Grieve, Come Together, and Act
Like so many of you, I have carried a heavy heart this week in the wake of the terrible tragedy in Isla Vista last Friday.
This loss of the lives of these six young students, just as their adult lives and dreams were beginning to unfold, is unspeakably tragic and senseless.
Our job now is to grieve, to come together, to start to heal from this devastation. But our job is also to keep a conversation going, to determine what this tragedy has to teach us so we can prevent anything like this from ever happening again.
We need to act. I believe we need to focus on effectively treating mental illness, preventing violence, and keeping guns out of the hands of the wrong people so that our communities are safe.
On Tuesday, the State Senate remembered the victims of the Isla Vista tragedy, and I spoke about our need to strengthen our public policies so we can help ensure that tragedies like this never happen again.
Among the immediate actions being taken, I am joining Assemblymember Das Williams and Assemblymember Nancy Skinner in co-authoring a bill to create a gun violence restraining order. This proposed legislation would establish a way for concerned family members or friends to notify law enforcement if someone is demonstrating a propensity to commit violence toward themselves or others. This would create a way to intervene and potentially prohibit the purchase of firearms or allow the removal of firearms already in someone's possession.
On Wednesday, I joined Senate leader Darrell Steinberg in announcing mental health proposals, including $12 million directed toward training to help law enforcement better recognize the warning signs of severe mental illness.
I am also preparing additional legislation to address ways we can reduce these acts of senseless violence toward one another because we have to do better. We have to act. Tragedies like this cannot become our ‘new normal.' I believe our work, and my work, is just beginning.
What changes must we make so our communities are finally safe? I need to hear your ideas and thoughts. Please email me or call my Santa Barbara and Oxnard offices. I stand in solidarity with each of you in working to assure "Not one more."
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson
State Senator, 19th Senate District