Mayor won't join anti-gun violence coalition | September 13, 2013 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - September 13, 2013

Mayor won't join anti-gun violence coalition

Inks says group is against gun ownership

by Daniel DeBolt

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.

Email Daniel DeBolt at


Posted by Curious, a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 13, 2013 at 9:24 am

Since we rotate Mayors every year, shouldn't these types of decisions made by the whole City Council?

Posted by Greg David, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 13, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Greg David is a registered user.


The Mayor is the Mayor. His views are his alone. He need not succumb to the irrational views of other council members.

Our current Mayor Inks is the most level headed, rational mayor that Mountain View has seen in years.

Decisions based on reason, not passion. That is what our city needs. Not some pie in the sky utopian nonsense.




Posted by Curious, a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 13, 2013 at 9:56 pm

If his views are his views alone (and he's entitled to his), why didn't he just take a pass? Instead, it really sounds like he's projecting his views as the views of the City of Mountain View.

Posted by Scott, a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Sep 14, 2013 at 12:38 am

He did take a pass. He declined to join to group of mayors advocating that only government agents and criminals should have guns. Apparently, the local "press" was demanding an explanation from Mr. Inks.

Posted by Curious, a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 14, 2013 at 6:28 am

@Scott - Maybe next time, instead of regurgitating his libertarian doctrine, he can simply state that this is not in the Mayor's purview to join any organization on behalf of the City. In fact, I'd welcome him make this clarification.
@Scott/Greg - What if the next Mayor's opinions (and his/her opinions alone) are in favor of joining that group?

Posted by Chuck Zissman, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 15, 2013 at 9:25 am

I applaud Mayor Inks for making his decision based on his own analysis of the matter rather than simply joining MAIG, which would clearly have been the popular and politically correct thing to do in our decidedly liberal area.

Posted by Political Insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm

I agree with the above comments. The council has no business wasting time on this and other federal or state issues. While individual council members are free to endorse whatever cause they want, I applaud Mayor Inks for passing on this issue. I took a look at the web site and most of the points are useless since all they require is the enforcement of current laws. However one of the points takes aim at law biding citizens and their right to bear arms, so the group is also against legal ownership of guns. I also found a web site that lists Mayors who have taken their names off the list.

Posted by Greg David, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 15, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

@Curious (it would be nice to address you by your name, but apparently you feel you need to dispense your ideology anonymously)

If the next mayor were to choose to join MAIG, I would try to expose the true agenda of MAIG to them and would encourage others to do the same and encourage to not join and/or rescind their membership. If they do join as mayor, they are not joining on behalf of Mountain View, but rather as an individual that just happens to be mayor. I think any mayor that joins an organization like this, that has a hidden agenda to undermine the constitution, is being irresponsible in their position as mayor and should be censured or recalled. The City of Mountain View City Council Code of Conduct states the following in chapter 3.2.1 and 3.2.2:

3.2.1 Recognizing that stewardship of the public interest must be their primary concern, Councilmembers shall work for the common good of the people of Mountain View and not for any private or personal interest. Councilmembers must endeavor to treat all members of the public and issues before them in a fair and equitable manner.

3.2.2 Councilmembers shall comply with the laws of the nation, the State of California, and the City in the performance of their public duties. These laws include, but are not limited to: the United States and California constitutions; the Mountain View City Charter; laws pertaining to conflicts of interest, election campaigns, financial disclosures, employer responsibilities, and open processes of government; and City ordinances and policies.

Joining an organization like MAIG is something of a personal interest and supports a group attempting to violate the Constitution of the United States.

John Inks has acted appropriately as Mayor and hope that all future Mayors do so as well.

Greg David

Posted by Curious, a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 15, 2013 at 9:13 pm


The only point I made is that a one-year rotating mayor elected in a non-partisan election has no business deciding to join (or not) any organization on behalf of the City. As an individual, he's obviously free to do as he wishes; just don't mix our City with it.

What ideology do you see behind this statement?

Posted by Greg David, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 16, 2013 at 1:47 am

Greg David is a registered user.


Apparently we agree. My bad. John did the right thing.

You, on the othe hand, are still hiding behind a moniker.



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