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Mayors Urge National Action Against Gun Violence

Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson said he will place the letter on the next City Council agenda for consideration.

A letter signed by 750 mayors in the nation — including dozens from California — is making the civic rounds, calling on Congress and the White House to take action to end gun violence in the country.

Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson said he would have the letter placed on next City Council agenda for consideration. The next scheduled City Council meeting is on Monday, Jan. 14.

The letter was written by the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns and was sent to President Obama this week in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting last week.

While the mayors are concentrating on gun control ideas, National Rifle Association President Wayne LaPierre on Friday called for schools to implement security based on "properly trained, armed 'good guys'."

In the mayors' letter, the group advocates that the White House and Congress to require all gun owners to pass a criminal background check, remove high-capacity weapons from the streets and make gun trafficking a federal crime.

It also urges the president to appoint an Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms director and prosecute people who try to purchase firearms when they know they aren't eligible to do so.

You can read the entire letter here.

Walnut Creek Mayor Cindy Silva said she wants to discuss the letter with her fellow council members as well as the police department before signing it.

This story originated on Walnut Creek Patch.

Tom Chesterman December 21, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Such political opportunism! None of these proposals would have changed the tragedy in Connecticut (and many are already law in California). He didn't buy the guns, he murdered the gun owner and stole the guns. Why can't we get more attention on the cause, instead of the tool? Let's talk about the failure of the mental health system, and the failure of the pharmaceutical industry.
Chris Nicholson December 21, 2012 at 07:25 PM
The title of the group tells the whole story "Mayors against illegal guns." Ironic, since the name is 180 degrees opposite of their intent. They are against legal guns. Illegal guns are already, ahem, illegal.....
Peter Kendall December 21, 2012 at 09:03 PM
While they're at it, they should also pass a law banning terrorism.
Dive Turn Work December 21, 2012 at 10:47 PM
This is far beyond the scope of the Council's role. It has no business being on the agenda.
KMC December 22, 2012 at 03:13 PM
I strongly urge the mayors of Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda sign this letter. It's directly relevant because it demands banning high-capacity weapons of the sort used in the Connecticut shooting and, sadly, elsewhere. I support passing laws of this sort and so should we all. Our kids are just as likely to be involved in tragedies like this as those at Sandy Hook Elementary. There's no way to prevent them entirely, but drastically reducing the number and accessibility of weapons that allow large numbers of people to be killed quickly will go a long was in that direction. It's a sane thing to do, and a change all Americans should be for.
Chris Nicholson December 22, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Orindan Says "Our kids are just as likely to be involved in tragedies like this as those at Sandy Hook Elementary." Which of course is true. And that shared likelihood is approximately zero. It is NOT "sane" to believe that any measure currently on the table will "go a long way" in the direction of reducing murders of school children. In fact, such belief would be irrational.
KMC December 23, 2012 at 06:36 AM
I disagree. If Adam Lanza had not had easy access, in his home, to weapons with high capacity magazines, capable of rapidly firing a large number of rounds without reloading, I believe many if not all of those children would be alive today. If his mother had been legally prevented from obtaining weapons of that sort, it is entirely possible none of this would have happened and both she and her son would be alive as well. The guns she had were not hunting rifles -- they were essentially military grade weapons. I believe no one, whether for self defense or even, however unlikely, for hunting, needs weapons of that sort in their home. I do not want weapons like that in my community. We and all out children are less safe because these weapons are still legal. This one step will obviously not prevent all school murders, but seems equally obvious that we need to start somewhere, and outlawing high capacity weapons looks to me like a very good place to begin.
Chris Nicholson December 23, 2012 at 06:56 AM
You are wrong. The only changes on the table would restrict new magazines to 10 rounds (already the law in CA, btw). Existing high capacity mags are legal. 10 round mags are about as deadly as 30 round mags, and changing mags takes a couple of seconds. Maybe you advocate banning and confiscating all guns other than bolt action ones? Not sure what you are proposing. Devil is in details. Menacing black plastics stocks have no impact on lethality.....WWI and WWII were fought with what you would call hunting rifles/ammo (more powerful than shooter's gun, btw). I think a few people died. Agree that the failure mode here was a mom who knew her kid was nuts decided to nonetheless have guns in the home tha weren't adequately secured. That's what we should focus on. New laws don't seem to be the answer. Awareness and education would be a better use of our efforts, IMHO. Parents are in position to know their kids' dangerous potential. That's where they intervention should happen.
KMC December 23, 2012 at 03:17 PM
I'm not sure what all the changes being proposed are. It just seems clear to me that in situations like the ones in Newtown and Portland, where high capacity military style "assault" rifles were obtained from family members, fewer people would die if those weapons were not available. As far as I can recall, there have been no mass killings in California since we banned sales of magazines over 10 rounds. That looks like a qualified success and a good place to start. Without a doubt, other changes, such as improvements in mental health care, should be looked at as well, but this one seems like common sense to me.
Chris Nicholson December 23, 2012 at 04:34 PM
"Qualified Success?" On the basis on no mass shootings in CA? What about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oikos_University_shooting [Ordinary .45 handgun] Also note that Columbine happened five years after the 1994 ban, and most deaths were from legal weapons.
John Heylin December 23, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Interesting how a gun tragedy was all it took to get the Right Wing behind Universal Health Care...
KMC December 24, 2012 at 05:42 AM
I'd forgotten about the Okios shooting, good point. But I still believe we'd all be safer if assault weapons and high-capacity guns in general were off-limits to the general public. I've never heard a convincing argument for doing otherwise. Incidentally, I noticed that Mayor Worth in Orinda signed the letter, for which I say 'thanks."
Chris Nicholson December 24, 2012 at 06:17 AM
@Orindan: Here's the argument: 1. The Second Amendment exists and applies to individuals (this was clarified and amplified AFTER the 1994 ban was enacted, so things are different this time around) 2. The guns in question (apart from 1994-2004) have always been legal 3. The burden is on the government to justify restrictions on Constitutional rights-- this is not a simple balancing test that would apply to other situations. 4. There is no credible evidence (despite EXTENSIVE study seeking a link) that the prior ban made any difference and, therefore, no reasonably expected benefit from its resurrection. 5. Having failed their burden, the ban should not (and potentially CANNOT) be renewed. Note that you question wrongly flips the burden. Newspapers don't need to prove the need or net benefit from publishing information. No one needs a "convincing argument" for why they deserve a jury trial. You get the idea. Even the strongly felt emotional reflexes of you and you ilk should never be sufficient to restrict a freedom guaranteed by the Constitution. You need more, but you don't have it.
KMC December 24, 2012 at 10:35 PM
I don't see it that way. Kids are getting killed and there's a straight forward way to reduce the number of victims by making high-powered, high-capacity guns unavailable to people like the boy in Connecticut. It seems very clear to me that we should pass a law to make guns like that essentially illegal. There's for sure more we can do and guns aren't the only problem, but this is something we can and should do now.
John Heylin December 27, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Already done. Thanks for your positive contribution to the discussion.
lovelafayette December 31, 2012 at 06:45 AM
It is too difficult to get help for those in psychic distress. "Call the 800 number on the back of your insurance card" and deal with uneducated "screners" is not good enough, if you don't have insurnace you are really out of luck. The first thing I would do is to use Obama Care to make mental health evaluations and services FREE FOR EVERYONE. Just show up at the psychiatric ER door, or be delivered by friends, family, police or any other caring person. No means test or proof of craziness test. Anyone who is willing to be admitted to a psych ward needs our instant help! This is a public health emergency. Many (but not all) of these serial killers and mass murderers involve persons who were identified by families/teachers/coworkers (going postal) as needing help. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
lovelafayette December 31, 2012 at 06:55 AM
The nation seems to want gun fanatics like Chris to keep their guns.New law needed: Gun owners must purchase a burglar-proof safe with the gun. "It was stolen" would no longer be an excuse to dodge responsibility. The logical consequence of owning a gun may be a loved one dying by that gun, but also must mean criminal prosecution if their (stolen) gun is used in a crime, prosecution as accessories to murder/assault/armed robbery/kidnapping. The NRA mom that supplied the guns/whose guns were stolen is dead (no loss there), but the courts should have a vehicle to use ALL her assets to replace some of what was stolen from this community. Building a new school, therapy for the survivors, funerals, retraining for teachers too traumatized to continue teaching...are not costs the community expected to incur. Gun owners need to face serious and expensive logical consequences for being irresponsible. Recently a police officers child died playing with his dad's gun, and another had his guns stolen in a home robbery. All their gun training made NO difference. If police cannot keep their service weapons and toddlers safe, is there really such a thing as responsbile gun ownership? Will the policeman be prosecuted when his stolen gun is used to kill humans?

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