Alameda backs town hall on gun violence, but not without some council resistance

An Alameda City Council referral calling for a town hall on the issue of gun violence was unanimously approved Tuesday night. But not before two councilmembers repeatedly questioned the scope of the event and whether its aims had already been covered at a recent public event in Alameda.

Alameda beat“I’m a bit stunned by the resistance,” said Alameda Councilmember Jim Oddie, who along with Councilmember John Knox White, offered the town hall referral this week.

The town hall, scheduled for Oct. 14, 5:30 p.m., at a still to be determined location in Alameda, will include discussions for actions that residents can implement in the future, Oddie added, and ultimately provide the city council with a blueprint for later approving an action plan for reducing gun violence.

“Our goal out of this is to have a conversation on how we can best address this issue of gun violence because it seems like every week somebody dies because somebody has an assault weapon,” Oddie said. “If you say ‘Our thoughts are with you,” that’s not going to solve the problem. If we continue to say platitudes, that’s not going to solve the problem and people are asking for action.”

The town hall is also scheduled to include Assemblymember Rob Bonta, state Sen. Nancy Skinner, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, and other speakers.

“What I hear from everybody that I talk to is that, ‘Enough of the inaction,’ so we’re going to take action. We’d like support,” Oddie told the council Tuesday night.

Vella gun violence

But Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft and Councilmember Malia Vella, right, were skeptical.

Work on the issue of gun violence had already been  done by a local faith-based group recently, Vella said,  “What is context of the meeting? I think the issue of addressing gun violence is fairly broad.” Vella later mentioned that the work recently done on the issue was by a group of Alameda women. She suggested their efforts had been overlooked.

“A lot to unpack there. I think I was accused of ignoring the work that was done because it was done by women. I’m a little offended by that,” Oddie said.

Earlier Ashcraft offered passive resistance to the town hall proposal. She read a lengthy list of gun-related state legislation that the city had previously endorsed. The reading lasted more than three minutes. At one point, Ashcraft said among the specific activities Alameda residents can do to curb gun violence is to start a book club.

Already frustrated by the discussion, Oddie told Ashcraft, “I can tell you sitting around and reading a book and having a book club is not going to stop people” from killing others with assault weapons.

“This is a public health crisis and we need to act on it. We need to do something as a city,” he said.

One tangible move toward limiting gun violence is to ban the retail sale of firearms in the city, Councilmember Tony Daysog suggested. “Does Big 5 really have to sell weapons near the counter there when you go down to South Shore [Shopping Center]?” he said. Big 5 does not sell assault weapons, but does offer other types of recreational firearms.EBC 10 fundraising ad1

5 thoughts on “Alameda backs town hall on gun violence, but not without some council resistance

  1. You morons all want to ban guns, take the easy way out but what are you going to do about criminals who wont follow your laws or the mentally I’ll? Eddie, you have handily lost my vote, period. You are lazy and uneducated on the matter as are the rest that support something like this. Politicians are generally inherently lazy and stupid when it comes to violent crimes and how to tackle the issues. You seriously need to start looking at the root of the REAL issues. This city has virtually no gun violence and you are calling it a city crisis. You need to focus on the mental health side first, then find out how to stop criminals…not punich everyone that follows the law! Stop fishing in dry lake beds!


  2. Alameda really needs to look in to the city’s support of violence. No one is talking about the failure of the media, courts, schools, colleges, police & Sheriff to protect the public from violence. Abused and bullied family and children are not safe from their loved ones. Employees are not safe from the actions of terminated employees. Drivers are not safe from other drivers. Pedestrians are not safe from drivers and cyclists. Children are not safe from other children. Students are not safe from their teachers. Devout people are not safe from haters. The homeless are not safe from their fellow homeless and other haters. Student athletes are not safe from their coaches. Parishioners are not safe from their priests.

    There are already enough laws to go around. Immediate Proactive Enforcement is what is needed. Prevent the crimes before they happen.

    If Alameda really wants to do something about this they need to crack down on the evil doers and really do something about it. Instead of yada yada yada.

    Alameda should consider how much safer it would be if cars had a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour. All bikes were ridden only in designated bike lanes. Possession and sale without out a city permit of all Guns, scissors, ice picks, hammers, swords, knives longer than 2 inches, screwdrivers longer than 2″, hatchets, sling shots, ammunition & pharmaceuticals were all banned from Alameda.

    Gasoline and Diesel sales are restricted to vehicles that are controlled to not exceed the speed limit. Alcohol sales are banned, as are all marijuana dispensaries.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s