East Bay Legislators Call For Stringent Gun Control Laws

Asm. Bill Quirk at the State Building in Oakland.

ASSEMBLY//OAKLAND/GUNS | Lest we forget the East Bay is still a bastion of liberalism, a few of its Democratic legislators Friday reminded voters, even though societal factors like unemployment and an eroding middle class may be a cause for rising gun violence, firearms are also to blame.

Although Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner and State Sen. Loni Hancock targeted guns and residual violence in the media and video games at Friday’s Assembly Select Committee on Gun Violence in the East Bay, it was freshman Assemblyman Bill Quirk who flashed the hottest rhetoric calling for more prohibitive gun control measures.

[SEE ALSO: Community Leaders Say Gun Violence Is A Public Health Crisis]

“We have a disconnect in the Legislature,” said Quirk of Republican colleagues who believe the use of firearms for personal protection and for sport are equal. “We know the best to get killed by a gun is to have a gun in your house for self-protection,” he said.

Quirk also applauded Skinner and Assemblyman Rob Bonta’s pending legislation to tax bullet sales. “You can’t shoot people if you don’t have ammunition,” Quirk said.

Oakland Mayor Jean, Alameda County Sup.
Wilma Chan, Asm. Rob Bonta, Oakland
Interim Police Chief Sean Whent

The best way to promote safety, Quirk said, is to prohibit guns, except for sport. But, the East Bay is mostly an urban landscape, he says. “In the area we come from guns are for killing people.” He also skewered conservative second amendment proponents for their strict constructionist beliefs over the right to bear arms. “They claim to follow the Founding Fathers,” Quirk said, “but they don’t.”

Skinner and Hancock agreed with Quirk’s interpretation of the second amendment and its adherents.

“It says a regulated militia,” said Hancock. “It doesn’t say anybody can carry anything anywhere they are.” She added, “Limiting access to guns is a part of the solution.”

Just the presence of guns in the home is a problem, said Skinner, who said, “I vary on notion on the second amendment.”

“The presence of guns in homes does nothing for public safety,” she said. Skinner also advocated for “limiting” the number of firearms and ammunition available. This year, Skinner advanced various gun control bills in the Assembly expressly aimed at slowing the proliferation of guns on the streets.

Oakland Councilman Noel Gallo

However, she said, “Legislation alone won’t be enough.”

Later, Skinner faulted the federal government for failing to pass meaningful gun control legislation in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn. shootings last December that killed 20 elementary school children and six adults.

Although Friday’s assembly hearing was chaired by Bonta, who represents Oakland, San Leandro and Alameda, he offered none of the heated rhetoric of his fellow lawmaker other than to promote a discussion on how to find solutions to lower crime in Oakland, including its perception of lawlessness, seen by many in the surrounding East Bay.

15 thoughts on “East Bay Legislators Call For Stringent Gun Control Laws

  1. By MW:

    In the next to last sentence of the above post a few words are missing.

    It should read: by secretly allowing invisible clouds OF ASBESTOS DUST to blow all over its tenants and visitors.


  2. By MW:

    Among prominent people, over the last few decades far and away the biggest and most important person in the movement for strict gun control has been Dianne Feinstein, and altho she has also had plenty of support from most of the other high ranking members of the Demagogue Party, and including Barbara Boxer.

    However, actually you are many times more likely to die prematurely from slow mass murder from lung cancer due to being secretly poisoned by asbestos and/or other hazardous materials put in your body by a wealthy building owner who was a major source of large election campaign contributions to Feinstein and/or Boxer, etc, than you are by a gun.

    For instance, a huge office building in San Francisco for years drastically reduced the cost of its almost non stop remodeling projects by secretly allowing invisible clouds to blow all over its tenants and visitors.

    However the building's primary owner was a major source of election campaign contributions to the Democratic Party, and also a close friend of such DP bigshots as Feinstein, Willie Brown, John Burton, and Bill Lockyer, etc, so therefore he had carte blanche to engage in the slow mass murder, and including thru lung cancer, of as many people as he so desired.


  3. That dude Quirk is my rep in the Assembly??? Wtf people…He looks like a bar drunk. I should have voted.


  4. All the data show that your child is more likely to die in your pool than from your gun. Yet I don't see anyone banning pools or taxing the water going in them. Yes, there are rules/laws about gates around pools. Just like there are rules/laws about locking guns up. You can't legislate against stupid.


  5. All the data shows a family member will be killed with your gun rather than you using it to defend yourself.


  6. I doubt Bill Quirk ever had to wait 30 minutes for the cops to show up when he was being threatened like I did in oakland back in 2008. Bought my first gun a few weeks later and got the hell out of there. Best decision I ever made….

    Let him tax ammo all he wants. Reno is a fairly short drive away, and a pickup can carry many 1000's of rounds. What a fab business opportunity for our local disenfranchised youth! I can hardly wait for the results of this excellent plan.


  7. I'm glad Bonta is taking a lead on this. I'm so sick of the city and OPD shenanigans, we really need new leadership in city hall.


  8. Until I read this posting I almost forgot Bill Quirk is in the assembly and I live in Hayward!


  9. Is a gang member really going to say, “oh darn, that bullet costs 10% more, I guess I wont do my drive-by shooting now”? Less guns do not mean less guns for criminals. If you understand human nature and supply and demand, you know criminals need guns to survive, and will be the last ones to give them up. Look at what happens when there is a demand for drugs, or look at prohibition.

    Even if statistically guns in the home were more dangerous, society overall is safer for being armed – and the number of would-be criminals who never commit crimes because of the deterrence of an armed society can only be estimated from looking at countries like Britain, where hot home burglaries are many times the rates in America. Also, people have the right to receive training and education and make an educated decision based on personal responsibility, and pursue the happiness that comes with being smarter and safer than the average person.

    These politicians would never agree to an open and fair debate on guns with people who know what they are talking about – they prey on emotions of people who were raised anti-gun and never educated on gun rights and gun safety. They blame guns for their inability to reduce crime, because it is easier to pass a worthless law than to solve the problem. Somehow though, many cities in the US with more free gun laws have less crime. What they should do, is, since they have already tried the strictest gun laws, try relaxing the gun laws for 5 years (for law abiding citizens – obviously it would still be illegal for criminals) and see which works better. Imagine crime actually went down when criminals no longer had special superhuman powers compared to the average citizen? How embarrassing would it be for these politicians? In DC after the handgun ban was lifted, crime dropped over 30% the next year.


  10. We criminal safety advocates who create percentages out of thin air say someone in your family will be killed with it, rather than you using it to protect your family, in order to disarm you, so you can be murdered, raped, and maimed with impunity.


  11. The percentages say someone in your family will be killed with it, rather than you using it to protect your family.


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