Mountain View Voice

Opinion - September 27, 2013

Call for Inks to join Mayors Against Guns

by Josh Wolf

The recent shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., reminds us of the threat of gun violence in our daily lives.

Innocent people were shot at work, accounting for 12 of the 30,000 Americans who die from gun violence each year. They leave behind 30,000 families who wonder how their loss could have been prevented. As our elected representative, Mayor John Inks has the responsibility to take action to prevent gun violence on behalf of Mountain View residents.

I call on Mayor Inks to join the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition. Mayor Spitaleri in Sunnyvale and Mayor Scharff in Palo Alto stood with their constituents and joined the coalition, whose members believe "that we can do more to stop criminals from getting guns while also protecting the rights of citizens to freely own them."

Mayor Inks' refusal to join, as reported in the Voice, is based on a fundamental misinterpretation of the coalition. His assertion that the group "advocates heavier firearms restrictions and regulation instead of actually reducing gun violence" misrepresents the goals of the organization and ignores the documented success of gun violence prevention measures. His claim that the coalition is "fundamentally anti-gun" is at odds with the broad support for its policy proposals among gun owners. I want to set the record straight.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns promotes common sense measures to prevent gun violence, such as expanding the federal background check system. By law, licensed gun dealers must run background checks to avoid selling guns to criminals. This system has prevented 2 million guns from falling into dangerous hands. Nevertheless, criminals can buy firearms at gun shows or online because of a loophole that allows 6.6 million gun purchases each year to occur without a background check. To keep guns out of dangerous hands, background checks must be conducted whenever and wherever guns are sold. Ninty-two percent of Americans favor expanding background checks, including 74 percent of National Rifle Association members who know that background checks keep guns out of criminals' hands without infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Common sense measures to prevent gun violence save lives. In the early 1990s, California began requiring background checks for most gun purchases, and enacted other measures to prevent gun violence. In the last 20 years, the rate of gun deaths in California dropped by more than 50 percent, whereas the rate in other states dropped by only half of that. Unfortunately, state law cannot protect us from guns purchased in other states. A study by Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that guns sold in our neighboring state of Nevada are used in out-of-state gun crimes at more than twice the national average. We need national legislation to make sure more families don't lose loved ones to preventable gun violence.

I ask Mayor Inks to put aside his preconceived notions about gun violence prevention legislation and to support common sense measures to protect our community from the threat of illegal guns. I call on him to add Mountain View to the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition.

Josh Wolf is a leader in Organizing for Action's Silicon Valley North chapter and lives in Mountain View.

Comments

Posted by Jim Neal, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 16, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

Your position makes no sense. If the guns are already illegal, and criminals are BREAKING THE LAWS to get them, what good will more laws do? It appears that your aim is to make ALL guns illegal and thereby deny people the right to self defense that they are guaranteed in the Constitution. Thousands of people are killed every year by knives, bats, bricks, and pretty much anything that someone thinks will get the job done. When are you going to call for those items to be made illegal.

If you get what you want, crime and murder will skyrocket as criminals will know that the are free to prey on a defenseless public. The police do not prevent crime, they respond after a crime has been committed. They are no substitute for a good .45 when someone is breaking into your house or trying to kill you.


Jim Neal
Old Mountain View


Posted by konrad M. Sosnow, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 16, 2013 at 2:56 pm

John,

I support the use of guns for target practice, hunting, and defense of one's home.

Militia generally refers to a fighting force that is composed of non-professional fighters; citizens of a nation that can be called upon to enter a combat situation, as opposed to a professional force of regular soldiers. The second amendment was written to allow a citizen army to be armed to protect our country from professional soldiers, such as the Hessians who fought for the British. The reserves (Army, Navy and Air Force) fit this description. However, a bunch of shoot first and ask questions later hooligans does not.

I agree that Mayors Against Illegal Guns promotes common sense measures to prevent gun violence.

It is time that we raise the value of human life and abandon the Wild West culture.


Posted by konrad M. Sosnow, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm

@Jim,

O.K. You state that there is no substitute for a good .45 when someone is breaking into your house or trying to kill you. I agree that some people feel more comfortable with a handgun safely locked up at home.

Does that mean you want everyone to carry assault rifles with high capacity quick change magazines and laser sights? Mountain View today is not Tombstone Arizona of 1862.


Posted by Moreregulation, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 16, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Most of the gun nuts I know support background checks to make sure that felons and the mentally unbalanced cannot just run to the store (or go online), grab a gun and start blasting away. Mayors Against ILLEGAL Guns is about improving existing laws and procedures to make these background checks effective. Also, close loopholes (online, gun shows, etc..)

Seem reasonable to me.


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