Gun control is a buzz word these days around the country. Since the Newtown shooting where twenty first graders and six adults were murdered, public officials, educators, and other community leaders are weighing in on measures to address ways to make their communities safer. One such measure has been enacted by a local school district by way of a resolution. Compton Unified School District (CUSD) at its regular board meeting this week passed a resolution to support a reduction in Gun Violence. The resolution specifically supports a federal ban on the sale of assault weapons and clips for such weapons. The resolution also seeks to eliminate access of guns to individuals who have been identified as having mental problems, and greater resources to treat, evaluate and monitor persons who are dealing with mental health illness.
Within days of the CUSD resolution Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa asked his staff to review the city’s pension funds and to end investments in companies that manufacture assault weapons. And CA. Senator Dianne Feinstein has re-introduced legislation that would also ban assault weapons. So I believe that many gun control advocates feel that now is a prime time to try and pass new laws that would make it illegal for ordinary citizens to gain access to assault type weapons.
Micah Ali board president stated that he believes CUSD is one of the first school districts to make such a resolution? This writer addressed the board during the meeting asking them to also go as far as contacting the district’s two pension funds (CalPERS/CalSTRS) that manage its employee’s retirement accounts – and tell them to stop investing in companies that manufacture assault weapons. CalPERS is the largest pension fund in the nation. I referenced an article that I wrote (Can public employees effect gun manufacturing?) in Dec. 2012 shortly after the Sandy Hook school shooting – and invited board members and the community to review it.
I applaud the CUSD for taking action on addressing the issue of gun violence by passing the resolution. However because of the current opposition by many federal legislators to pass such laws; it may be an uphill battle to push it through. But making policies and taking action at the local and state levels by public employees and agencies to not invest in the making of assault weapons is within their control, and a strong measure that will affect safety.