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Thompson to Host Gun Violence Prevention Public Forum

Event is at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Sonoma County Supervisors meeting room, Santa Rosa.

U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, Chair of the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, will host a gun violence prevention public forum in Santa Rosa this week.

Thompson, D-St. Helena, said the event is to bring together experts, stakeholders and community members for a comprehensive discussion on the steps that must be taken to reduce and prevent gun violence.

The forum will be 6:30 – 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10, in the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors meeting room, 575 Administration Drive, Santa Rosa.

Thompson is a hunter, gun owner, former chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, and veteran who carried a military-style assault weapon during a tour in Vietnam. He represents the 5th Congressional District, which includes Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Sonoma and Napa valleys.

The meeting is open to: law enforcement officials, mental health experts, school officials, elected officials and community members

A Patch story on gun violence and gun ownership posted after the school shootings in Connecticut last month continues to draw a strong response from the entire Bay Area community.

Dee Baucher January 05, 2013 at 08:18 PM
Mass homicide does not require guns. Car bombs are popular in the Middle East and in Europe. Poison gas has been used in trains (in Japan), and biologic tainting of water supplies or over-the-counter medications has been used in this country and others. The list of potential weapons to be used by those with deranged thinking is monumental. The mass-shootings that have made the headlines over recent years were committed by individuals who all had significant and well-documented brain disorders - severe mental illnesses and/or other neuro-cognitive disorders - and who were not obtaining adequate interventions or assistance. These individuals had the intellectual capabilities to produce bombs or concoct devious methods to kill, despite their disordered thinking and flawed judgement. Restricting guns may seem like a cheap and easy way to provide false security to an acutely alarmed US population. This knee-jerk reaction will not deal with the real underlying issue. We are an immoral country that has turned its back on those most vulnerable - those with clear brain disorders - by tossing psychotropic meds at them without adequate support or real ongoing care. Our current archaic laws act to hamper necessary medical interventions for effected people, who (by definition) lack the insight and judgement necessary to voluntarily accept this help. All over this country families have begun to speak out...despite the social stigma....about the overwhelming struggle they are having.
Linda Meza January 05, 2013 at 10:34 PM
Dee, that's a rather oversimplification, and a stretch. Gun manufacturers have, for centuries mind you, banked on leveraging the public's fear to bolster their bottom line. To call one reaction to fear rational and the other knee jerk and reactionary merely demonstrates the power of mass marketing. Tragically Nancy Lanza allowed her fear of economic uncertainty (based on an early first person report), reinforced by cynical messaging, to discount the real threat to her and too many others. I was raised by a bipolar parent and in her final years when her physical health waned she lived with me. Guns, on their own, do not frighten me. But I wouldn't have had one in my house while my mother was under my roof, and I can recall as a teen finding my dad's luger in a box at the top of my closet when he allowed her to move back in. I've met my new Congressman, I hear he's a sportsman. Based on our brief introductions he appears even keeled and balanced. If the conversation is going to take place, and in my opinion it needs to, then I believe we need to be willing to take a comprehensive look at many things, including the ease with which those who wish to perpetrate mass homicide seem to have easy access to weapons that can make short work of it.
pete January 06, 2013 at 12:35 AM
I am not so worried about mass homicide as I am a "normal" person getting pissed off and having a gun at their immediate disposal and using it to everyones regret for that brief raging second it took to pull the trigger.
Dee Baucher January 06, 2013 at 03:28 AM
The recent Newtown tragedy, as well as the other recent mass shootings of innocent people, is the trigger for our current social alarm. The pattern of cognitive disability in young males, in conjunction with the availability of these assault weapons, as well as a media culture that is designed to desensitize and train people for actual killing .... is obviously a lethal combination. But gun restrictions will not solve the problem. During the years that these types of laws were in effect we did not see less killings. (UC Berkeley study, etc.) These targeted restrictions will only provide a false sense of security for the masses... without really addressing the repetitive underlying flaw in our social fabric. I am no gun lover or user, but we are too big a country - with too large of a population, too many borders, and too many available guns - to imitate the success that smaller countries have had with this approach. As far as I can tell, the word "comprehensive", when associated with US legislation, is a euphemism for massive, unwieldly, and untenable stews of laws. We need to totally reform our unethical abandonment of those with brain disorders - be they called developmental, severe mental illnesses, dementia, or from traumatic injuries - in order to avoid the violent tragedies we have witnessed in recent years. A civilized society should not abdicate this responsibility in the first place.
Wire February 20, 2013 at 03:50 AM
Thompson said there's been no studies on kids murders are on anti-depressants. Then I heard that the NRA is against those studies. Psychiatrist Peter R. Breggin, MD was on the radio Sunday a anti drug Dr. What was was stopping the congress from wanting FDA to do this study, he said it's the Big Pharma controlling things. Just what I figured. PAYOLA! Not the NRA This is the show that was on KSFO last Sunday. You want the 4pm to 5pm http://vaca.bayradio.com/ksfo_archives/?d=0# The call-ins start at 40 minutes into the show, yes you can speed it up after thirty seconds.

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