Bonta helps raise money for slain child’s funeral

Here’s a role no lawmaker should ever have to play: helping to raise funds to cover the funeral expenses of a murdered child from his district.

Alaysha Carradine   (Family photo)Assemblyman Rob Bonta’s campaign sent out an e-mail this morning soliciting donations to help cover the funeral and burial costs for Alaysha Carradine, 8, who was killed last week during a sleepover at a friend’s home when someone sprayed the friend’s Oakland apartment with gunfire. Two other children were wounded.

“Now, a family which should have been buying clothes and supplies for third-grade is faced with funeral and burial expenses they cannot afford,” said the e-mail from Bonta, D-Oakland.

Bonta chairs the Assembly’s Select Committee on Gun Violence in the East Bay, which held its first hearing May 17 in Oakland.

Bonta’s e-mail says he and other East Bay figures including Oakland City Council members Rebecca Kaplan, Libby Schaaf and Lynette McElhaney as well as Port of Oakland Commissioner (and mayoral candidate) Bryan Parker have joined with the Khadafy Foundation for Non-Violence to raise the funds online.

All contributions are tax-deductible and any funds raised over the target amount will be donated to the foundation and used to help defray burial expenses for other children who might become victims of gun violence.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • MichaelB

    “For other children who might become victims of gun violence”.

    The mainstream media never missing an opportunity/doing their “job” on this issue (again) – trying to shift the blame away from the people who did this (violence/crime doesn’t happen all by itself Josh) to claim guns are or will randomly “cause” violence with children being the next “victims”.

    The “victim” is common sense. Guns do not load, point or squeeze triggers all by themselves. Bonta and others like him will never admit or understand this.

  • Josh Richman

    There’s no shifting of blame here, MichaelB; this blog post makes no judgment as to who is responsible. It’s just an indisputable fact that a slew of children have been shot in Oakland in recent years, including a dozen in this year alone.

  • MichaelB


    “Gun violence” is a propaganda term. Is any other kind of violence “acceptable” because guns were not used by the perpetrators? What’s more important – finding out why/stopping people who practice violent behavior or just focusing on the weapon/means used?

    I would expect Bonta to use it because it’s his political belief system/agenda to pass more gun control (bans in plain English) while shifting blame away from his policies that have not worked.

    So why are YOU using it? It’s just an indisputable fact that guns didn’t force anyone to abuse them/they do not do things by themselves.

  • Josh Richman

    @3 It seems you’re bringing a lot of your own baggage to this, MichaelB. Again, the post didn’t say anyone was forced to do anything. To most people, “gun violence” means violence involving guns, which accurately describes this case and the other dozen to which I linked. There hasn’t been a spate of child stabbings or child stranglings in Oakland – there’s been a spate of child shootings, and excess money from this fundraising drive will help lay future victims to rest.

  • MichaelB

    Bonta’s hearing link calls “gun violence” a “public health” issue and claims California’s gun laws (some of the strictest in the nation already) need to be expanded and are currently “flawed”.

    Like the criminals are really going to care/comply with new or expanded ones? Most people can figure out they won’t.

    If others want to waste people’s time being concerned about inanimate objects supposedly being responsible for a “public health” problem instead of our society/politicians that promote/reward/won’t address irresponsible behavior that’s their “baggage”. Do we (adults, that is) really need to have a debate as to who is “responsible” when a mechanical device is being abused by the operator while creating a special category for it (“gun violence”)? It’s a politically motivated action to promote soft on crime legislation.

    Haven’t YOU figured out yet Josh that most politicians in this state would rather just pay lip service to going after criminals practicing violence, ignoring the previous failures of gun control laws and coming up with creative ways of preventing people from legally owning/using them?

  • Josh Richman

    @5 Yes, Bonta makes no bones about being a staunch gun-control advocate. But this blog post was about raising money to help the family of a slain child; if you’ve got a problem with this, I can’t help that.

  • MichaelB


    I do have a problem with politicians/special interest organizations using children as “props” to further their agenda. And media outlets giving them free advertising/endorsements for it.

    Journalists are supposed to be the “watchdogs” of government and our elected officials. Did you ever consider the possibility this was just plain old opportunism on Bonta’s part at someone else’s suffering and expense? The girl was killed as a result of criminal misuse of guns and he’s a gun control advocate/politician wanting more firearms restrictions (for law abiding people that is) he claims are currently “flawed”.

    Would he have shown just as much “concern” if she had died of cancer or the result of an automobile accident and her family still could not afford the funeral expenses?

  • Josh Richman

    @7: So I’m a lousy journalist for reporting that this and some other politicians are doing something to benefit this grieving family in need? Bullshit. Whatever the motivation – and I think everyone knows politicians usually have some political reason for what they do – I think most objective observers would agree it’s a good cause without bogging it down in tiresome semantics.

    Again, “gun violence” means violence involving guns, and a dozen kids have been injured or killed because of it this year in Oakland; that’s not an opinion, just a plain fact. It’s fine to debate the causes and potential solutions of such violence, but if you have a problem with charitable action on behalf of a family whose child was senselessly snuffed out, that’s on you, not me.

  • JohnW



    MichaelB would be a worthy successor to Wayne LaPierre.

    Perhaps it would be a good idea for Josh to do a series on the child stabbings in Oakland. You know, kind of nip it in the old bud before it gets out of control like the “mechanical device” violence in our cities.

  • Alcoahead

    @1 —

    “Guns do not load, point or squeeze triggers all by themselves…” as a serious logical explanation for why further gun control should not be allowed? Really, dude?

    Nuclear weapons do not “mount themselves onto ICBMs”, or “aim themselves at distant lands”, or “automatically launch themselves” either — yet you would NOT disagree with me that some nut jobs in North Korea or Iran should NEVER be allowed to get their hands on such devices, precisely BECAUSE they will use said devices for great bodily harm to others.

    The same logic (restriction of access) is applied to other weapons of war — hand grenades, machine guns, and the like — and has been the Federal law of the land for several decades without dispute.

    It is time to recognize that too many “owners” of handguns and semi-automatic rifles (note I am NOT calling them Assault Rifles here) have acted so irresponsibly with those devices in urban and suburban settings that handguns and semi-automatic rifles are considered “weapons of urban/suburban warfare” by increasing numbers of our populace (including many loyal NRA members) — and must be restricted accordingly. (And I say this as a properly licensed and trained semi-automatic handgun owner.)

    Given how porous our boundaries are between rural and urban settings in this country, these restrictions need to be Federal, just like they are for hand grenades and machine guns.

  • Elwood

    @ 10

    “(And I say this as a properly licensed and trained semi-automatic handgun owner.)”

    Hopefully, yours will be one of the first guns they come for.

  • Alcoahead

    @11 —

    And who, pray tell, is this “they” that you refer to, and what immense powers will they have to confiscate (in this age of instant web-enabled, smartphone-powered videography) every one of the millions of legal and proper guns that “we” (unlike you) own, and how will “they” overpower all of “us” who own said legal and proper guns (with, I assume, bullets to go along with same), given that a relatively unarmed Egypt is overthrowing an elected dictator, while their military stands by and watches?

    Answers please, or STFU and crawl back under the post-1998 version Wayne LaPierre-sponsored rock that you just oozed out from under.

  • Elwood

    @ 12

    Help is available for your problem.

    Tranquilizers and therapy in a locked setting will have you feeling better in no time.

  • JohnW


    I must say that Alcoahead’s post @10 is one of the most insightful, well-stated arguments I have ever seen from him or anybody else on this topic. I would disagree on only one point, about the NRA.

    First, I think there are many rank and file NRA members who are completely sensible about guns and whose membership in the organization has nothing to do with the political agenda. I just wish more of them would speak up and smack down the extremists.

    Second, I doubt that many of the gun fetishists, NRA or not, would ever go anywhere near “urban warfare” zones. I’m thinking of the “open carry” crowd whose venue for flexing their Second Amendment muscle was Starbucks in Danville, Pleasanton and Walnut Creek.

  • Elwood

    @ 14

    John, it’s good that you agree with “the most insightful, well-stated arguments”.

    Except, of course, for the delusional parts.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    A politician doing fundraising with a poster child, with the media’s help. It’s 100% certain, anyone who donates money to this cause, will be asked for more money for another cause.
    In this day & age, funerals are a frivolous waste of money.
    If someone was dies with many friends & relatives, they hold a “Last party” or “Celebration of life” with photographs.
    Violence in Oakland starts with people beating their children. Why doesn’t the media try educating people against beating their children.

  • MichaelB


    Really dude? Not enough gun laws?

    California has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation and I guess there just are not enough imposed on the law abiding who have nothing to do with violence? The criminals are just waiting in line to comply with new ones like ammunition taxes, permits to purchase ammunition, magazine turn in and registration programs? Is this your “logic” to reduce violence?

    “Gun violence” is pejorative term used by politicians/activists to portray firearms as inherently evil while claiming they increase criminal activity. Guns (which have been around/available for hundreds of years in this nation) do not initate nor carry out violent acts. Criminals do.

    If you have issues with people abusing firearms then address them personally with law enforcement. Some of us are not buying the collectivist “public health” BS being promoted by left wing politicians who rationalize criminal activity and stick their noses up at the Constitution.

  • MichaelB


    I wouldn’t go around patting yourself on the back about being “sensible”.

    It’s pretty obvious to those paying attention that gun control advocates/liberals/progressives never run out of so called “reasonable” or “sensible” things they want to impose on the law abiding who want to own guns. And they don’t believe in the 2nd Amendment. There is nothing “sensible” whatsoever to force law abiding people in California to turn in their over 10 cartridge magazines or get liability insurance to keep their guns (bills introduced in Sacramento).

    Criminals could care less.

  • MichaelB


    How about the Governor of New York State – Andrew Cuomo being quoted earlier that “confiscation was an option” in response to the Sandy Hook shootings? The government can simply make guns they wish to ban illegal and you can be subject to arrest if you have one. If you have a magazine with more than 7 rounds in it in New York you can be arrested.

    If you paid attention you might also remember politicians also signing the praises of what was done in Australia – government sponsored mandatory “buy backs” of legally owned firearms.

  • MichaelB


    So there’s going to be a big crime prevention windfall by making law abiding people who legally own handguns and semiautomatic rifles to get the same Class III license/”destructive device” permit needed for machine guns?

    Gang members and drug dealers will fill out their forms an be immediately taken into custody as a result?

    Yeah right. What’s more likely to happen is those who complied would see their fees/costs increase to discourage ownership. Bill Clinton did the same thing with FFLs in his first term as President to get rid of so called “kitchen table” gun dealers.

  • MichaelB


    I can’t help it you can’t figure out that guns do not initiate nor carry out violent acts. Somebody is doing it and it’s not a “public health” issue either. Criminals are not being “infected” by gun manufacturers or the so called “gun lobby”. Most people support the 2nd Amendment.

    If you intervene/make people stop certain behaviors (with guns or anything else)violence will not be a problem. I don’t know why people insist on diverting attention away from this by creating/dwelling on terms such as “gun violence” as though that will solve anything (other than just using it to justify more gun laws that criminals ignore).

  • MichaelB


    Charitable actions are just fine for those in need/have suffered losses regardless of circumstances. I don’t have an issue with that. Using deceased children for political posturing/gain is disgusting.

    Here’s the BS part – you sounding more like a politician or a gun control public service announcement instead of a journalist – “a dozen kids have been killed or injured by it (“gun violence”) in Oakland this year”.

    It’s just a plain fact that you can’t blame the gun all by itself. How about being an “objective observer” instead of just providing the predictable emotional appeal on this issue?

  • JohnW

    So, MichaelB, let’s cut to the chase.

    Do you support any gun restrictions? Or should anybody old enough to have a cell phone be able to carry firearms of any type, wherever they like, whenever they like, without any background checks or record of purchase?

  • MichaelB



    When was the last time someone heard/read in the news that a person who was stabbed or beaten was a victim of “blunt instrument violence”, “fist violence” or “sharp object violence”? Most people use these kind of terms and definitions on a regular basis?

    Sounds like some “baggage” is being added instead. I guess we just HAVE to be told a gun was involved or the coverage would not be complete?

  • RRSenile columnist

    Khadafy? Any relation to Muammar’s clan?

  • Josh Richman

    @22 – Ah, so you’d prefer that instead of “gun violence” I write “violence that just happened to involve the use of a gun by a criminal who probably wasn’t supposed to have that gun but did anyway and could’ve chosen some other means had he wanted?” Yeah, that really rolls off the tongue – and it isn’t going to happen. “Gun violence” is “violence committed using a gun;” everybody knows a human being pulled the trigger, and that the gun didn’t fire itself. We’re not going to kowtow to a politically (in)correct semantic complaint.

    Again, a dozen kids HAVE been injured or killed by gun violence in Oakland this year, many under circumstances that could not have existed by any other means of violence. You can’t randomly stab a child through a closed door, as Carradine was shot; you can’t spray a street with stranglings, only with bullets. If you think murdered children is a subject inherently unsuitable for reporting just because it involves emotion and/or just because a politician is in some way involved – well, too bad.

    @24, if a vast majority of homicides were being committed by stabbing, perhaps we would indeed call it “knife violence.” The indisputable fact is, in Oakland and other cities like it, the vast majority of homicides involve guns. And if you think we’re going deliberately withhold details of a crime like this – e.g. the means, in this case a gun – that’s truly nuts.

  • JohnW


    In fact, stories do get reported all the time when somebody does bodily damage by means of stabbing, blunt object and fists.

    We all remember the near-fatal and life-altering beating of Giants fan, Brian Stow, outside Dodger stadium.

    Modesto boy stabbed in weekend melee at fast food restaurant — CC Times 3/12/13

    Livermore man stabbed several times in gang-related attack 3/20/11

    Then there is the story of the man who died after being stabbed by a software engineer during road rage incident in Livermore.

    What’s up with all the stabbings in Livermore?

    There have also been numerous local stories about people who were shot or tasered by police officers after they threatened the officers with knives.

    MichaelB, I think I just violently destroyed your claims about other means of violence not being reported. Means of violence: words and facts — very dangerous!

  • JohnW

    @25 “Khadafy.”

    Marilyn Washington Harris founded the Khadafy Foundation for Non-Violence as a tribute to her son, Khadafy Washington, who was slain on the streets of West Oakland on August 4, 2000.

  • Elwood

    The latest police term for a weapon used in stabbing, slashing, throat cutting etc. is not knife but “edged weapon”.

    Perhaps it makes the victim less dead.

  • Elwood

    @ 28

    If I were a black woman who wanted to stigmatize her son for life, I would name him Khadafy Washington.

  • MichaelB


    “Gun violence is violence committed using a gun – everybody knows a human being pulled the trigger and that the gun didn’t fire by itself”.

    Everyone does not “know” Josh – or they just won’t admit it because it doesn’t fit in with their political agenda. We get excuses/rationalizations when people commit acts of violence like this when it’s obvious what actually did happen.

    Why do you think politicians have tried to reframe the “gun violence” issue as a “public health” problem instead of a personal responsibility/law enforcement one? Why do they demand firearms bans/confiscation schemes for legal/lawful owners having absolutely nothing to do with crime or violence for so called “prevention” purposes? Why do people try filing frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers for the actions of criminals/amount of street violence? Why do people protest and carry signs blaming guns or the “gun lobby” (not the criminals) in high crime areas that they live in? Why did the city of Oakland run Siegels gun shop out of business (selling legal products with legal transactions) about 10 years ago with a “violence prevention” tax on their operations? Too many members of the media kowtow to this/don’t question it.

    If you want to know why we have problems with violence, this is why. There’s no accountability on those who practice it.

  • MichaelB


    But there isn’t a press conference held shortly afterward/legislation introduced immediately demanding a restriction on the items used for everyone else not involved. Or a debate as to who was really responsible for what actually took place (personal accountability vs. “collective” guilt or “public health”).

    Does anyone blame GM/want a car ban after someone was caught driving drunk in a Buick?

    Not the same with guns. If you’ve got one you/the gun shop/gun show/etc. are all “collectively guilty” of anything that someone else does with theirs whether you participated in it or not. And they need to be done away with for everyone.

    I think I just pointed out the silliness of so called “progressives” and why the term “gun violence” is not what it appears to be despite Josh thinking it’s really just cut and dry/understood by everyone.

  • Josh Richman

    @31 – People don’t know that guns aren’t firing themselves? Either I’ve overestimated the public’s intelligence, or you’re doing some rationalization of your own; I’m confident that it’s the latter. I also think the public realizes that the vast majority of U.S. gun owners are not and never will be criminals, but also that the vast majority of homicides in cities like Oakland are committed by criminals using guns.

    @32 – I love it when someone raises the “car ban” argument without noting that cars aren’t designed to be weapons and must be registered with the government, or that you can’t legally drive one without a government-issued license.

  • Elwood

    @ 33

    ” Either I’ve overestimated the public’s intelligence”

    “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” H.L. Mencken

  • MichaelB


    No rationalization needed and I guess you didn’t bother reading what else I wrote either. I put the word “know” in quotation marks for a reason. But obviously it went right over your head – we just get excuses from the left wing for people who deliberately abuse guns/have a history of doing so as though they were being “forced” to do it vs. them actually being responsible. It’s conveniently the “fault” of someone or something else that they did what they did. Yeah right. Sure it is.

    More legal regulations/bans on guns for people who have nothing to do with violence (the most common response to these kind of incidents in the news from most of our elected officials in this state and other “progressive” ones) isn’t going to fix street crime/affect those who don’t comply with them in the first place.

    Why don’t YOU do a story on this issue and ask why are we wasting the time with ineffective silliness like magazine turn in programs/gun owner insurance requirements that Democrats in Sacramento want instead of using law enforcement resources that actually prevent more kids from being injured right now? I’m not holding my breath.

  • I’m not always Rob Bonta’s biggest supporter, but here I think he tried to do a good thing. Maybe it was a self-serving thing as well, but pretty much every public thing a politician does is self-serving. As long as it’s also good, I don’t have a problem with that.

    I do have a problem, however, with someone like MichaelB using this to make yet another pro-gun argument. I support respecting the 2nd amendment – and I’m often the lone Democratic voice doing so -, but the time to make an anti-gun control argument is not the funeral of a girl who was killed by a gun.

    And let’s be honest here, “gun violence” is unlike other-weapon violence precisely because the victims are often not necessarily the intended targets, this is often the case with respect to children. And it’s much easier to shoot a child from afar, than to look her in the eye and then stab her. I don’t believe for a second that Alaysha would be dead today if the killer only had a knife. Let’s not be naive about that.

  • Elwood

    @ 36

    Everything a politician does is self serving to a greater or lesser extent.

    ” “gun violence” is unlike other-weapon violence precisely because the victims are often not necessarily the intended targets”

    We need to give these little scumbag punks marksmanship lessons.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    I can’t remember the last time anyone in Lafayette was shot with a gun, other than by the police. The #1 group doing gun violence, outside of Oakland. Why don’t the politicians take the guns away from the police? Set an example.
    A late, NRA for life, friend, told me that a gun makes a coward brave.
    This story was about some politician’s publicity stunt. Then it got back to the only subject people love to argue.