“My son had his whole life to live and he was only 6.” – Alberto Romeo, on the murder of his son at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California on Sunday, 28 July.
Enjoying a family fun day out at the California festival, Stephen Romero aged six was one of four who were murdered and 12 injured by a white male teenager who had bought an automatic weapon from a Nevada gunseller’s website.
He apparently came armed with wire cutters to gain entry, rounds, a semi-automatic weapon, camouflage gear and a protective vest.
According to The Intelligencer, “Legan opened fire on three handgun-equipped police officers, who returned fire, killing him. Authorities said that the shooting could have been far deadlier if officers had not responded within less than a minute.”
The fact three trained officers who reacted quickly could not possibly have been quick enough to stop the murder or injury of 16 shows that a shooter with an automatic or semi-automatic cannot be stopped before there is carnage. This is something our legislators should have already learned from the Las Vegas massacre for instance.
As explained in a CNN news story about this latest tragic gun mass murder, Nevada law allows anyone to buy a gun – without any kind of permit at all. Nevada has no waiting time before a gun purchase, no limit to the number of guns you may buy, or how large a magazine your weapon(s) may have – and you can carry unconcealed almost anywhere in the state.
Who is to blame? Could some of these be morally if not actually culpable?
- Those who glibly spout hate speech, especially those who are in positions of power and influence are to blame in no small part – the shooter had read and quoted white supremacist dogma.
- The lack of uniform state laws on semi-automatic weapons is the big problem, and it is not hard to see what is behind that, which is…
- The National Rifle Association, an organisation that has actively prevented measures that could have saved the 42 lives lost and 134 people injured in gun-related incidents on 28 July 2019 ALONE. The NRA actively lobbies politicians and has spent tens of thousands in Nevada on pliant politicians and those in positions of power;
- The NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action gloated about the Nevada law being ignored and berated billionaire Michael Bloomberg for funding gun groups which had lobbied for Nevada gun law reform;
- arguably, Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt – Nevada’s voters wanted background checks and voted for them in 2016 – but the new law was never enforced. Laxalt released a legal opinion concluding that citizens were “excused from compliance”, calling the new law ‘unenforceable.’ Laxalt appeared in an NRA commercial and received $5,000 from the Russian-funded gun lobbyists in 2017;
The NRA will not change (though it seems to be slowly self-destructing – in no small measure do to the pressure it is under from groups like One Pulse for America); its paid apologists might change if we threw money at them as they seem to be for hire. Instead of trying to attack or persuade them, we will be taking positive action by writing to Rep Jackie Speier, a long-term gun law reform activist, copying our elected reps and asking them to Support H.R. 1296. We will also send messages of support to Gilroy, and offering condolences and help to Mayor Roland Velasco, pledging that we will lobby for better laws.
On a thread offering help and condolences to Gilroy, Rep Jackie Speier, California, tweeted: “I worked to pass the state law banning assault weapons in the 90’s. We need to buy back the ones still in people’s possession & throw the book at those who defy the law! We must also pass H.R. 1296, the Assault Weapons Ban, to ban military-style assault weapons across the U.S.”
1. Please contact Rep Jackie Speier through one of the channels below and give her the following message, personalized to your liking:
Thank you for taking a stand for sane gun reform laws in the wake of the Gilroy Garlic Festival mass murder – and all the 42 deaths and 134 gun related injuries that happened in the USA ON THE SAME DAY.
I agree that we need to buy back automatics and semi-automatics still in people’s possession & throw the book at those who defy the law. We must also pass H.R. 1296, the Assault Weapons Ban, to ban military-style assault weapons across the U.S.: I know it is a measure that will save many lives.
As a member of One Pulse for America, I will write to my elected representatives to demand they support HR 1296 as well. I hold the NRA and Adam Laxalt, who killed a voter-approved tightening of Nevada’s loose gun laws, responsible for the ease with which the Gilroy killer, a white supremacist, was able to get such a gun and rounds. I will be watching them closely and redoubling my efforts to change America’s deadly interpretation of the 2nd Amendment: I do not see a ‘well-regulated’ militia: I see teens and adults able to get weapons that can kill dozens within a minute with ease – and this has to change. I am copying my congresspeople, and I demand they support HR 1296: I will be watching what they do and promise not to vote for anyone who does not support this and other gun reform now.
Rep Jackie Spiers
Phone: San Mateo: (650) 342-0300 or Washington, DC: (202) 225-3531
Email: https://speier.house.gov/contact/email (form)
Copy your congressperson- details here: https://www.conginst.org/contact-congress/
2. Please contact Mayor Roland Velasco through one of the channels below and give him the following message, personalized to your liking:
I write to offer sincere condolences to everyone impacted by the tragic shooting a the Gilroy Garlic Festival. The tragedy of young lives taken so horribly and, I believe, avoidably is hard to take in. I offer my support to the people of Gilroy and if there are any actions or collections to help, please keep me informed.
Along with sending my condolences, I will be taking concrete actions to help stop further tragedies. I will support Congresswoman Jackie Speier in her bid to reform gun laws, and I will write to my representatives to ask them to vote for H.R. 1296.
With respect and condolences,
Once you have contacted Congresswoman Speier and/or Mayor Roland Velasco, copying your representatives, fill out the three fields below and click the orange banner to report taking action!