In wake of mass shootings, California considers new ways to fight violent extremism

A couple stands in a parking lot near the site of the July mass shooting in Gilroy, Calif.
(Thomas Mendoza / Associated Press)

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday proposed expanding a state task force to combat violent extremism following the three mass shootings that left at least 34 people dead in Texas, Ohio and California over the past week.

The commission, created after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, would seek ways to reduce the threat of similar violent attacks and increase safety at schools and major public events.

“The questions we are all being presented with is, what the hell do we do to meet this moment with resolve?” Newsom said during a meeting with law enforcement officials, state leaders and civil rights advocates.


The task force will include representatives from law enforcement, public health officials, university experts, civil rights advocates and education officials.

After the meeting, when questioned by reporters, Newsom said the nation needs strong gun laws to help prevent more deadly attacks, and he criticized U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for blocking gun-control legislation. “Mitch McConnell is a coward. He’s abdicated leadership,” Newsom said. “Do your job, put it up for a vote.”