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Push to support assault weapons ban moves to City Council

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SAN DIEGO – A resolution supporting efforts to re-institute a federal ban on assault weapons was forwarded Wednesday to the San Diego City Council by one of its committees, but without a recommendation on whether it should be approved.

assault weaponsCouncilman David Alvarez introduced the resolution at a meeting of the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee, proposing that the panel endorse a bill by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to re-instate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.

The resolution offered by Alvarez calls for the city to support Feinstein’s bill, along with legislation to prevent the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of assault weapons and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. The draft resolution also asks that California’s congressional delegation back the measure and that the state direct more money into mental health services.

“Perhaps if these people were to receive mental health services early on, they wouldn’t be picking up a gun,” said Marti Emerald, City Councilmember.

Councilman Alvarez noted that the number of mass casualty shooting incidents has risen over the last 14 years, at a time when the overall crime rate has fallen.

Military-style weapons with large ammunition clips “are not necessary for sportsmen or home protection and constitute a demonstrated threat to the public,” Alvarez said.

San Diego police Chief William Lansdowne told the committee that he fully supported the resolution.

“We see it as a critical issue for public safety and certainly for law enforcement,” Lansdowne said.

SDPD officers have twice in recent weeks been confronted by men wielding assault rifles during domestic violence calls, the chief said. He said two major incidents involving such weapons took place last year.

“Now it’s time to get to the solution, part of solution may be banning assault weapons,” said Emerald.

Opponents of Feinstein’s bill contend that it is vague and focuses on the appearance of weapons, not their functionality.

“I don’t think these assault weapons belong on our streets,” said Kelli McCarthy.  McCarthy is a Mother of a 13-year old daughter and the President of the local chapter of the Brady Campaign.  “I don’t want my daughter going to school and being afraid, I don’t want to be afraid when she’s at school.”

Committee members Mark Kersey and Lorie Zapf said the issue should go before the Rules Committee, where it could be reconciled with a call for a reduction in gun violence that is already part of the city’s lobbying program.

“There are many bills making their way both through Congress as well as our state Legislature that are attempting to make our streets, schools and public places safer,” Kersey said. “To say that this particular bill is the best of those, or the most important of those, out of all the ones being considered, seems short-sighted.”

He said public officials really need to focus on getting guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, and get the federal and state governments to do more to identify and treat people with mental problems.

Feinstein’s office said city councils in Chula Vista, Del Mar, Encinitas, Lemon Grove and National City have recently passed resolutions supporting the proposed assault weapon ban, as has the San Diego Unified School District.

24 comments

  • Richard

    I guess it's time for the last remaining Constitutionalists to leave what used to be the last bastion of conservatism (freedom) in California. Sorry to see you go San Diego.

    • Glider1266

      California loves Hitler and Obama. Fire up the furnace,open the concentration camps and lets rid ourselves of of the sheep and money grabbing little people who never fought to earn what they think they deserve. Bask in the sun and give up your gun. There is a furnace waiting for you. History repeats it's self! Ask the Jews.

  • Frank

    And during the last ban, crime rates were unaffected by all measures and continued to grow at their normal rate. Disarming citizens accomnplishes nothing,.

  • john

    When did the second amendment get changed to protect my right for owning hunting or home protection firearms? I want to remind these people in government that the second amendment is not about me having the right to own a firearm to hunt or event protect my family from another citizen it is there to preserve my right to protect my family from the very people telling me I cant have them. it is written to allow the population to protect itself from an overreaching government. When are they going to be taking this up for discussion?

    • Timothy Edwards

      It requires actually reading a few things, “Miracle at Philadelphia” by Bowen, “The Bill of Rights” by Irving Brant, “Thomas Jefferson on Democracy” by Padover, “Common Sense” by Paine, The Declaration of Independence (The original is under heavy guard, but lots of true copies): The Right of individual Citizens to be well armed, is for when the UN-Alienable Right of the People to alter or abolish the government becomes a duty.

  • Dwight Schrute

    "Perhaps…. If butterflies carries machine guns, bees wouldn't f*!k with them". Councilman Emerald, you can " perhaps" or "what if" this all day. Your still an idiot though and an assault weapons ban won't curb violence. NY has the self proclaimed toughest laws and they had a shooting again today, this time with shotgun. Your bans are only affecting the law abiding. The fact that someone like you can be in charge of any thing is the real tragedy.

  • Jared

    Well it’s good to see that the ignorance and uneducated statements regarding the 2nd amendment and assault weapons are not just limited to the jack bags in Washington but are also here locally… I think it’s time to move….. Man this sh*t is getting stupid IT'S NOT THE GUNS THAT ARE THE PROBLEM

    • JHPL

      Interesting "intellectual" point…I wasn't aware that all these murderers to which you, I presume, are referring, were "right wing teabaggers" and not left-wing Dem-o-Fascists (you know, since we're using clever nicknames and all). Do you have a secret source for your "facts" (yes, "facts", a troublesome word to you DoFs)?

      Perhaps the common thread you're looking for in this regard is psychotropic drug (mis)use? That seems to be a more logical and reasonable (two more pesky words for you, "reason" and "logic"…look them up! You could use some of both!) explanation than the drivel you spout.

      BTW, it's "causing", not "casuing" (I blame the public schools, especially those in Virginia). Here's another tough one for you, "proofread."

      • john

        VA
        Enjoy the cool-aid fool. Maybe you can get the government to wipe you a$% for you too. Obviously you don't have the intellect to understand anything beyond a bumper sticker argument so I wont wast time on you. Probably why you are such a miserable failure in life and need to blame all you weakness and failings on the "one percent".

  • guest

    Do ANY of these politicians realize that the criminals do not obey the laws? That's kinda what makes them criminals. Punishing law-abiding citizens only means that the criminals will now outgun society. So exactly how will that reduce crime? Feeling safe and being safe are two very different things. There are many people who felt safe just before they were killed.

  • Patriot

    I will never vote for or support anyone who supports any sort of gun ban or limiting ammunition. Move ahead with it and lose voters. It is that simple.

  • Ron

    Let the facts speak for themselves without the name calling or inferences, as hard as this is to do.
    In the late 70's, Washington D.C. passed an oppressive gun law. Its murder statistics, which had fallen to a low, started rising until it became the murder capital of the U.S.
    Chicago has exceptionally strict gun laws yet its murder rate and overall crime rate is quite high. I do know from folks whom I've met from there that it is a Not a safe city to live in though again, it should be given its gun laws.
    New York,, well, we all know how its stringent gun laws have made it such a safe city, and the subway the safest of all places to be.
    Then there is Florida which passed a law empowering people to be able to carry a firearm and yep, just like the anti-gun folks said, their streets ran red in blood. Ooops,, Oh Noooo,, It didn't. In fact, the state had a significant drop in crime after it passed this law.
    Back in 1980, a lovely little city in Georgia, Kennesaw, passed a law that all citizens, except those religiously inclined not to do so, had to have a firearm. Their crime rate dropped by 87% that year and in 1990 still had a much lower rate than previously. And, a lower rate than any and all of its neighboring cities. The assistant chief of police at the time was asked what he attributed its low rate of crime to. He said, "it is just too dangerous to commit a crime in our city." By the way, they had not had a gun related crime incident for the preceding three years prior to this 1990 conversation.
    In Switzerland, all homes have to have a firearm and they have a very low crime rate.
    Mexico on the other hand has very, very stringent and punitive laws on both firearms and ammunition and their lack of crime, kidnapping and murder has been well publicized.
    I often wonder why the intellect of those we elect to public office seem so ignorant of all of these facts. Maybe more crime is good as it will give them a much better chance at being reelected?

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