California Education Chief Tony Thurmond’s Equity Initiatives Get National Recognition
By Tanu Henry, California Black Media
Just over a week ago, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) handed down a 6-3 decision making it harder for a handful of states – including California – to uphold tough anti-corruption laws. carrying weapons in public. .
Late last week, Governor Gavin Newsom retaliated by signing two new laws aimed at reinforcing the state’s hardline stance on public gun ownership. He says that together the bills, AB 1621 and AB 2571, will tackle phantom guns and ban the gun industry from “advertising to children”.
“From our schools to our parks to our homes, our children deserve to be safe – in California, we make it happen. As the Supreme Court strikes down important gun safety protections and states across the nation treat gun violence as inevitable, California is doubling down on common sense gun safety measures that save lives” said Newsom, who also pointed to gun violence as the leading cause of death among children.
“The lives of our children are at stake and we are putting everything on the table to respond to this crisis,” added the governor.
News of the June 23 SCOTUS firearms ruling was drowned out by coverage of national outrage and applause that followed its ruling on Roe. V. Wade the next day.
Nationwide reactions to the court’s gun restriction decision – the most significant change to the nation’s gun laws in a decade – were swift, passionate and strong. But the protests and celebrations have mostly taken place on the sidelines of the country’s more intense reactions to the abortion ruling.
In California, where more than 60% of all adults support tougher gun laws, elected officials, activists and civil rights leaders blasted the SCOTUS decision.
But not everyone agrees.
Micah Grant is black, Republican, father, husband, and school board member from Natomas in Sacramento County. He agrees with the SCOTUS gun ruling, arguing that New York law had built-in racial and class bias.
“I think it’s a fundamentally sound decision that comes, obviously, at a very sensitive time,” Grant said. “But the laws as they were created are two distinct classes of people, where in many areas only the connected and the elite can exercise their basic right to protection.”
Grant says that with crime on the rise in many California cities, just going outside is “enough” to carry a gun.
“The state can simply implement reasonable training requirements to ensure that those applying for permits are knowledgeable, responsible, trained, and understand the responsibility that comes with owning firearms,” he said. added Grant.
California is one of five states with gun restrictions on the books, both statewide and municipal, that are affected by the ruling. The others are Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Hawaii.
SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanagh said states are still allowed to ban handguns in certain sensitive locations like courthouses, courthouses, polling places, etc. .
Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA-37) is running for mayor of Los Angeles, a city where the homicide rate has seen a steep 50% increase from 2019 to the end of last year.
“Just 31 days after 19 students and 2 teachers were murdered in one of the most devastating mass shootings in this country’s history, the Supreme Court responded by striking down a law that had been in effect for more than 100 years, making it easier now to carry a gun in public,” Bass said in response to SCOTUS’ decision.
Craig DeLuz is black and Republican like Grant and also the publisher of 2ANews, an online news and opinion newspaper focused on gun rights.
“When you have a patchwork of laws from city to city, you don’t know what the regulations are. You are inciting someone to break the law,” he says.
DeLuz says as Governor Newsom and state lawmakers are drafting new public safety laws to comply with the SCOTUS ruling, he hopes they don’t violate the Second Amendment to the US Constitution which grants citizens the right to carry weapons.
“His lack of knowledge on the issue of gun politics and gun technology is evident whenever he speaks about it,” DeLuz said, criticizing the governor.
“Gun control laws in the state of California and nationwide have been aimed at disarming people of color since the 1870s,” he said. “It was about making it illegal for Native Americans, Chinese Americans, black people and other people of color to own firearms.”
Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D-Carson) was the loudest voice in the California Legislative Black Caucus calling for tough gun control laws.
“Alarmingly, we see that increasingly, no region or demographic group is safe from gun violence – our hospitals, grocery stores, schools and even places of worship are no longer safe. The proliferation of ghost weapons, which are weapons intentionally not found to evade law enforcement, has only compounded the problem,” Gipson said.
U.S. Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA-13) says the current right-wing Supreme Court has shown a double standard in how justices have ruled on gun rights and women’s rights to abortion.
“This conservative Supreme Court has ruled that states should not be trusted to pass their own gun control laws, but can prevent people from making their own health care decisions. This is unacceptable,” Lee said. “We are seeing the horrific consequences of minority rule unfold in real time – and this is just the beginning of their radical agenda to put America back in history and take another step toward eroding our democracy.”
There is overwhelming support and widespread commitment among California elected officials to find ways to strengthen gun laws in the wake of the SCOTUS decision.
In the state budget that Newsom signed into law last week, lawmakers and the governor’s office agreed to fund $176 million in grants for gun violence prevention to 79 cities and nonprofits.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced that he is working with the state legislature on Senate Bill (SB) 918, to preserve California’s existing concealed carry laws. He reminded state residents that “general prohibitions” on carrying firearms in public are still in effect.
“The data is clear and the consequences are dire – more guns in more places makes us less safe. In California, we are committed to passing and defending constitutional gun laws that save lives. Bonta said.