Uploaded: Sun, Sep 15, 2013, 11:50 pm
Mayor won't join anti-gun violence coalition
Inks says group is against gun ownership
Mountain View Mayor John Inks has declined a request to join a coalition of over 1,000 mayors across the country that want gun law reforms. The group was co-founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Inks declined the request in an email on Tuesday after he was asked at the Sept. 3 council meeting to join the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition by Mountain View resident Josh Wolf and Community Health Awareness Council director Monique Kane.
"When Newtown (Conn.) happened, I thought finally Congress would act and it didn't," Kane told the council, adding that she was convinced that a push for gun law reforms has to start locally.
Inks' response, which came a week later in an email, was in stark contrast to that of Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff, who enthusiastically joined the coalition on August 5, according to reports, breaking normal protocol to sign onto the cause immediately after speakers raised the issue.
Inks was silent about the request for several days, turning down an offer to meet with Wolf about the coalition. He eventually wrote in an email to Wolf and the Voice that he would not join the coalition, calling the group's positions "fundamentally anti-gun."
In a set of seven principles that mayors are being asked to sign onto, the group advocates for being tougher on law-breaking gun dealers, increased efforts to trace guns, expanded background checks and new laws that would "keep lethal, military-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines off our streets."
"Mayors Against Illegal Guns are advocating heavier firearms restrictions and regulation instead of actually reducing gun violence," wrote Inks, a retired aerospace engineer who is known for his libertarian positions. "MAIG principles are silent on legal gun rights such as ownership and are fundamentally anti-gun. Like MAIG, gun owners are generally wholly law abiding and already against gun crimes. I'm not joining the MAIG coalition."
Inks added that he supports "gun rights, firearms safety and education advocacy," in another email to Wolf.
He posed Wolf a question: "What's the difference between being against illegal guns and other illegal activities or crimes? What meaning would 'Mayors Against Illegal Crimes' have?"
In response, Wolf wrote, "The key distinction is between being against illegal guns and being against all guns. The 74 percent of NRA members who support expanding background checks for gun purchases agree that this policy would not infringe on their legal gun rights," he said, adding that a loophole in existing law needs to be closed that allows guns to be purchased at gun shows without a background check.
"I believe that standing against illegal guns is important because of the 30,000 gun deaths every year in this country."
Inks did not respond to the Voice's request for an interview on the subject.
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 19, 2013 at 11:51 pm
Yes, Mayor Inks we need more guns so we can have more action. Second amendment rights trump a persons right to live. We should all walk around carrying assault weapons of our choice. Then, we need a stand your ground law so we can kills those who frighten us.
May 10, 2011
San Jose, California Three people were killed in a parking garage at San Jose State University. Two former students were found dead on the fifth floor of the garage. A third, the suspected shooter, died later at the hospital.
Dec. 8, 2011
Blacksburg, Virginia A Virginia Tech police officer was shot and killed by a 22-year old student of Radford University. The shooting took place in a parking lot on Virginia Tech's campus.
Feb. 10, 2012
Walpole, New Hampshire A 14-year-old student shot himself in front of 70 fellow students.
Feb. 27, 2012
Chardon, Ohio At Chardon High School, a former classmate opened fire, killing three students and injuring six. Arrested shortly after the incident, the shooter said that he randomly picked students.
March 6, 2012
Jacksonville, Florida Shane Schumerth, a 28-year-old teacher at Episcopal High School, returned to the campus after being fired and shot and killed the headmistress, Dale Regan, with an assault rifle.
April 2, 2012
Oakland, Calif. One Goh, a 43-year-old former student at Oikos University, a Christian school populated by mostly Korean and Korean-Americans, opened fire on the campus, killing seven people and wounding several others.
July 20, 2012
Aurora, Colo. During a midnight screening of the film The Dark Knight Rises, a gunman opens fire on the crowded theater. At least 12 people are killed and 38 others are wounded. The suspect, James Holmes, set off a smoke device in the front of the theater before opening fire. Directly after the incident, Holmes, age 24, was arrested in a parking lot behind the theater.
August 5, 2012
Oak Creek, Wis. A gunman opens fire at a Sikh temple, killing six people and wounding three. Police shot and killed the suspect, Wade Michael Page, after the attack. Page, a neo-Nazi, served in the U.S. Army from 1992 to 1998.
December 11, 2012
Portland, Ore. Jacob Tyler Roberts, 22, opened fire in the Clackamas Town Center mall, located 11 miles from downtown Portland, Oregon. Using an AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle, Roberts killed two people and wounded one other. He then took his own life.
December 14, 2012
Newtown, Conn. Adam Lanza, 20, killed 20 children and six others at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. He killed his mother, Nancy, at her home prior to the massacre at the school. Lanza committed suicide after the rampage. The shooting was the second deadliest in U.S. history, behind the 2007 shooting at Virginia Polytechnic Institute that claimed 32 people.
September 16, 2013
Washington, DC Former Navy reservist Aaron Alexis, 34, killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard, near the U.S. Capitol. He was killed in a shootout with police. Alexis was employed at the base by a military subcontractor.
Posted by Whiskers
a resident of another community
on Sep 25, 2013 at 6:15 pm
My contribution to the M.V. voice, 9-16-13:
It pains me to say this, but just today we had a terrible shooting spree at Washington Naval Yard. 13 people died. Some of those servicepeople had been to Iraq and Afghanistan. They carried weapons there. But in their own country it was illegal. Result: they died. The death toll might have been higher had not the police killed the gunman. Which brings to mind this adage: "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away".
But it does make me think, "Perhaps the shooter wasn't aware that guns are illegal in the Washington Naval Yard. If he had known, he would have realized that what he was about to do was against the law, and he wouldn't have done it."
Or perhaps he would have thought, "Gosh, all those people are unarmed and defenseless, so I can do what I want without fear of getting stopped or hurt myself".
Comments on the above are welcomed, especially by those who think gun control laws work.
Whether or not you want to have a gun is up to you. But don't try to take away my means of defending my family.
Posted by eric, a resident of another community
2 minutes ago
The NRA is known to aggressively troll message boards over news like this, and they are doing an effective job here.
Mayor Inks' decision to take a pass on a smart initiative in favor of rational gun control looks even more foolish in light of the days events. Mr. Inks, you are an embarrassment to our city. Your tea-party tone deaf views have no place in a highly educated city as ours.
Shame on you.
I was typing my own post and didn't see yours until just now. Please be the first to point out the fallacy in my post.
"You gun nuts defend the shooter and their rights time and again after every mass shooting." Where in the world do you get the idea that I and my fellow "gun nuts" are defending the shooter in this case or in any case where innocent people die?
As I understand it in 2004 the shooter had shot out someone's tires in a fit of rage. Later he fired a shot through his ceiling into the apartment of a lady he had had a disagreement with. No charges were filed in either instance. I can't speak for my fellow "gun nuts", but I think there should have been charges for the first incident at least. But some D.A. or judge who I assume wasn't a "gun nut" disagreed. I don't think given his past that he should have been allowed to have a gun. But of course that wouldn't have stopped him, irregardless of all the well-meaning but woefully misguided people out there who think gun control works.
For the record, I lived in Mtn. View for several years back in the early '70s. It was a nice town. And if I still lived there I'd be proud as punch of my mayor.
But, Eric, how about answering my previous post. Instead of just calling names, explain to us "gun nuts" just how gun control would remove guns from the hands of criminals and not just honest folks. Strange as it may seem, we would be just as happy as you if it worked.
Posted by SOP, a resident of Old Mountain View
22 minutes ago
I support MAIG and ask Inks to please reconsider his position.
I against all of these "residents of another community" budding in on our town dialog. Peace to all.
SOP, et al,
Last night you suggested that people who are not residents of MV ought to keep out of this discussion. And yet you want the MV mayor to respond to the misleading petition of a mayor 3000 miles away. Do you realize how ludicrous that sounds?
More to the point, I see why you would object to all this talk by outsiders were we discussing strictly a Mountain View matter, but we're not. This gun control madness affects us all equally.
Posted by JimA, a resident of Rex Manor
2 minutes ago
This is one of those issues that seems to really divide people. Either they are on one side or the other, there's really no middle ground.
But I still feel that it is part of a mayor's duty to represent their constituents, and I didn't see anywhere that the mayor had solicited anyone's opinion, he simply responded in a way that reflects HIS beliefs. Even if I agreed with the mayor's position, which I don't, I don't feel like he represents me.
There's nothing Mayor Inks could have done that would have been right in someone's eyes. It's similar to the old impossible question, "Have you stopped beating your wife?" What do you say, yes or no? If Mayor Inks signs the petition some people will be happy. If he doesn't sign it other people will be happy. What's the poor guy to do?
It's a shame the petition started in the first place. The only thing it did was put thousands of mayors around the country in a lose-lose situation, cause them and their town's folks mental anguish and unnecessary bickering, and end up not doing a darned thing.
Please change one word in the above post: "There's nothing Mayor Inks could have done that would have been right in EVERYONE'S eyes."
Ah, me, no matter how many times you proof something... :-)
Another tragic event happened early Saturday morning. A 51-year old husband and father was beaten into a coma by a gang of thugs outside his home. Here's the link:
Here, in a matter of seconds, a wife may have lost a husband and kids may have lost a father. A family will never be the same again. And, once they come to their senses, any decent kids that might have been in the gang that beat him will be guilt-ridden for life.
It hurts me to have to write this and it probably hurts you to read it. Because suppose - just suppose - when the wife heard a commotion outside, she walked to the doorway with a shotgun and fired a shot into the air. That would have ended the whole thing right there. Nobody would be hurt. The family would be whole. The gang of teens would have run off or been held for the police. But nobody would have been hurt. And all because of a single shot in the air.
For the past week Mountain View Online and Palo Alto Online have been stirring up emotions by repeatedly running the article about Mountain View's Mayor Inks refusing to sign a worthless petition by Mayor Bloomberg of New York. And we folks, you and I, have been happily joining in with our various viewpoints. But for me anyway, this beating article changed things, and I started thinking about the hopelessness of what we're doing. I'm not going to change your mind, and you're not going to change mine.
You can have your "easy peasy answers" and "reasonable and proper gun control", and I can have my "explain to us 'gun nuts' just how gun control would remove guns from the hands of criminals and not just honest folks" and "If Mayor Inks signs the petition some people will be happy. If he doesn't sign it other people will be happy. What's the poor guy to do?" And none of it means a thing. Not a word of what you or I or anyone else said could have prevented this poor soul from being beaten into a coma perhaps to death. What could have stopped it? What could have prevented so many lives being tragically affected? I've already told you.
A single shot in the air.
I'm afraid your argument has a fatal flaw.
Let me take you back about 30 years. It was about 4am and my wife and I were asleep. Suddenly a soft sound woke up my wife and she saw flashlights being shown through our bedroom window curtains. She woke me up. I reached under the bed and grabbed my .45 pistol. I went over and stood by the bathroom door as the flashlight lit up the bathroom. At that point I racked my gun. At that time of night the sound of the gun being cocked made a very loud sound that seemed to shake the house. The flashlight went out and that was the end of the story. Burglars don't like to invade homes where the occupants are able to defend themselves.
My wife told me I rolled over and went back to sleep, but she was awake the rest of the night. I've though about the incident many times over the years, and never without a shutter and a little prayer of thanks that I don't believe in gun control.
Now, do you think this event made the papers? Of course not. We didn't say anything, and if not us, who?
How many times a year do you think a similar situation happens that never makes the papers? Enough to make the statistics your article presents meaningless.