed to this report.

Editor's note: This original version of this article misspelled the last name of a St. Elizabeth Seton seventh-grader. The correct spelling is Escodebo. Palo Alto Online regrets the error.

Comments

Yuri
another community
on Mar 14, 2018 at 3:14 pm
Yuri, another community
on Mar 14, 2018 at 3:14 pm
10 people like this

Jordan kids were basically set loose on N. California St. even though the superintendent said 6 through 12 graders would be provided a gathering place on campus. Even the Jordan principal put out a letter in the PTA update that stated the walk out would be held with an open mike in Hugh Center Court. Hugh Center Court was virtually empty the whole time. Not sure if staff were informed of the last minute change of venue. They seemed to struggle to keep students from crossing en masse to the other side of the road (off school property and into traffic). Luckily no one was hurt.


Winter
Barron Park
on Mar 14, 2018 at 3:51 pm
Winter, Barron Park
on Mar 14, 2018 at 3:51 pm
55 people like this

Good for the students and for PAUSD.

Only now and then does an event throw a bright enough light to illuminate and ignite young and old minds in numbers so great that we are able to unite and confront really hard problems. I think we are at one of those moments with addressing gun violence. That the messengers and leaders now are our children and grandchildren make it hard to simply ignore the need for more regulation of guns, more mental health funded services and training, etc. The goal is likely not instant gratification, but a leap forward toward meanful change.

I hope every student who walked out, who protested, who thought about this, will never forget this moment in their nations agonized history and you need not be a bystander - you clearly can lead on this and other issues in your life. The baton is being passed to you.

I hope all us support you by taking the train on March 24 to RWC Court House Square or SJ to join one of the hundreds of - March Against Gun Violence. Google for details.


Proud Of Our Students
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 14, 2018 at 4:34 pm
Proud Of Our Students, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 14, 2018 at 4:34 pm
52 people like this

I am so proud of our students!!! You guys rocked today and don't accept inaction by our government.

There are some very low hanging fruit nationally to reduce gun violence without violating the second amendment rights of lawful gun owners such as universal background checks, mandatory waiting periods and a 21 year old age limit to purchase firearms. Plus more resource officers.

Putting guns in classrooms is a really bad idea and I was just waiting for the first teacher to accidentally injure a student and guess what, it happened today in California where a teacher injured three students while telling them to always make sure the gun is not loaded (at which point it went off). See this link on CNN:

Web Link

But the NRA/Gun Lobby's solution to gun safety is always more guns.


Yuri
another community
on Mar 14, 2018 at 7:16 pm
Yuri, another community
on Mar 14, 2018 at 7:16 pm
11 people like this

Every reason to be proud of PAUSD students, parents, and other community leaders. The problem at Jordan was that the plan sanctioned by the acting superintendent, as well as all secondary schools (apparently), the Jordan site leader, and the PTA was tossed at the last moment and the staff responsible for student safety was not informed until the March had migrated from Hugh Center Court (actually not one marcher showed there, nor did the "open mike")to N.California St. There, over matched teacher "volunteers" had to contend with dozens of students crossing the street on a whim. Luckily no sharing economy driver lost focus, or some other mishap occurred because someone would be on the hook right now. Probably one of the volunteers. If there is a good reason for keeping staff in the dark, now is the time to say so.


A Realist
Midtown
on Mar 14, 2018 at 9:19 pm
A Realist, Midtown
on Mar 14, 2018 at 9:19 pm
121 people like this

The widespread public demonstrations by high school students, display a much deeper issue with American public education, mainly that it has become, in many ways, a vehicle to indoctrinate our schoolchildren with leftist ideas.

“These efforts in these schools are never to advance liberty or constitutionalism or private property rights or capitalism generally,”. “It’s always to advance the Left’s agenda.”

These government schools have become propaganda mills,” We the people have no choice but to send their children to these same schools, due to financial or time constraints.

“How did we get here?”“There’s been an effort underway, for 100 years” by the Left “to turn education into the advancement of the progressive ideology, Leftist ideologues has co-opted American public schools to turn them into government-funded vehicles for their own agenda.


"Realist"? Yeah, right
Mountain View
on Mar 14, 2018 at 10:21 pm
"Realist"? Yeah, right, Mountain View
on Mar 14, 2018 at 10:21 pm
18 people like this

[Post removed.]


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 14, 2018 at 10:23 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Mar 14, 2018 at 10:23 pm
30 people like this

@Realist, are you really saying kids getting shot is a right-wing value and/or goal and that they and their parents and teachers and the community should just go quietly into the good night? Please clarify.


Army Vet
Community Center
on Mar 14, 2018 at 11:05 pm
Army Vet, Community Center
on Mar 14, 2018 at 11:05 pm
105 people like this

Great. Take the guns aways from the criminals and mentally ill.

In the meantime, let's now get these snowflakes to join the military and defend the country.

And in the event a Normandy Beach landing or an Iwo Jima assault is necessary I guess we will keep out fingers crossed.


Yuri
another community
on Mar 15, 2018 at 6:04 am
Yuri, another community
on Mar 15, 2018 at 6:04 am
5 people like this

There were a handful of students at Jordan holding placards in support of Second Amendment rights. By most accounts, they were treated with respect. If a teacher gave them space and encouragement to make signs (as was done for pro-gun control students), I'm not so sure they would have been accorded anything but dirty looks, or some subtle form of intimidation. Again, the students on both sides of the issue, for the most part, were great. The administration, on the other hand, left teachers hanging. Luckily, none were hung.


Realist
Midtown
on Mar 15, 2018 at 8:15 am
Realist, Midtown
on Mar 15, 2018 at 8:15 am
11 people like this

[Post removed.]


"Realist"? Yeah, right
Mountain View
on Mar 15, 2018 at 8:41 am
"Realist"? Yeah, right, Mountain View
on Mar 15, 2018 at 8:41 am
25 people like this

"The Teachers Union and the District have enlisted students to push their progressive agenda."

Proof? And by "proof," I mean something other than what is put out by alt-right websites.

"I feel a class action lawsuit coming.."

And it will be thrown out of court without comment.

Stop putting out nonsense, it makes you look bad.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:07 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:07 am
8 people like this

Posted by Yuri, a resident of another community

>> There were a handful of students at Jordan holding placards in support of Second Amendment rights. By most accounts, they were treated with respect. If a teacher gave them space and encouragement to make signs (as was done for pro-gun control students), I'm not so sure they would have been accorded anything but dirty looks, or some subtle form of intimidation.

>> Again, the students on both sides of the issue, for the most part, were great.

Both sides of -what- issue? Is there a "side" -in favor- of violence in schools?

>> The administration, on the other hand, left teachers hanging. Luckily, none were hung.

The administration had two options. Say to the students, "Stay in class or we will give you an absence for that period." And, pretty much leave the students to keep themselves safe. With the risk of things becoming too chaotic. Or, the administration could move with the students in the interest of keeping things from becoming too chaotic. I wasn't there, but, it sounds like they took that latter option. Makes sense to me.


Michelle de Blank
Crescent Park
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:22 am
Michelle de Blank, Crescent Park
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:22 am
21 people like this

Realist - why don’t you use your real name? I find the comments on here can get extreme when people hide behind false names.

The students wanted this march. They don’t feel safe in their classrooms. This is a public safety issue. If you are not happy with public education, there are many different avenues to home school.

- Michelle


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:41 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:41 am
18 people like this

Posted by Michelle de Blank, a resident of Crescent Park

>> Realist - why don’t you use your real name? I find the comments on here can get extreme when people hide behind false names.

Hi Michelle. I appreciate the sentiment, but, I don't think it is realistic in today's world for everyone to post under their real names. Many years ago, I did, but, my employer adopted a policy of asking employees not to, unless it was absolutely necessary. The reason was that even though people such as myself posted their own personal opinions on their own time using their own computers, many people would attempt to attribute those opinions to their employers anyway. &etc.

But the real reason that I have continued to follow my former employers policy is this:

Web Link

So, I would ask you to look at anonymous posting this way: let the arguments speak for themselves.


OldGuy
Atherton
on Mar 15, 2018 at 10:01 am
OldGuy, Atherton
on Mar 15, 2018 at 10:01 am
34 people like this

Students have organized these marches all across the country. Desperately trying to minimize their legitimacy is a tired and threadbare tactic used against all protest movements throughout history. I find your prediction of a class-action lawsuit to be utterly unrealistic. Your handle (Realist) is therefore pretty ironical.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 15, 2018 at 10:08 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Mar 15, 2018 at 10:08 am
16 people like this

@Anon makes an excellent point about anonymous postings. Look at all the hate mail and death threats so many of the parents of dead kids have gotten. Women have long known about online harassment and have known to adopt non-gender-specific names for decades.


Chip
Professorville
on Mar 15, 2018 at 11:15 am
Chip, Professorville
on Mar 15, 2018 at 11:15 am
9 people like this

Tucker Biorn wants teachers to gun up? [Portion of post removed.] They want to teach, not become armed police. Most of them would leave & go off to much higher paying jobs. Maybe PA parents want to home school their kids?


Generally Progressive, But Pro 2nd Amendment
Midtown
on Mar 15, 2018 at 12:16 pm
Generally Progressive, But Pro 2nd Amendment, Midtown
on Mar 15, 2018 at 12:16 pm
93 people like this

Banning non-automatic weapons is asinine. If anything, I am for more of a psychiatric evaluation and longer waiting periods for weapons to assure that mentally incompetent nimrods cannot posses them. Anytime there is any type of ruckus about further regulating America's right to bear arms, people tend to go and buy more guns. Why don't schools make some type of automatic lock-down system that include an emergency button that signals local SWAT to come to the scene or something.

I'm going to refer to an extremely cliche, but painfully true idiom: "Guns don't kill people, people kill people"...

**Leave guns out of it.**


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 15, 2018 at 12:37 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Mar 15, 2018 at 12:37 pm
16 people like this

Why don't they just ban automatic weapons, something the Founding Fathers could never have envisioned?


LIFE, Liberty & the pursuit of sanity
Fairmeadow
on Mar 15, 2018 at 1:16 pm
LIFE, Liberty & the pursuit of sanity, Fairmeadow
on Mar 15, 2018 at 1:16 pm
13 people like this

"And in the event a Normandy Beach landing or an Iwo Jima assault" - [Portion removed.] America has 7 carrier battle groups, the most powerful military element the world has ever seen. How likely is it that you will be defending our shores with your shotgun?


"Guns don't kill people"... Yes, they do. Gun kills thousands of Americans every year.


"Why don't schools make some type of automatic lock-down system that include an emergency button that signals..." Huh? A button, that would save maybe 15 seconds (over dialing 9 - long press on any cell phone) would have saved how many lives at Parkland? Sandy Hook? Columbine? The list is too long to recite here...


"But Pro 2nd Amendment" - The whole amendment, or just a clause or two?


A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State...


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2018 at 1:27 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2018 at 1:27 pm
17 people like this

Posted by Generally Progressive, But Pro 2nd Amendment, a resident of Midtown

>> If anything, I am for more of a psychiatric evaluation and longer waiting periods for weapons to assure that mentally incompetent nimrods cannot posses them. (etc. A very common argument.)

Your argument is very commonly made, but, it does not help, for three reasons:

1) Psychiatrists don't have some kind of magical ability to foresee the future, or, to diagnose mental illness in a few minutes. For example, when generally-agreed mentally ill people who are institutionalized are discharged, they are often evaluated along the lines of, "cause harm to self and/or others". Psychiatrists make their evaluations, some people are discharged, and some of those end up causing harm to self and/or others. If even this tightly-controlled process "gets it wrong" sometimes, what chance do you suppose a cursory evaluation of every prospective gun owner would have? And what do you think the prospects are for a serious, in-depth evaluation of every prospective gun owner?

2) The US no longer has a systematic approach to helping mentally ill people. The large institutions were closed 50-40 years ago. Some mentally ill people are in jail (big jails are the largest (non-treatment) facilities for the mentally ill), some mentally ill people are homeless, on the streets, and under bridges. Others continue to live, without treatment, at home or with relatives. Unless someone has been in the system somehow, you don't know who they are.

3) Many of the deadliest incidents are not committed by people who are known to be mentally ill and would not necessarily be determined to be mentally ill. Evil people are not necessarily "mentally ill" by the usual standards. For example, after the fact, you can -speculate- based on what happened that Stephen Paddock was mentally ill, but, it is not helpful after the fact. ***

*** Web Link


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2018 at 1:33 pm
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2018 at 1:33 pm
25 people like this

When hearing the news of a teacher accidentally firing a gun in a classroom supposedly teaching gun safety in Seaside (near Monterey) this week, it makes a mockery of any sensible pro gun arguments.

Kids are worried about their safety. They don't care whether it is from a genuine nutcase, a mentally disturbed student or parent, a terrorist or a professionally trained teacher with a legally owned weapon. Listen to them. They feel unsafe. This is not something to do with politics, it is to do with student safety. Listen to them.

There is hope for the next generation now.


roger
Evergreen Park
on Mar 15, 2018 at 7:29 pm
roger, Evergreen Park
on Mar 15, 2018 at 7:29 pm
10 people like this

Cars don't kill people,drivers do.
You still need to pass a test and obey the law.
Doesn't seem to be the case for gun owners.
I don't think anyone is suggesting all guns should be banned, so lets stick to the issue and not make "asinine".


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Mar 15, 2018 at 7:40 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Mar 15, 2018 at 7:40 pm
52 people like this

[Post removed.]


OPar
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 15, 2018 at 8:42 pm
OPar, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 15, 2018 at 8:42 pm
12 people like this

[Portion removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]

Guns do not belong in schools. Civilians do not need large arsenals of high-powered weapons designed for military use. Nothing about a "well-regulated militia" involves that. The Second, at the time it was written, was generally seen as allowing states to have their own military--you see this in the Civil War where there were various state armies.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:05 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:05 pm
97 people like this

@ OPar - [Portion removed.]

I completely dismiss many such private interpretation of the purpose and implications of the Second Amendment. My rights don't need to be infringed because I -- like the vast majority of Americans -- can be trusted with my rights.

Now, that doesn't mean that I think that everyone should have guns. Not at all! There are individuals who have forfeited that right in much the same way that some have forfeited any right to vote.

Who shouldn't have guns?

Felons, criminal offenders of violence and theft, non-citizens, individuals with known gang affiliations, individuals living with felons and anyone diagnosed with a mental disorder (for which they haven't been cleared by medical professionals) cannot be trusted with a right to bear arms.

After all, the vast majority of gun crimes are committed by individuals who aren't supposed to have guns anyway. One study that I read about gun crimes in Chicago (where the shooter was known) indicated that the vast majority of those individuals weren't legally supposed to have a gun.

Instead of focusing on the rights of good, law-abiding citizens, gun-control activists should focus upon those who aren't supposed to have guns. Once that problem is solved, then they can consider the outcome and later decide whether there is any need for any further activism.

Of course, gun control activists often converge stats about actual violent "gun crimes" with "gun violence" (which includes suicide, accidental shootings, etc.) when it is advantageous to do so.

Ultimately, liberals will (pardon the pun) shoot themselves in the foot if they try to make this an issue before the 2018 mid-term elections. The "values" (ahem) of California often are a stark contrast with the values of voters elsewhere in the United States.

Democrats likely won a congressional seat in Pennsylvania this week. However, it was because the Democrat in that seat was vastly more conservative to virtually any Democrat (and most Republicans) in California.

They are the types of disenfranchised Democrats whose views were dismissed by candidate Obama in 2008 when he said, "And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

If the liberal wing of the Democratic Party is smart, they won't smugly pretend to have some sort of moral high ground on the issue of gun rights. They can dismiss the rights of those individuals that they so often look down at who know that they can be trusted with all of their constitutional right -- including the ones that activists wish to "reinterpret" the Second Amendment to mean something that it does not.


Thomas Jefferson
Downtown North
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:09 pm
Thomas Jefferson, Downtown North
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:09 pm
82 people like this

I absolutely support the kid's right to protest, though I'm quite diehard in my support for our Bill of Rights. What frustrates me is the protestor's ignorance of history, civics and the rights they want to strip away from people. Looking over these comments, I see the same issues. Online Name: Automatic weapons are already banned. Since the 30's. They also had repeating firearms in the 1700s. Proud Of Our Students: If you think stripping Constitutional rights from 18 to 20 year old adults is common sense, you're exactly why we have the 2nd.


Curmudgeon
Downtown North
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:16 pm
Curmudgeon, Downtown North
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:16 pm
2 people like this

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


"Realist"? Yeah, right
Mountain View
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:21 pm
"Realist"? Yeah, right, Mountain View
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:21 pm
14 people like this

Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm getting the sneaking suspicion that this board is being trolled by the NRA and/or an associated troll farm.

Notice how the same talking points are being used by the same pro-NRA posters. Note how it's always the same sort of language that insists that if you want to put in some common-sense gun laws, you're "against freedom." Never mind that these same posters want to limit the right of high school students to express their point of view on an important matter.

But I guess when you're a big-time organization, you do what you can to steer the conversation your way. Even if you have to lie to do so.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:25 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:25 pm
38 people like this

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


member
Barron Park
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:30 pm
member, Barron Park
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:30 pm
23 people like this

[Post removed.]


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:40 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:40 pm
33 people like this

[Post removed.]


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