‘The GOP won’t do a damn thing about it,’ Gov. Newsom says about gun control after Texas shooting

People leave the Uvalde Civic Center following a shooting earlier in the day at Robb Elementary School.
People leave the Uvalde Civic Center after a shooting earlier in the day at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas.
(William Luther / San Antonio Express-News)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Wednesday, May 25. I’m Justin Ray.

The world was once again horrified by a school shooting, this time in Texas, which killed at least 21 people, including 19 children.

Families in tears and vigilant members of law enforcement were seen outside the elementary school in the predominantly Latino Texas town of Uvalde. Police officers are believed to have killed the gunman, who was a student at a nearby high school, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at a news conference. Dozens of friends and relatives of children who are still missing gathered at the convention center in the middle of town for answers.

“Another shooting. And the GOP won’t do a damn thing about it,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said on social media Tuesday. “Who the hell are we if we cannot keep our kids safe. This is preventable. Our inaction is a choice. We need nationwide, comprehensive, commonsense gun safety NOW.”


The Democratic governor also called attention to a tweet by the National Rifle Assn. It promoted former President Trump as a featured speaker at its conference in Houston on Friday.

“Meanwhile…” the governor wrote in the quote tweet.

This isn’t the first time in recent months that California lawmakers have called out their Texas political counterparts. In December, Newsom called for a law that would permit Californians to sue gun manufacturers and distributors. It would use the same legal mechanism as a Texas law that banned most abortions there

Just this week, a proposal that cleared the California Assembly seeks to prevent so-called fetal heartbeat laws and abortion restrictions imposed by other states such as Texas.

“Our courts do not hear these cases right now because Roe vs. Wade is the law of the land, but we all know that those days may be short,” Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda), the author of AB 1666, said on the Assembly floor Monday.

During various points of the pandemic, the way lawmakers responded to COVID-19 in the two states were also frequently compared.

Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies in California reacted to the tragedy. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said on social media that “stations will be closely monitoring and working with our station’s school resources officers to ensure the safety of our children.”

“Our officers will continue the protection over the Fresno community and vow to keep the protection of our children as a top priority,” Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama said in a statement. Police officers in the Bay Area will also step up patrols around local schools in an abundance of caution, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Further reading:

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr made headlines for his emotional speech at a news conference last night. “I’m not going to talk about basketball … any basketball questions don’t matter,” Kerr said.


How to help kids get through unspeakable horror. The Times has published tips for parents navigating complex and sensitive conversations around violence.

And now, here’s what’s happening across California:

Note: Some of the sites we link to may limit the number of stories you can access without subscribing.

Law enforcement gather outside Robb Elementary School following a shooting
Law enforcement and other first responders gather outside Robb Elementary School following a shooting on May 24.
(Dario Lopez-Mills / Associated Press)

The algorithm knows you are pregnant. What it shows you is terrifying. When a Stockton resident found out she was pregnant, one of the first places she turned was TikTok. Adriana Lopez began to search for posts about morning sickness and other side effects. But the app soon began pushing her in a direction that made her uncomfortable. Across the country and around the world, pregnant women are finding themselves targeted on social media with distressing videos. Los Angeles Times

Illustration of a pregnant woman standing on a phone in the sea. Play buttons circle her like shark fins.
On TikTok and Instagram, pregnant women find themselves targeted with videos that prey on their fears as expectant mothers.
(Kiersten Essenpreis / For The Times)


UC pays record $700 million to women who accused UCLA gynecologist of sexual abuse. The University of California system agreed to settle lawsuits brought by hundreds of alleged victims of a former UCLA gynecologist, bringing total litigation payouts to nearly $700 million. It is the largest ever reached related to sexual abuse involving a public university. Los Angeles Times

20 California native plants that will actually look gorgeous this summer. Plants native to Southern California have evolved to grow and thrive in the cooler wet months, bloom their hearts out in the spring and then withdraw and wither in the heat. But there are yard-worthy native plants that bloom in the summer, or just look super no matter the season. Los Angeles Times

In the summer, buckwheats and salvias reign supreme.
In the summer, buckwheats and salvias reign supreme.
(Marie Astrid González)

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San Francisco Mayor London Breed announces she will be joining San Francisco police in skipping the city’s Pride Parade in protest over organizers’ new decision not to allow officers to wear their uniforms during the annual LGBTQ event. “I’ve made this very hard decision in order to support those members of the LGBTQ community who serve in uniform, in our Police Department and Sheriff’s Department, who have been told they cannot march in uniform and in support of the members of the Fire Department who are refusing to march out of solidarity with their public safety partners,” Breed said in a statement. Los Angeles Times

Anaheim City Council votes unanimously to halt the sale of Angel Stadium. On the day after mayor Harry Sidhu resigned amid an FBI investigation into the so-called “cabal” that runs the city, Councilman Jose Moreno said the probe had raised the curtain on what he called “a pandemic of corruption” in Anaheim and called the stadium deal “the fruit of a poisoned tree.” Los Angeles Times


Editorial: Lawmakers punted on gun-safety rules for film sets. Now Hollywood must come up with a plan. The tragic fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins prompted the film industry and public policymakers to reexamine safety procedures on productions involving firearms. The incident could have united various factions in Hollywood to make changes. That’s not quite what happened. Los Angeles Times

A woman wearing a beanie and a black leather jacket smiles as she poses for a photo in front of a pink background.
Halyna Hutchins, photographed at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019, was killed in an incident on a film set.
(Fred Hayes / Getty Images)


The California Department of Justice announced it will investigate an incident in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood that left two men dead. Although a lot of information remains unknown, the agency’s participation implies that at least one of the men who died was possibly killed by police. A state law that went into effect last year requires that the attorney general’s office investigate all incidents of fatal police shootings involving an unarmed civilian. San Francisco Chronicle

Column: She killed the man who trafficked her. Will California ever forgive her? Sara Kruzan’s story is one worth hearing from start to finish. “I feel like I have just kind of built my life on this quicksand, repeating patterns, repeating trauma,” she told columnist Anita Chabria. Los Angeles Times

Sara Kruzan is seeking a pardon from Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Sara Kruzan was sentenced to life in prison at age 16 for killing the man who abused and trafficked her.
(Sara Kruzan)

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With abortion rights on the line, attention turns to statehouses. Jessica Goodheart interviews author David Pepper who argues that state governments have become a key reason for the erosion of rights and America’s drift from democracy. “States are the ideal place to advance really unpopular ideas without political accountability. You couldn’t do it in Congress. You’d risk your future elections if you tried,” says Pepper. Capital and Main


Parents may be able to sue social media companies for harming children who have become addicted to their products. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok may be forced to fork over up to $25,000 per violation under a bill that passed the state Assembly on Monday. Los Angeles Times

The Sacramento Police Department decided to host a gun buyback event, offering residents gift cards for gas in exchange for the weapons. They ran out. The department said on Facebook that 134 people had dropped off firearms in exchange for $50 gas gift cards. “Among the firearms received was at least one assault weapon, numerous components for privately manufactured firearms (ghost guns), and multiple other illegally configured firearms,” according to the department. NPR

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Today’s California memory is from Pat Doll:

“Born but not raised here, I returned after many years absence following my job with the railroad around the country. I knew it had grown by leaps and bounds, but in the 15 years I was away this last time, I couldn’t even find my old high school. Not because it had relocated, but because the maze of freeways and roads and construction had left me lost in my own home state. When I finally did find it, I was surprised to see so much of the original left that we had instituted as the first graduating class of 1962 was still in place. It helped me feel right at home again when I saw the gold and blue colors flying with our mascot the Falcon. Old neighborhoods had disappeared, replaced with more densely populated communities, and old friends were mostly moved away, but California was and will always be my home to this native-born.”

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)


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