Lawmakers remember Newtown in varied ways

Tomorrow marks one year since the Newtown school shooting massacre, and as the nation considers what has and hasn’t happened as a result, Bay Area lawmakers are observing the awful anniversary in various ways.

Nancy PelosiHouse Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, will speak at a Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America event Saturday morning at St. Vincent de Paul Church in San Francisco. She’ll be joined there by families of victims of gun violence.

“It’s hard to believe that an entire year has passed since that horrific day – yet it’s even harder to believe that, despite so many promises of action, too many in Congress have advocated only inaction in the fight to prevent gun violence,” Pelosi said Friday. “In the wake this solemn anniversary, that must change. Indeed, our most lasting memorial to the victims of Newtown would be to enact a comprehensive agenda to prevent gun violence, starting with the bipartisan, King-Thompson legislation to expand background checks.”

Rep. Mike Thompson – co-author of that background-check bill and Pelosi’s appointed point man on gun violence issues – joined congresswomen Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn.; Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.; and Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-DC, in an “act of kindness” Friday to mark the anniversary.

Mike ThompsonOfficials in Newtown have urged those who wish to honor the memory of the victims to engage in acts of kindness, and so the four House members helped prepare meals at Martha’s Table, a Washington, D.C, nonprofit that provides healthy meals and education rpograms to nearly 300 children, plus meals and groceries to hundreds of homeless and low-income people.

Thompson, D-Napa, and H.R. 1565 co-author Pete King, R-N.Y., issued a statement Friday noting that in the year since Newtown “more than 10,000 people have been killed by someone using a gun and Congress has done nothing to reduce gun violence. That is unacceptable.

“Congress needs to act, and we should start by passing our bipartisan background check bill so that criminals, terrorists, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill do not have easy access to guns,” the lawmakers wrote. “187 of our colleagues have co-authored this legislation and more have said they’d vote for it if the bill was brought to the floor. It’s time to get this bill passed and signed into law.”

honda.jpgAnd Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose, will speak Saturday at a gun buyback event at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in San Jose, organized by a coalition of South Bay civic organizations. People will be able to anonymously exchange handguns for up to $200 in gift cards; Assemblywoman Nora Campos, San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel, City Councilman Xavier Campos, Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen, and Father Jon Pedigo of Our Lady of Guadalupe also are scheduled to speak.

Honda on Friday called the buyback “a concrete step to get as many dangerous weapons off the streets at possible.”

“It has been one year since the tragic events at Newtown, and we will always remember those who are no longer with us. It is important to not only protect young children, however, but all of our citizens, and I will continue to fight for real change to our gun laws,” Honda said Friday, saying he has worked to increase funding for background checks and tried to block efforts to make it harder for police to track criminals using illegal guns. “Reducing needless gun violence is one of the key moral causes of our time.”

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.

  • Elwood

    What, no Bobbie Lee? How can we form an intelligent opinion without knowing what Bobbie Lee thinks?

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Another senseless shooting, friends, and despite all my heartfelt, humane and highly intelligent efforts, Tea Party bigots, the big gun lobby and bitter country people clinging to their guns and Bibles have blocked the will of the vast majority of the people, here both legally and otherwise, to enact meaningful gun control legislation. —Yrs truly, B. Lee, she who speaks for thee

  • JohnW

    If you ever wondered why some of us of think of gun rights activists as being a tad nutty, check out this link.


  • Elwood

    I think of the Huffy Post as being a tad nutty.

  • JohnW

    Surely you jest Elwood. A liberal online website is hardly in the same league as an elected state official suggesting the possible need for armed rebellion if a certain person (a Republican yet) gets elected to the Senate.

  • MichaelB

    The “nutty” ones are people who think guns suddenly “cause” violence/people who have them are all incompetents – even though they have been available/owned by millions in this nation legally/responsibly for hundreds of years.

    So why do progressives/liberals think this way? Especially after lecturing everyone else about the need for “tolerance” and “diversity”.

  • JohnW

    One of the pleasures derived from posting my thoughts about guns is the predictable elevation in MichaelB’s blood pressure reading. Not to worry. With ObamaCare, you can get it treated, if you don’t first keel over from an aneurysm triggered by dealing with the website.

    So, MichaelB, let’s not change the subject and rant about liberals and progressives. I take it you share the views expressed by the N.H. state representative to the effect that armed rebellion (i.e., overthrowing the duly elected government) may be required if the likes of Scott Brown (Republican) are elected to public office.

    You are welcome to your opinions on “progressives/liberals” or gun issues. But do you agree or disagree that the comments from the state representative are “nutty?”

  • MichaelB

    “If you ever wondered why some of us of think of gun rights activists as being a tad nutty, check out this link.”

    Talk about being predictable.

    I guess you are exactly that to think that a comment from a particular state representative means that everyone who supports the 2nd Amendment deserves to be referred to as “nutty”? I take it you share this view?

    And from a website that predictably is going to oppose gun rights no matter who the spokesperson is/what they say? Is this really all you have other than the worn out “let’s pass more gun control laws”?

  • Elwood

    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. –Thomas Jefferson

    When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty. –Ibid

    You may remember old Tom. There’s a rather large memorial to him in D.C.

  • JohnW

    Tut-tut. Didn’t answer the question. Surely you don’t support what that state rep said. Why not say so? Or maybe…!

    No, I don’t think everyone who supports the 2nd Amendment deserves to be referred to as “nutty.” However, I would say that a significant portion of those who fall into the activist category are either Ted Nugent nutty or NRA opportunistic.

    And what does it matter where the story about the New Hampshire state rep. came from? I don’t care if it was in Pravda or the Skinhead Daily Planet. Either it was accurately reported or it wasn’t. Nobody has disputed the accuracy.

  • JohnW

    Yeah right, Elwood. I can just see all those guys like the N.H. rep out there doing that. The only thing they would be refreshing the tree of liberty with is a refill at Starbucks.

  • MichaelB

    Another example of you just not getting it on this issue. Or spending too much time at the Huffington Post.

    Supporters of gun rights frequently point to the failure of previous gun control proposals, that those with permits to carry guns have not caused “wild west shootouts”, the ability to defend oneself from harm, comments from the Founding Fathers regarding the rationale for the 2nd Amendment, etc.

    The “nutty” part is coming from the other side – “do it for the children”, “there are too many guns”, “gun manufacturers are bankrolling crime”, calls for confiscation of legally owned property from the law abiding, etc. So you explain why this is “rational” reasoning. It’s not.

  • JohnW

    Okay, MichaelB, you win. No matter what I do, you aren’t going to comment on the A-hole state rep in N.H.

    You seem to be under the impression that Huffington Post is my primary source of news. Not true, but perhaps you could share your recommended reading list for daily news and information. I can hardly wait.