Morning Brief: Senate Breaks Logjam On Gun Control But Some Are Left Wanting
Good morning, L.A. It’s Monday, June 13.
It’s been less than three weeks since a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Since then, there have been more than two dozen mass shootings in the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Like many of you, I’ve grown tired of the “thoughts and prayers” and lack of meaningful action. On Sunday morning, the Senate finally came together on a bipartisan framework for a package of gun regulation that could prevent mass shootings in the future. It still falls short of what President Joe Biden asked for earlier this month, and what activists who marched this weekend say they want. But, if enacted, it would be the most important piece of gun-safety legislation by Congress in nearly 30 years.
Here are some of the measures in it:
- Encourage states to implement “red flag” laws that would allow weapons to be temporarily taken away from people who may be a danger
- Enhance background checks for buyers between ages of 18 and 21
- Prohibit people convicted of domestic violence from buying a gun
- Improve school security and mental health programs.
After seeing the news, I talked to a couple of my fellow Angelenos about what they thought, and was mostly met with dissatisfaction and dismay. Patricia is a 29-year-old mother of a soon-to-be kindergartner I met in Echo Park. She didn’t want to provide her last name but says she considers the proposal a public relations move. Her eyes swelled up as she talked about how hard it was to see the news on the Uvalde shooting while she searched for schools for her daughter.
“I just had the ‘bad guy talk’ with her about where was the best place to hide in the classroom,” Patricia says. “She just said, ‘I would hop on the bad guy’s back!’ I said, ‘No! You hide.’ How do you try to explain that to a kid?”
She says she doesn’t have any faith in the bipartisan proposal.
“It’s never going to happen,” Patricia says. “It’s in the constitution. That’s their excuse all the time. It seems like there are more regulations on things that aren’t going to kill you, than on guns that can kill you with one bullet through your head.”
Rachel Pando, a mom and a third grade teacher in West Hollywood, believes that there are still way too many gaps in this current deal. For her, the sale of firearms needs to be restricted along with the size of the clips used in the weapons.
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“I think this bill is addressing the bare minimum,” Pando says. “Republicans are finally getting to work not because they’ve removed themselves from the NRA's pocket, but rather because it is an election year and they know the tide is against them on this issue. I guess my final reaction is meh.”
A House bill passed last week WOULD raise the age limit for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle to 21 and prohibit the sale of some high capacity magazines, but it seems unlikely it would pass the Senate.
The framework introduced by the Senate Sunday needs the approval of at least 60 senators and President Joe Biden’s seal of approval (He already says he’s willing to sign it). At least twenty senators, including 10 Republicans, are already in support of it.
As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below the fold.
What Else You Need To Know Today
- Enjoy the cooler weather for a few days, L.A.. The National Weather Service says temps will start heating back up midweek.
- A cyclist in the AIDS/Life Cycle charity ride was killed in a collision Saturday on Ogden Drive in Hollywood – not far from the finish line. The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed this to our newsroom over the weekend.
- The LA Unified School District is being asked to step up recruitment of Black teachers. A recent study of LAUSD schools found that while the district had a higher percentage of Black educators compared to L.A. County and the state, it is losing about 100 of them each year due to retirement. It’s an important factor because research shows success of Black students is tied to having Black teachers in the classroom.
- The House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its second hearing this morning, starting at 7 A.M. PST. ICYMI: here’s the takeaway from last Thursday’s hearing.
- You probably could’ve predicted this but the latest installment in the Jurassic Park saga has bigfooted the box office. The film is on track to gross $143 million in its opening weekend. Here’s how producers got the movie made in the middle of the pandemic.
- Activists want those who deal in stolen artifacts to face criminal charges. The Docket, a project of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, is investigating the international smuggling of antiquities and sharing information with law enforcement.
- You ever think about the amount of trash Americans produce? Well, it's on the minds of these women who’ve embraced a “zero waste” lifestyle.
- The House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its second hearing this morning, starting at 7 A.M. PST. ICYMI: here’s the takeaway from last Thursday’s hearing
Before You Go...Listen to the Imperfect Paradise: Forgotten Revolutionary Podcast
Oscar Gomez was a star of the 1990s Chicano student movement in California, delivering his message from L.A. to Santa Barbara to Davis. He was a handsome, former high school football star who had a huge following as the host of La Onda Chicana, a weekly interview and music show on the UC Davis college station.
Then in November 1994, he died under mysterious circumstance near the UC Santa Barbara campus. Oscar suffered blunt trauma to the head. The police ruled the manner of death "undetermined." His family believes he was killed. It’s an event that’s rattled reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez since and, now, in a new podcast, he’s turning his attention to investigating Oscar’s death. The fifth installment of Imperfect Paradise: Forgotten Revolutionary drops today. Check it out.