At least two gunmen murdered at least six people and wounded another 12 in Sacramento’s bloodiest mass shooting in history early Sunday morning, just steps from the state Capitol, where lawmakers have passed probably the strongest gun control legislation in the nation.
It’ll undoubtedly raise further concerns about what political leaders can do to address escalating gun violence and crime before Californians vote in the primary on June 7.
Governor Gavin Newsom, who is on vacation with his family, said the nation must halt the “scourge of gun violence.” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg has called for stricter gun legislation, however it’s unclear what kind of weapons the shooters used.
Attorney General Rob Bonta, a progressive Democrat running against tough-on-crime independent Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert and Republicans Nathan Hochman and Eric Early in one of the state’s most closely watched primary races, emphasised that he’s in the business of keeping Californians safe.
“My office will continue to strive to remove illegal firearms from our streets, hold those responsible for gun violence accountable, and advocate for – and defend in court — reasonable gun regulations,” Bonta said.
A bundle of gun control proposals was recently presented by Newsom, Bonta, and Democratic legislators. However, such efforts may not be enough to console Californians still traumatised by mass killings at a Sacramento church last month and a San Jose railyard last year, or the places of worship that just obtained state cash to add bulletproof glass and employ armed guards.
Furthermore, there is no clear agreement on the best strategy to deal with gun violence. While some are advocating for more law police presence, others, such as Sacramento City Councilmember Katie Valenzuela, who represents the downtown area where the mass shooting happened, believe it will not be enough to halt the violence.
The Sacramento Bee quoted Sam Paredes, the executive director of Gun Owners of California, as saying that politicians’ “knee-jerk response is to go after weapons,” while the true reasons fueling gun violence might be mental, economic, or medical.
It’s a discussion that’s raging throughout the state, with San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin facing a recall election on June 7 and disgruntled Los Angeles County voters gathering signatures to unseat District Attorney George Gascón. In this context, the two progressive prosecutors’ areas are debating the best strategy to deal with growing drug addiction and homelessness.
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