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County Supes Vote to Support Assault Weapons Ban

Supervisor Michael Antonovich was the sole dissenting vote.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to support the reinstatement of a federal ban on assault weapons.

A 1994 ban on certain automatic firearms expired 10 years later and attempts to renew it have failed. But some legislators, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, have pledged to pass a new ban in light the shooting massacre in Newtown, CT, last month.

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky recommended that the board throw its weight behind Feinstein's bill, which she has promised to bring to the Senate on Jan. 22, the first day new legislation will be heard.

Since the bill is not yet available for review, the board agreed to support it only to the extent that it reinstates the previous ban.

The board joined several city leaders calling for re-authorization of the gun control legislation, including Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, Councilman Eric Garcetti and City Controller Wendy Greuel. City Councilman Paul Koretz has said he will introduce a City Council resolution in support.

The board also voted to send letters to the mayors of all 88 cities in Los Angeles County, asking them to have their councils consider supporting Feinstein's bill.

Supervisor Michael Antonovich was the sole dissenting vote.

The measure was part of a broader public safety review recommended by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and also approved by the board today.

"We don't need to look across the country for examples of the devastating consequences of gun violence," Ridley-Thomas said of the many times he's met to comfort the families of those killed in local shootings.

The board voted unanimously to establish a task force of law enforcement, public health and mental health officials and charge that group with developing a comprehensive plan for curbing gun violence locally. The group will be asked to consider enhanced enforcement of gun control laws, as well as efforts to erase the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health problems.

The county will also survey public school districts to ensure compliance with mandated safety plans and conduct a safety assessment of county facilities and protocols in the event of an armed attack.   "It is not just a question about laws, but it is a question about our own set of values," Ridley-Thomas said. "We must recommit ourselves to the principle of non-violence."

Donna Roberts January 09, 2013 at 08:04 PM
Who says we shouldn't have any guns at all? We are commenting on an article that says "to support the reinstatement of a federal ban on assault weapons." If anyone says that what we are currently doing - or not - is working, then they are out of their heads.
Donna Roberts January 09, 2013 at 08:05 PM
How do we get our comments in order? How can we reply to a reply so it shows up after it and not before it?
Ray Russell January 09, 2013 at 08:11 PM
Donna you make no sense. I asked that you re-read or read the Bill of Rights and then comment on the Second Amendment. Some how you don't seem to understand. I did not ask you to rewrite anything. Also I asked if you follow the US Constitution? If you disagree with it, that's your right. But it's also my right to agree and support it. As is it my right to own a gun to protect myself, family, and community. That's why I've asked you to do a little reading. You'll find it won't take long.
Ray Russell January 09, 2013 at 08:29 PM
As to the weapon miss know very little is holding, it appears to be a 22 caliber rim fire weapon configured in a semi military style. This is not an assault rifle under California law. Rim fire weapons are exempt, looking like a military style does not make it an assault weapon. Basically it is a semi automatic target rifle or a varmet rifle when used for hunting. Notice I said semi automatic, that means the trigger must be pulled for every single shot fired. if she obtained that gun from a legal source in California, it can't be an assault weapon. There are laws against selling such in this state. If she obtained it illegally then she should be arrested for doing so.
smokiesandy January 09, 2013 at 09:24 PM
What happens in Cali should stay in Cali and not forced on the rest of the country. If California leaders want a communist state fine, but dont try to set the bar on being the first to become a communist state.If you guys want to live without the constitution then dont force other states to follow cause they want to start a fad. Who will protect you when you have no weapons? The government? Ha!
David V. January 09, 2013 at 09:24 PM
I'm sorry, but the Second Amendment does not preclude in any way reasonable regulations on guns -- such as limitations on massive magazines; on military-style, semi-automatic forms of weapons'; on rigorous background checks before people purchase guns; on applying limits to giun shows; and on the creation of a computerized database and national gun registry. These steps are common sense. And they are perfectly constitutional. For the life of me, I do not understand why we don't take these kinds of steps, immediately, to try to reduce the rate of gun violence and gun massacres. They might help. Do we really want to make ourselves powerless to reduce the rate of gun violence? Do we really believe the NRA's utterly simplistic good guy/bad guy distinction? Do we fail to understand that Adam Lanza was a good guy, who his good guy mother wished to arm to protect him from bad guys -- until one day he wasn't. Kudos to the Board for endorsing this resolution. Now if all the other city councils and Boards of Supervisors would have the courage to follow, and ignore the shrill threats from the NRA.
David V. January 09, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Right! We have to allow the unregulated proliferation of guns because otherwise, we're communists! Very persuasive. Could we try to use this space to reason with one another, and make actual arguments?
David V. January 09, 2013 at 09:39 PM
The trouble is that most gun deaths are caused by so-called "good guys." To divide the world into good guys and bad guys is absurdly simplistic.
Donna Roberts January 09, 2013 at 09:53 PM
@Ray: I suggest you read or re-read the 2nd amendment and then comment on how you selectively disregard the fact that 1) the framers talked about the right to bear arms *in the context of maintaining state militias* and 2) that the purpose of these militias were to PROTECT the states from those who would undermine it.
Donna Roberts January 09, 2013 at 09:58 PM
Most people are good guys...until they aren't.
smokiesandy January 09, 2013 at 09:58 PM
Unrrgulayed? What about the 20,000 gun laws already regulated?
Ray Russell January 09, 2013 at 09:59 PM
You want to limit my rights, but don't want me to limit yours. How about limiting freedom of speech ? How about we pass laws that say you can only use ten words to say anything you want as long as its not negative and doesn't mention the government in any way? That's what you are asking for us to have when you want to limit the second amendment. People the Bill of Rights is law. If you want to change the law, change the second amendment. Don't pass unconstitutional laws that are limiting. Please all of you out there read the Bill of Rights before you make comments that show you haven't. As a document it's simple, easy to understand and self defining. The LA Supervisors are wrong. Their support of changes won't reduce gun violence. Stronger criminal laws, better mental health care, improved education, will go a lot further. If they want to clean up this country why don't they support these things. Instead they are more interested in their own private agendas. They will do and say anything to get elected or reelected to office. They take bribes or contributions from sources to help those elections. They do not listen to private citizens. They lie and cheat if it suits their needs.
rob vanasco January 09, 2013 at 10:02 PM
You obviously have not ever read anything written by our founding fathers regarding the dangers of a tyrannical govt. BTW what defines a gun nut? What is more funny it is always the Bill Mahers, and other lefties who joke about being able to kill certain people on the right. Not to mention they killing unborn babies so who are the real psychos. The answer, people like you.
rob vanasco January 09, 2013 at 10:03 PM
Well communists and fascists have been the biggest supporters of disarmament. That is a fact.
Ray Russell January 09, 2013 at 10:09 PM
Donna, please read..... Sorry but I have read and reeead the 2nd amendment. It only guarantees the right of "the people" to own and bear weapons. Not the militia. The key words are "people". The preamble guarantees these rights, all 10, to protect against a runaway or tyranical government. I do believe you should read it.
Allen Park January 09, 2013 at 11:06 PM
It's apparent to me that most of the most strident voices on this page have no idea what the second amendment says, so I'll lay it right out: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." As a strict constitutionalist it is clear to me that the founders wanted to ensure that members of a militia, such as the national guard, had the right to keep and bear Arms. In this case Arms were single-shot muskets. You can have as many single-shot muskets as you would like and I will defend that right to the very end, rest assured. But when this law was written they did not intend to defend automatic weapons, or semi-automatic weapons, or massive clips. Those were not Arms, and they did not exist at the time. That said, automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and other weapons that some lump into "Arms" today are already regulated, so there is nothing unconstitutional or strange about regulating semi-automatics and large magazine clips as well. It's been done. Your comparison to freedom of speech is an apt one. Freedom of speech is already limited. You are not allowed to yell fire in a crowded theater, for example, nor is slander protected free speech. Let's not insult the founders of our great country with overly simplistic mischaracterizations of the Constitution.
Walnut Watchdog January 10, 2013 at 01:28 AM
I have a good movie for all you bleeding heart liberals to watch. It is on Netflix and it is called "The Pianist". It shows a modern country that lost it's right to bear arms. Assault weapons have not been sold in California for 20 years. Either have hi capacity magazines. Liberals are scared of scary looking weapons that resemble military weapons. I am not giving my look a like AR up. Bad guys will kill no matter what. Do not even think of taking away my right of self defense. The statement about gun owners being nuts is a typical liberal statement. Liberals want to empty the prisons so the inmates can live in transit villages owned by Democratic contrubutordevelpers with wind turbines and solar cells. We will probably need our guns when they get thier way.
Walnut Watchdog January 10, 2013 at 01:29 AM
Perhaps you did ot know that the militia includes everyone.
Donna Roberts January 10, 2013 at 01:57 AM
Donna said gun NUTS are often nuts; not gun owners. There's a difference.
Vito Spago January 10, 2013 at 02:00 AM
Cut this crap about the 2nd ammendment. Supreme court has already ruled. So give it up. Walnut Patch is beginning to bore me. You morons just hash and rehash the same garbage. Folks have a right to guns and to defend themselves im the home. Anything else seems to be debateable. Muskets. What a joke. Freedom of speech. That mean parchment and quil pen. No. Applies to internet to. So 2nd ammenment also applies to more than muskets. Give me a break. Jerks.
David V. January 10, 2013 at 02:07 AM
Hi Vito, By calling those of us who disagree with you "morons" and "jerks," and by dismissing our arguments as "crap," you undermine the persuasive power of whatever argument or evidence you may wish to offer.
David V. January 10, 2013 at 02:09 AM
"Communists favored good nutrition. Therefore, we must favor junk food." The argument doesn't work, does it? It's an example, like the claim about communists and guns, of a logical fallacy.
David V. January 10, 2013 at 02:18 AM
Ray, what you state here is just not a colorable argument. Of course I want to limit your rights. So does everyone else, too. No one wants you, for example, to be able to exercise your "right" to make fraudulent sales pitches, though doing so involves speech. Rights are rarely absolute; they are necessarily tempered by reasonable regulations. That's why many of us who worry about, you know, murder, think there are difficult policy questions involved in gun safety. We don't think everyone can have any kind of weapon he or she wants. Just like you can't have grenades or machine guns, maybe you shouldn't be able to have semi-automatic weapons and bullets that fragment; maybe the ATF should have a first-rate computer system that tracks every gun purchase and sale; and maybe every bullet should have a microstamp on it, so that we could trace it should it be used in a crime. These are simply sensible ways of trying to limit the damage that guns can do to living people. And they are, of course, perfectly constitutional under the Second Amendment and the Heller case. It would of course be great, as you wisely suggest, to spend lots more money on mental health care -- lots! And let's spend more on education too; it would be good for society and the economy and people's minds. But that doesn't exclude sensible gun regulations and efforts to try to mitigate gun violence directly.
David V. January 10, 2013 at 02:23 AM
Am I correct in reading your post, and particularly your last sentence, Walnut Watchdog -- "We will probably need our guns when they [liberals] get their way" -- as a threat to commit acts of violence with your guns against "liberals," or against the police enforcing lawful gun regulations? If not, why do you choose to write in this threatening way, rather than engaging in rational policy debate with your fellow citizens.
Ray Russell January 10, 2013 at 04:46 AM
The militia mentioned is a group of armed civilians or "people". The state is the government. Amazing how people read what they want and ignore what is there. Again, please read the entire Bill of Rights people! Not just the parts you want to read. As for you musket people, you are wrong. Let's add cannons, and multiple shot weapons as well. This includes canister shot, chain shot, shot gun loads, etc. How about rockets? Let's see oh yes torpedoes. Now how about outlawed drugs? Has this stopped drug sale, use, or posestion? You do know that robbery is illegal don't you? Does that stop robbers ? Passing laws to prohibit things doesn't work very well. Better would be the deterrent of harsher punishment for committing crimes.
Vito Spago January 10, 2013 at 05:24 AM
David V. You guys are arguing the 2nd ammendment. The Supreme Court has already ruled on the second ammendment. There should not be a question here. It is the assault weapon ban that is the question here. Namely size of the magazine if I guess the politicians' intent, unless it is to also deceive.
Donna Roberts January 10, 2013 at 05:33 AM
You pass laws as a tool to 1) deter law-abiding citizens from something that is against the good of the greater society and 2) as a means to prosecute those who break the law. Otherwise people can do whatever harm they want with no fear of consequences since they aren't breaking any law and cannot be punished.
Walnut Watchdog January 10, 2013 at 08:06 AM
Dear David V. The militia is the people. The AR-15 rifles sold in California are not assault weapons nor do they have high capacity magazines. They look like their military counterparts, but are completely different. Many of them are simply .22 caliber rifles. I did not infer harming the police or liberals. Of course the progressive way to win an argument in a liberal is to twist the truth. We are all probably going to need our guns as the liberals in Sacramento release tens of thousands of dangerous felons to county jail or unsupervised probation. Those kinds of policies may liberals get warm all over. Another reason to raise "revenues" (shhh taxes) Crime is going up and it is going to get a great deal worse. A rational policy debate to you means to agree with your liberal drivel and bury the victims. I have been shooting since well before becoming ten years old. I learned from a NRA safety course taught by a Korean war veteran. Please understant am not going to give up my first .22 and I am not going to give up my latest AR15. You can count on that. And there us a continent of people that agree with me. Some states allow their citizens to possess concealed firearms and loaded rifles in their vehicles. Those states have minimal crime and are a deterrent to criminals. As to the Senator with the finger on the trigger. I won't call her an idiot. But what she is doing is extremely dangerous and demonstrates she does not know anything about guns.
David V. January 16, 2013 at 09:57 PM
The NRA has not run a shameful, grotesque attack ad targeting the President's children. Can we all join hands in condemning the NRA -- and maybe even begin to recognize it for what it is?
David V. January 16, 2013 at 10:08 PM
Oops... typo: the fourth word, "not" should be "now."

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