ECLECTIC RANT: Gilroy Garlic Festival Mass Shooting

Ralph E. Stone
Friday August 02, 2019 - 02:51:00 PM

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.