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Aug-02-2019 01:54printcomments

Gilroy Garlic Festival Mass Shooting

New federal legislation is needed to replace the weapons ban that expired in 1994.

Gilroy victims
Stephn Romero, Kayla Salazar, and Trevor Irby
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(SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.) - I am saddened at the killing on July 28, 2019, of 6-year old Stephen Romero, 13-year old Kayla Salazar, and 25-year old Trevor Irby, and the wounding 12 others at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival by a 19-year old Gilroy, California native using an AK-47 type semiautomatic assault weapon.

The killer was killed by police. The weapon used by the killer was purchased legally by him in Nevada. Such weapons are banned in California.

Clearly, a federal assault rifle ban is more effective than state-by-state bans. That’s why new federal legislation is needed to replace the ban on such weapons that was allowed to expire in 1994.

As the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held in Tardy v. Hogan, certain kinds of rifles, including assault rifles, are “weapons of war,” meaning they are not covered under the Second Amendment for the purpose of self-defense.

In addition to the usual thoughts and prayers, the U.S. Senate should at least begin addressing gun violence in the U.S. by taking up two gun control bills passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The first calls for universal background checks on all firearms purchases. The second would extend the review period for a background check from three to ten days.

Unfortunately, gun violence has become as American as baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie.


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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.