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Bay Area Officials On Gun Laws, Yee's New Bill

In the aftermath of two mass shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin, Bay Area lawmakers and gun rights activists disagree on how to proceed.

The of six people over the weekend at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin was the second mass-murder committed using firearms in the United States within two weeks. The temple shooting followed in mid-July which killed 12 people.

The two recent attacks have raised the question of how best to prevent future incidents such as these from occurring.

California Democratic lawmakers such as Sen. Leland Yee contend that the best way to prevent mass shootings is by creating stricter regulations on the purchase of weapons, particularly assault weapons and semi-automatic weapons which have the potential to exert the greatest damage.

Yee recently introduced , a bill to limit the damage that can be caused by semi-automatic weapons and assault weapons. The intent, Yee says, is to prevent weapons from being easily reloaded with multiple rounds of ammunition.

Join this conversation in about the potential ban on the "bullet button."

“While most gun owners are law-abiding, it is a fact that such weapons are more likely to be used to kill an innocent person than used in self-defense," Yee said. "One only needs to look at England, Japan, and other nations with strict gun access to see that these types of gun control laws are effective in preventing gun-related homicides."

His bill has recently gained support from other Democratic politicians including Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Adam Keigwin, Senator Yee’s spokesperson, added that this is only one of many steps needed to reduce gun violence.

Other steps needed, according to Keigwin, include mandatory psychological treatment such as anti-depressant drugs, which would decrease the likelihood of a person in a volatile state from committing a violent crime.

Keigwin stressed that while Democratic lawmakers such as Yee support second-amendment rights including ownership of hunting rifles and other single shot weapons. The type of weapons on the market today are too harmful to be available to anyone," he said.

“Our founding fathers could not have imagined the weapons that exist today,” said Keigwin

Gun rights activists such as Scott Jackson strongly disagree with the regulatory approach being pursued by Democrats.

According to Jackson, the Chief Instructor for the Bay Area Firearms Training Group, blaming guns for mass killings is akin to blaming cars for vehicle accidents.

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” said Jackson.

Jackson stressed that psychoactive drugs are the cause of mass murders rather than the solution.

“Every horrific crime is because people are on anti-depressants and psychoactive drugs,” Jackson said, adding that both the shooters in Colorado and Wisconsin were on such drugs during the time of the shooting.

Jackson contends that the reason drugs are framed as the solution rather than the problem is due to the money in the pharmaceutical industry.

“Pharmaceutical companies are liars and corrupt. They buy off senators and congressmen,” said Jackson.

Jackson said the ideal solution to gun violence is two-fold.

First, Jackson claims that allowing concealed weapons will act as a deterrent to potential shooters.

Jackson points out an example of a church shooting, where after the first shot was fired from the shooter, an armed parishioner returned fire, killing the shooter and potentially preventing a massacre.

Second, Jackson says media outlets must refrain from publicizing information about the shooters, as it encourages copy-cat killing.

Jackson discusses the example of Canada, where the media does not publish information about shooters; rather they are discretely tried and sent to prison.

“We have to stop making an idol of these kind of people,” said Jackson.

Both Yee and Jackson point to statistics on how their ideas of increased regulations or decreased regulations respectively can decrease homicide rates substantially.

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Tina August 07, 2012 at 05:23 PM
If people kill people, how are the able t get these guns in the first place. It so easy for them to get semi automatic guns which has no place on this earth. It can kill many people at one time, which there is no way anyone t defend themseves. We don't needs these guns. We need stricter laws. Gun shops are willing t sell anything t make a profit. We need the public t sign a petition or something t have STRICTER LAWS. DO ThIS NOW BEFORE AMOTHER INCIDENT HAPPENS AGAIN. T write t ur CONGRESSMAN. T
AL August 08, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Laws prevent or restrict law abiding citizens from purchasing firearms and restrict the usage of said firearms. Criminals careless for these laws as ILLEGAL GUNS will always find their way into a criminals hands. Would you like to be caught at home without protection? if a criminal breaks into your home to rape/assault/murder you or one of your loved ones? I do not think so. Yes, police are there but they cannot be everywhere at once and the likelihood of something like this occurring to you or someone you know is not a chance I would like to bet on. If you think outside the box you would obtain better results. Examples: instead of banning online purchase of ammunition - track it. All sales of more than 1000 rounds at any given time should be checked. If buyer is know legal firearms hobbyists- should be okay. If unknown and just purchased firearm- red flag and inspect. another would be to consider more CCW permits. if criminals know their odds of bumping into someone who could potentially have a firearm, then they will have second thoughts about committing crimes. If you are found to have a mental condition or psychiatric problem- firearms are detained until you are cleared or they are seized if you are not cleared by a psychiatrist. just my 2 cents
Mike August 08, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Remember the "mass murders" and assisation attempts we've seen happen are not happening in California. California already has the strictest gun control laws in the nation. For the most part our state laws appear to be working. However, that would be difficult to get the widows, family members and friends of the 4 Oakland Police Officers who were killed in 2009 by a convicted felon who, was on parole and in possessipon of firearms the law forbid him to have. The challenge is the "bad guys" do not care about laws, and those who have a "diminished mental capacity" do not fully "understand the consequences" of their actions so putting more laws on the books for these kind of people (which appears to be the kind of people committing these horrific acts) to ignore or not appreciate is just plain not going to accomplish anything other than to make things more difficult for law abiding, sane citizens who hunt, or are involved in firearms markmenship. Texas on the other hand has some of the lmost lax gun control laws in the nation and we do not see that state having much of a problem..
Mike August 08, 2012 at 05:38 PM
At a young age my father taught me about firearm safety and brought me hunting. Later in life I served my country as a Marine during the Vietnam War. It was then that I qualified as a expert marksmen (both a rifle and pistol). Upon my honorable separation from active duty I worked 2 years in (armed) private security often providing services to high profile individuals. I also served 3 years as a city police officer. I left law enforcement and went to work for a fortune 100 Corporation. I worked with a single corporation for many years, and still used firearms. Today I’m retired. I own firearms, but no longer hunt. Firearm marksmanship is one of my hobbies and it is one in which family members and friends frequently join me in. So, I’ve been exposed to firearms most of my life and in a variety of situations. As a result I’ve learned several things about gun control, four of those things I am absolutely convinced are true. 1. Like most laws gun control laws don’t stop criminals from committing crimes. Criminals don’t care about our laws. Criminals live outside the law and that is why they are often called "outlaws". 2. Gun control laws only restrict law abiding citizens who in some cases we may be better off not restricting. 3. People who have a mental disorder that can result in them committing a murder, or multiple murders do not have the mental capacity to “think clearly” so they will kill. 4. Not everyone should own a firearm nor should everyone drive a car.
Mike August 08, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Good points Al. What I also find interesting is that California, a state with the strictest gun control laws in the country is considering more gun control laws. Are the ones that we have not working? I think the widows and families of 4 murdered Oakland Police Officers might agree. After all wasn't that murderer a convicted felon who was on parole in possession of firearms that our gun control laws forbids him to possess. Many should look at Texas a state with what is probably the most lenient gun control in the nation. Sure doesn’t appear to be much of problem in Texas.

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