We've been quiet on the mass-shooting in Florida today as we've been waiting for the latest updates to come in, and to hear from Congressman Tom McClintock as well as our three candidates running to replace him.
So far, it appears at least 17 people have been killed by a 19 year-old, former student who came, armed with an AR-15, pulled the fire alarm to presumably get students and teachers to exit their classrooms, and began to open fire. (During an active-shooter lockdown, heavy doors are locked to prevent entry into a classroom.)
It's been over nine hours since the shooting and we've been waiting for McClintock to make some kind of statement. If nothing else, "thoughts and prayers," but so far – NOTHING.
This is not surprising. Tom McClintock has been a strident supporter of the NRA and has a perfect record in voting to support the relaxing of gun restrictions/regulations. He voted for a bill that would relax regulations preventing people with severe mental illness from buying guns. He voted for a bill that would allow civilians to purchase silencers and armor-piercing bullets, and recently voted for a bill that allows concealed-carry permit holders to carry concealed weapons across state lines. (All three bills were opposed by local law enforcement agencies across the country.) To date, he’s received nearly $20,000 in blood money from the NRA.
Mass shootings are on the rise in America. Today, virtually every parent across the country thought about picking their children up from school early or actually did so. We now live in a state of constant fear. How will students and teachers react the next time they hear an unscheduled fire alarm?
For 10 years from 1994 to 2004, we lived under the relative protection of the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act (also known as the Federal Assault Weapons Ban). In 2004, Congress and President Bush allowed the ban to expire and new, affordable semiautomatic rifles like the AR-15 began to flood the market. In fact, as recent as 2012 you could buy your own AR-15 while picking up a case of beer and potato chips at WalMart. After Obama was elected in 2008, gun sales surged with many gun “enthusiasts” worried that the ban would be renewed. It never was, and today you can buy an AR-15 for as little as $399.00.
Now we are realizing the full effect of the NRA’s vision to flood our communities with military-grade killing machines:
Of course, the ban on “assault weapons” similar to the AR-15 must be renewed. We also need more intensive background checks, and elimination of the "gun-show loophole" and other private sales. Guns should be registered, of course, as should purchases of ammunition and gun accessories. Bump-stocks could be made illegal right now; something nearly everyone in agreed with, (including the NRA!) yet no action has been taken.
With three candidates all vying to win the Primary election in June and run to replace McClintock, this is a clarifying moment where we have the opportunity to know exactly where each candidate stands on the issue of common sense gun control. So far, we have a mixed bag: Roza Calderon was clearly deeply affected by today’s event’s and didn’t hold back, making her position clear on both Facebook and Twitter:
Jessica Morse has said nothing on Facebook beyond a Valentine’s Day post 8 hours after the shooting started, but she did make a statement on Twitter. It was less clear what actions she would take:
Regina Bateson retweeted a tweet from Adam Schiff, then posted a Valentines Day tweet. Nothing on Facebook other than the same Valentine’s Day post:
Note - All three candidates lack a position statement on their websites relating to gun control.
We have a good problem to have in CA-04 with three, amazing, highly-qualified candidates running to replace carpetbagger and NRA shill Tom McClintock, but it is a problem and has caused a degree of anxiety for many of us involved in the Resistance.
In moments like this after a national crisis on the highest order, we have the opportunity to see how each candidate would step-up and fight for what we believe in. To be fair, Regina and Jessica may be acting cautiously, waiting for more information before they make more formal statements, and we do hope to hear more from them tomorrow on what they would do to reenact the assault weapons ban and fight for common-sense gun regulations. However, at this flashpoint when emotions are high and our nation is in despair, it is good to know we will have a representative who will lunge forward, speak out to represent her home district, and demand action.
Thank you Roza for saying what we all feel.
Regina. Jessica – We need more.
UPDATE: WEDNESDAY FEB 15 - 2:30 PM
It's been more than 24 hours, and still not a word from Congressman Tom McClintock on the shooting in Florida.
Regina Bateson has made a response on Facebook and Twitter:
She has made a statement in support of universal background checks. Presumably, she is calling for an end to the "gun show loophole" and online sales, though she doesn't explicitly say that.
There has been no update on policy from Jessica as of yet. For both candidates, several questions still remain:
- Would they call for a ban on semiautomatic rifles such as the AR-15?
- Would they call for a ban on gun sales to individuals with severe mental illness?
- Would they call for a ban on gun sales to individuals with a history of domestic violence or multiple violent misdemeanors?
- Would they support a federal gun buyback program?
- What other ideas do they have for gun control?
We anxiously await their answers.
Jessica Morse has sent out an email in which she states "In California, we are lucky to have some of the strongest, and most effective, gun safety policies in the country - background checks on all gun sales, required waiting periods, and a ban on assault weapons. I want to take these common sense protections we already have in California and make them federal policy."