Vallejo town hall hostile to gun-control congressman

Mike Thompson, California congressmanJan. 12, 2013

By Dave Roberts

On Monday, two men in their late 20s attempted to break into a home in Vallejo. They fled when the homeowner grabbed a firearm and shot at them, according to the Vallejo Times-Herald. Nothing was taken from the home and police are searching for the suspects.

Vallejo’s 115,000 residents have good reason to arm themselves. The year before this Bay Area city entered bankruptcy in May 2008, it had 145 police officers. Three years later, when it exited bankruptcy, there were just 91 officers left on the force, according to city-data.com. Perhaps not coincidentally, Vallejo suffers nearly double the rate of crime as the rest of the state and country.

Vallejo was also the scene of a lively 2½-hour gun control debate Wednesday night. It was sponsored by Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena (pictured nearby), who was appointed by Nancy Pelosi to head the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.

Thompson likes to tout his firearms bona fides: hunter, gun owner and a tour in Vietnam with an assault rifle. But the National Rifle Association doesn’t consider Thompson a gun rights supporter, scoring him just 17 percent on gun rights votes in 2012. There’s also not a lot of gun rights support on the rest of the task force — eight of its 12 members received scores of zero by the NRA.

As a result, it’s likely that the task force’s recommendations will be in line with liberal orthodoxy, similar to what the NRA experienced in its meeting with Vice President Joe Biden at the White House on Thursday.

“We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe, and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment,” said the NRA in a press release. “While claiming that no policy proposals would be ‘prejudged,’ this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners — honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans. It is unfortunate that this Administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems. We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen.”

Thompson’s task force will probably not recommend beefing up school security, as recommended by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, who observed, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

Thompson response

Thompson pretty much confirmed that in a press release response to the NRA:

“Everyone agrees our schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, streets and communities need to be safer. But we need a comprehensive approach that goes beyond just arming more people with more guns to make this happen. Closing holes in our mental health system, addressing our culture’s glorification of violence, improving background checks for everyone who buys firearms, and reinstating the ban on assault weapons and assault magazines all must be part of a comprehensive approach to reduce and prevent gun violence.”

At the town hall meeting, Thompson reaffirmed his hostility to increasing security in schools and public venues. Tom Powell, a Vallejo businessman and gun owner, advocated ensuring that one or two teachers in classrooms along every school corridor should have weapons training and an ability to access a firearm if need be.

“Just like we have marshalls on airplanes to keep them from getting highjacked,” Powell said. “The kids don’t have to know who they are. If people know there’s one or two teachers in a hallway that have a weapon and can defend the kids, they might be deterred from doing what they are doing. You’re not going to take away guns. And these things are going to keep happening, because there are crazy people out there and it’s not going to stop. You have to arm the teachers, the ones that want to do it. They can be very well trained. And maybe that will stop a few problems.”

Thompson replied, “Isn’t that responding to the last tragedy? So what do you do next? If your theory is correct, then we would arm the popcorn vendor in the theater, we would arm the salespeople in the mall. And if there’s a shootout at the football game, then we would arm the referees. Where do you stop?”

Powell responded, “We should make it OK for real citizens to get a concealed permit so that more people are armed out there. So that [would-be killers] will worry about, ‘Well, that guy might have a gun. I might not do this because he might have one, and she might have one.’ I’m not saying everybody should have a gun. I’m saying if there’s a few out there it might help.”

Thompson ended the exchange, saying, “Just for the record, I wouldn’t go to the movie if I thought eight or 10 people in there had guns.”

Applause

Powell received strong applause for his remarks. Despite the meeting being in a Bay Area city, the standing-room-only crowd packed into the Vallejo City Council chambers was split about evenly between gun rights supporters and opponents.

Thompson attempted to play both sides in his opening remarks:

“I support the Second Amendment and want to make sure that lawful individuals with clear mental health background are able to own and use firearms today and want to make sure their children and grandchildren are able to do so in the out years. But gun owners must come forward and say enough is enough. We need to stem gun violence and do it in a comprehensive manner. It’s not just guns. Guns are a very small part of it. It’s mental health issues, the culture of violence, who gets these guns and providing appropriate background checks.

“We have a lot of work to do. It’s not an easy task. It won’t be a cheap task. I want to make sure everybody is at the table and every issue is at the table. That’s why we are having these town hall meetings. We need constructive input on how to deal with this. The Second Amendment is alive and well. This is not an issue about how Americans who are law abiding and mentally stable are going to lose their guns. This is about gun safety and what we can do.”

Despite that assurance, it’s unlikely that beefed up security in schools and public venues and making it easier for law-abiding citizens to obtain concealed-weapon carry permits will be among his task force’s recommendations.

Thompson’s task force plans to issue its recommendations in early February.

8 comments

Write a comment
  1. Tax Target
    Tax Target 12 January, 2013, 08:05

    You’ll have to pry the guns from my dead cold hands… and I mean that literally. While we’re doing gun control let’s go back to Prohibition.. that worked real well!

    Reply this comment
  2. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 12 January, 2013, 08:13

    no one wants your home protection round gun, your 5 shot semi auto long gun or your shotgun little buddy. You don’t have any good use for a 30 plus round assault weapon though.

    Reply this comment
  3. Sherry Maher
    Sherry Maher 12 January, 2013, 09:03

    It also worked really well with the Jews in Germany. The Second Amendment was not just for personal protection but more for protection against a Tyrannical government which this administration is turning out to be. When are you people that want to give our rights away going to wake up to the fact that it is not about safety but about controlling the population. Have any of you read Agenda 21? Our politicians want our country and resources to be governed by the UN. Where do you think that would lead? Most of the countries in the UN are muslim and would have a say in how every individual would lead their lives. If wouldn’t be long before shariah law was enacted in the U.S. (just a few areas at first). So, do you want to see your daughters wearing a burkah? Think about the unintended consequences to giving away your rights.

    Reply this comment
  4. Marten Purdy
    Marten Purdy 12 January, 2013, 10:24

    The fact is that Gun Control does not work. Any time new gun control laws are passed, crime rates go up. Whenever gun control laws are repealed, crime rates go down or stay the same. The simple truth is that if guns are outlawed, then only outlaws will have guns. By definition, criminals (the group that gun control laws seem to attempt to disarm (in addition to the general public)), don’t follow the law, thus making the gun control laws ineffective on them.
    Never in the history of the United States (and most other countries for that matter) has a gun control policy decreased gun crime, gun injuries and/or gun deaths.

    Reply this comment
  5. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 12 January, 2013, 17:55

    “Everyone agrees our schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, streets and communities need to be safer”

    No they don’t. This is the sort of foolish blather we get from talking heads and politicians all the time.

    “But we need a comprehensive approach that goes beyond just arming more people with more guns to make this happen”

    No we don’t. Terms like “comprehensive approach” are just euphemisms for more draconian and oppressive anti-gun laws.

    “reinstating the ban on assault weapons and assault magazines all must be part of a comprehensive approach”

    Congressman Thompson is one of Pelosi’s sock puppet minions. This guy is a complete phony and a know nothing. There is no such thing as an assault magazine for Gods sake. What a ridiculous term. What he really wants to ban are semi-auto rifles that accept detachable magazines. There are many millions of them that are privately owned by law abiding citizens in this country, including in California.

    I HAVE SOME NEWS FOR YOU GUN PROHIBITIONISTS. WE AREN’T GOING TO GIVE THEM UP AND WE WON’T REGISTER THEM EITHER! SO WHAT WILL YOU DO WHEN YOUR STUPID, OPPRESSIVE AND UNENFORCEABLE LAWS ARE IGNORED? YOU CAN WHINE OR YOU CAN THREATEN OR YOU CAN SEND IN THE FEDERAL BROWN SHIRTS. WHICH WILL IT BE?

    Reply this comment
  6. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 13 January, 2013, 03:23

    no one wants your home protection round gun, your 5 shot semi auto long gun or your shotgun little buddy.
    ==
    Sure they DO, they want ALL guns, one step at a time.

    Reply this comment
  7. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 13 January, 2013, 20:11

    LOL Dysphoric wrote this–

    Dyspeptic says:
    January 12, 2013 at 5:55 pm
    “Everyone agrees our schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, streets and communities need to be safer”
    No they don’t. This is the sort of foolish blather we get from talking heads and politicians all the time.

    Reply this comment
  8. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 13 January, 2013, 20:16

    Dysphoric— Foolish blather?

    I salute your shiftless paranoia and relentless averageness.

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*



Related Articles

Video: Impact of Vergara v. California on teachers unions

CalWatchdog contributor James Poulos discusses impact of Vergara v. California on teachers unions and politics in California.

Video: Victor Davis Hanson: Tough talk for Latino voters.

Feb. 9, 2013 By Brian Calle In another installment of my interview with classical scholar and author Victor Davis Hanson,

Campaign 2012 war on women

April 12, 2012 By Katy Grimes Since when is being a stay-at-home-mom considered one of the many modern crimes against