From Tragedy, Real Change
In May, our community was shaken by the news of a violent rampage in Isla Vista that took the lives of six innocent young people.
While nothing will restore our community's losses on that day, the news that Governor Jerry Brown this week signed into law two pieces of legislation that arose out of this tragedy shows that we choose action rather than hopelessness when faced with senseless violence.
The Governor just signed into law a bill I authored, Senate Bill 505, to require local law enforcement agencies to develop policies encouraging officers to conduct a search of California's database of gun purchases prior to conducting a "welfare check" on a person who is potentially a danger to themselves or others. We will never know for sure if the outcome in Isla Vista might have been different had law enforcement conducted such a search and known the perpetrator possessed three semi-automatic weapons when they visited him approximately three weeks prior to the incident. But we shouldn't be left wondering. Searches of the gun database can be done in as little as 90 seconds, and can help save lives.
Governor Brown also signed into law Assembly Bill 1014, of which I'm the principal co-author, to create a gun violence restraining order. This groundbreaking legislation, authored by Assemblymembers Nancy Skinner and Das Williams, establishes a way for concerned family members or law enforcement to obtain a court order to prohibit gun possession by someone who is demonstrating a propensity to commit violence toward themselves or others. It creates a way for a judge to intervene and temporarily prohibit the purchase of firearms or allow the removal of firearms already in someone's possession.
Both of these bills are important new tools to help prevent terrible tragedies. Yet I believe these are only first steps in what needs to be sustained, national discussion and action about violence, mental health and the easy availability of guns. I continue to be inspired by the words of Richard Martinez, father of one of the Isla Vista victims: Not One More.
Not one more tragedy. Not one more senseless gun death. Let's continue working toward these important goals together.
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Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson
State Senator, 19th Senate District