Target: California Governor Jerry Brown
Goal: Keep guns away from the mentally unstable
In response to the deadly May 2014 UC Santa Barbara shooting spree, which resulted in six deaths and 13 injuries, California lawmakers are now considering passing a bill that may stop incidents like it from happening again. Prior to the rampage, family of the gunman Elliot Rodgers had gone to police, concerned about his mental state. Officers spoke with Rodgers and did not see that he posed a threat to himself or others and there was nothing more they could do. What if his concerned parents had been able to take one more step, however, and petition the court to temporarily confiscate his firearms while they sought professional psychiatric help for him?
The bill would allow law enforcement or family of the person in question to petition the courts for a 21-day firearm restraining order to limit the chances of those showing signs of violence or mental instability causing harm to themselves or others. “It’s an opportunity to take guns away from people who are in moments of distress,” said Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson.
“Nothing can bring back the life of my son, but there are common-sense solutions that can help ensure other loved ones aren’t killed by preventable gun violence,” said Richard Martinez, the father of one of Rodgers’ victims, in support of the bill.
Urge California Governor Jerry Brown to pass this bill and protect the mentally unstable and their possible victims from avoidable violence.
Dear Governor Brown,
The shootings at UC Santa Barbara in May, at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in 2012 and an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, also in 2012, were all perpetrated by clearly disturbed individuals without criminal records. While the debate continues about how exactly these preventable rampages might best have been avoided, a bill allowing family members and law enforcement to petition for the temporary confiscation and ban of firearms from those who exhibit concerning behavior is practical and tangible. The restraining order lasts for only 21 days, which could be just long enough to seek assistance for those in times of distress and avoid possible violence.
Laws in Connecticut, Indiana and Texas allow law enforcement to seize arms from people deemed unstable. If passed in California, this measure could act as a preventative step against gun violence, giving a modicum of power to those concerned for the safety of members of their family. I urge you to take this measure against preventable gun violence.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Augustas Didzgalvis via Wikimedia Commons