Gun violence discussed at townhall sponsored by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank (LA Daily News)
Loren Lieb remembers the summer day gun violence changed her family’s life.
It was Aug. 10, 1999, when Buford Furrow walked in to the North Valley Jewish Community Center in Granada Hills and opened fire. Five people were injured, including Lieb’s son. The gunman later killed a postal worker.
“You send your children to camp and you expect them to come home with a scratched knee or sunburn. You don’t expect them to be shot,” Lieb said as she spoke to a crowd gathered for a townhall on gun violence Monday night in Griffith Park moderated by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank.
The forum came after two deadly shootings in Granada Hills and Canoga Park over the weekend that left three dead.
And it came as the nation reels from deadly shootings of police and as mass shootings prompt calls for gun control.
Lieb, the co-president of the SFV Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, joined a panel that featured Rick Zbur, a LGBT activist and executive director of Equality California; and Jason George, an actor on the TV series “Grey’s Anatomy.”
For Schiff, the contrasts on how the nation views guns can be stark.
When he speaks with his Washington D.C. colleagues about guns, they tell him hunting and self-protection come to their constituents’ minds. But he tells them Angelenos think about drive-by shootings, gangs, road rage and children shot at a Jewish community center in the summer of 1999.
Still, he was disappointed in his colleagues in Congress who don’t stand up for gun control.
“They also fear activists will defeat them,” he said. “Common-sense laws would save many lives, even if they can’t be applied in every case.”
Gun control was a topic at the forum.
Proposition 63, on the Nov. 8 ballot this year, would prohibit possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines and require background checks and authorization from the Department of Justice in order to purchase ammunition.
Panelist Zbur said hate crimes are on the rise nationwide.
“The LBGT community has been called into action to join people who have been out there for many, many years. This is a high priority,” Zbur said. “We will have a national impact and will support (Proposition 63) in the California November election.”
George, one of the panelists, said gun ownership isn’t the problem in America. All “rights” have limits and his rights begin where a gun owner’s ends.
All of the panelists said they support the Second Amendment.
Jessica Stamen, of Burbank, and a member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, was among the estimated 200 people gathered Monday.
She was inspired to start making calls to government officials against common-sense laws to encourage them to shift gears.
Janice Reeder said she left the meeting the same as when she arrived.
“I feel helpless,” said Reeder, 73, of Burbank. “I’m going to help raise money. I don’t feel empowered after this meeting. I’m going to write and call whomever I can, because there aren’t enough people fighting for our safety in Congress.”
One man in the audience said California already had the strictest gun laws in the nation with more sitting on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk waiting to be signed into law.
He said what might be a handgun on the outlawed list might be a gun he would like to own.
“I respect your views, but from my side I’m always seeing law-abiding citizens being held to a higher standard. It’s a big problem,” he said.
By: Marianne Love
Source: Daily News
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