Quote: Ivy Schamis, teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the massacre. “Valentine’s Day should be a day of love and laughter, but on February 14, 2018, it was the opposite for me and my students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Today marks four years since a former student ambushed our building with an AR-15.”
Valentine’s Day was the 4th anniversary of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that claimed the lives of 14 students and 3 educators. (President Biden’s statement here) In their names and in the names of others whose lives were cut short by our country’s shameful epidemic of gun violence, we have a responsibility to demand change.
- Action #1: LOCAL – AB-1769 prohibits gun shows at the Ventura County Fair and Event Center.
- Action #2: STATE – SB.915 prohibits gun shows at all CA state-owned property.
- Action #3: FEDERAL – Pass national background check laws and close the “Charleston Loophole.“
- Action #4: FEDERAL – For those who didn’t come home from school that Valentine’s Day, and all those before and since…it’s time to pass H.R.1808/S.736 – Assault Weapons Ban of 2021
Update: Remington Arms agreed Tuesday (2/15) to pay the families of five adults and four children killed in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School $73 million. This is the first time a gun manufacturer has been held liable for a mass shooting in the U.S.
Action #1: LOCAL – AB-1769 prohibits gun shows at the Ventura County Fair and Event Center.
Why ban gun shows?: Sen. Dave Min, D-Irvine: “Gun shows are designed for one purpose — to sell and distribute guns in our community and every time a gun is sold, it increases the chances of another act of violence.” He added that gun shows are “a common venue for straw purchases” of weapons that later end up in the wrong hands. Ghost guns, the term for untraceable partially assembled weapons sold as kits, are also a big seller at gun shows and the ready-to-assemble kits have become one of the biggest sellers at the events. “The state of California should not be profiting off the sale of guns. This is blood money.” We agree.
(Ventura County Star) “Assemblymember Steve Bennett, D-Ventura, and State Sen. Monique Limon, D-Santa Barbara, introduced AB-1769 (Firearms: prohibited places) Wednesday targeting the long-running battle over the fairgrounds shows held several times a year by Utah-based Crossroads of the West. If successful, the ban would likely take effect on Jan. 1, 2023.” This bill specifically prohibits gun shows at the Ventura County Fair and Event Center.
Minimal script for Asm. Steve Bennett: I’m calling from [zip code] and I would like to thank Assemblymember [Steve Bennett] for introducing AB-1769 – Firearms: Prohibited places.
Minimal script for other assemblymembers: I’m calling from [zip code] and I would like Assemblymember [____] to support AB-1769 – Firearms: Prohibited places.
- State Assemblymember Steve Bennett (CA-37): email, SAC (916) 319-2037, SB (805) 564-1649, VTA (805) 641-3700
- State Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (CA-44): email, SAC (916) 319-2044, CAM (805) 482-1904, OX (805) 483-4488
- Not your people? Don’t know?: findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov
Extra Credit: AB-1769 has been referred to the Assembly Public Safety Committee and will be heard on Tuesday, March 8 at 9:00. (Here are the members – see if any friends live in these districts and have them call/email their legislators.) After completing a one-time registration for an “individual” account here (https://calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates/), you type in the bill # and the site will direct you to the right committee where you can write a comment or upload a letter. (See #11 and #12)
Action #2: STATE – SB.915 prohibits gun shows at all CA state-owned property.
(Ventura County Star) “…SB-915 (Firearms: state property) by Sen. Dave Min, D-Irvine, takes a broader approach, prohibiting gun shows on all state property across California, including 73 fairgrounds. The bill is Min’s second attempt at a statewide ban.” The owner of Crossroads of the West gun show has already threatened to sue, but as Sen. Min has stated “There is nothing in the Constitution that would imply the state of California has to use its property to sell guns.”
Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I would like to state Senator [______] to support Sen. Min’s SB-915 – Firearms: state property
- State Senator Monique Limón (SD-19): email, SAC (916) 651-4019, SB (805) 965-0862, OX (805)988-1940
- State Senator Henry Stern (SD-27): email, SAC (916) 651-2027, Calabasas (818) 876-3352
- Not your people? Don’t know?: findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov
Extra Credit: SB-915 has been referred to the Senate Public Safety Committee. The hearing date has not been posted yet. (Here are the members – see if any friends live in these districts and have them call/email their legislators.) After completing a one-time registration for an “individual” account here (https://calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates/), you type in the bill # and the site will direct you to the right committee where you can write a comment or upload a letter. (See #11 and #12)
Action #3: FEDERAL – Pass national background check laws and close the “Charleston Loophole.“
National background check laws, such as H.R. 8 – Background Check Expansion Act are wildly popular across political lines, with a recent poll showing 84% of voters, including over three-quarters of Republicans, 82 % of Independents, and 90% of legal gun owners support a law requiring a background check for all firearm purchases.
H.R. 1446 – Enhanced Background Checks Act would close the “Charleston Loophole” – named for the June 17, 2015 massacre of nine worshipers at Emanuel A.M.E. church by Dylann Roof, a White Supremacist who was legally prohibited from possessing a gun. However, he acquired one anyway because his background check wasn’t completed within the mandated 3 days.
Besides the 3-day time limit, “current federal law does not require background checks on sales between unlicensed parties. This means that people with dangerous histories can easily circumvent the background check system simply by purchasing their firearm online or at a gun show.” A 2015 survey found that nearly a quarter of Americans—22 percent—who acquired a firearm in the two years prior did so without a background check and only 20 states have passed any “Charleston Loophole” laws.
Meanwhile, the families of the nine people murdered at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., reached an $88 million settlement with the Department of Justice for failing to prevent convicted shooter Dylann Roof from buying a gun.
U.S. House of Representatives passed both H.R. 8 – Background Check Expansion Act and H.R. 1446 – Enhanced Background Checks Act. Now it’s the Senate’s turn for almost a year now.
Minimal script for senators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I would [like/thank] Sen. [__] [support/for supporting] S.529 – Background Check Expansion Act and I also want them to push through H.R. 1446 – Enhanced Background Checks Act.
Action #4: For those who didn’t come home from school that Valentine’s Day, and all those before and since…it’s time to pass H.R.1808/S.736 – Assault Weapons Ban of 2021
“An AR-15 is not for hunting, it’s for killing.” – Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. after the massacre at Parkland.
Limiting access to such weapons is not new.
President Reagan banned the sale and ownership of machine guns made after May 1986, and required the owners of older versions to pass background checks, obtain signed approval from their local police chief or sheriff and pay a $200 federal tax. In 1994, he joined former Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter in urging members of the U.S. House of Representatives to to support a pending bill banning assault weapons. They wrote, “While we recognize that assault weapon legislation will not stop all assault weapon crime, statistics prove that we can dry up the supply of these guns, making them less accessible to criminals. We urge you to listen to the American public and to the law enforcement community and support a ban on the further manufacture of these weapons.“
Then-President Bill Clinton signed the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, commonly called the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which was a part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. It expired in 2004.
Was the 10-year time-out on assault weapons effective in reducing public mass shootings? The latest data says “YES!” (northwesternnow)(law.stanford.edu)(northwestern)(NYTimes)(The Hill) This will continue to become clearer now that the Dickey Amendment, which prevented gun violence research, was removed in 2018.
- Nikolas Cruz, being over 18 and with no criminal record, passed his instant background check and lawfully bought the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle he used to murder 17 of his Parkland classmates and teachers in under 6 minutes on Valentine’s Day, 2018. “The purchase of the assault weapon is often the final step in the preparation and execution of a mass shooting,” stated Lori Post, director of the Buehler Center for Health Policy and Economics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
- As COVID recedes from the headlines, experts expect more mass shootings. “The previous news cycles sucked the oxygen out of mass shooters as they are looking to be newsworthy, said Post. “Now there is room on the national agenda for mass shooters.”
Minimal script for reps/senators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I would [like/thank] Rep./Sen. [__] [to support/for supporting] H.R.1808/S.736 – Assault Weapons Ban
- H.R.1808 – Check your rep here (Brownley and Carbajal ARE cosponsors!)
- S.736 – Check your senator here (Feinstein is the author! Padilla IS a cosponsor! )
- Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26): email, DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
- or Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24): email. DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
- Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
- and Senator Padilla: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 981-9369, SD (619) 239-3884
- Who is my rep./ senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com
ADDITIONAL ACTION: Sign the Brady United Against Gun Violence petition by midnight Feb. 14: https://petitions.signforgood.com/brady-parkland-2022
This is a great overview video…
Gun Violence Archives https://www.gunviolencearchive.org