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Mailbag: Laguna club weighs in on proposed gun show law

Protesters against the Crossroads of the West Gun Show in Del Mar, Calif.
Protesters against the Crossroads of the West Gun Show, being held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, hold signs at the intersection Via De La Valle and Jimmy Durante Boulevard on Dec. 14, 2019, in Del Mar, Calif.
(Hayne Palmour IV / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

I am writing on behalf of the Laguna Beach Democratic Club, which is in support of Senate Bill 264, introduced by state Sen. Dave Min (CA37), which would ban gun sales and shows on all state- or county-owned property in California. Further, SB264 would prohibit any state or county officer or employee, as well as anyone licensed to use any state- or county-held property from allowing or contracting for the sale of any firearm, firearm precursor part or ammunition on that property.

With law enforcement gun buybacks listed as the singular exception, offenders could face misdemeanor charges, according to the text of SB264. As many fairgrounds in California operate as part of the state’s District Agricultural Assn., such legislation could effectively kill gun shows held on site.

The urgency for common-sense gun safety remains prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic, as 2020 saw a record high in gun-related deaths. Over 19,000 individuals died of gun violence in 2020, up nearly 25 percent from 2019.

Members of our club agree with Sen. Min that our county fairgrounds are supposed to be family-friendly venues, associated with county fairs, 4-H events, rodeos and music festivals. But instead, in recent years, they’ve become most well-known for gun shows. That needs to change, and this bill would accomplish that change. While the 2nd Amendment allows for the sales and purchase of firearms, it does not require that taxpayer-owned properties be used to facilitate those transactions.

Gwen McNallan, President
Laguna Beach Democratic Club

Thoughts on district elections

We saw the indisputable role that outside money played in the recent City Council election in Newport Beach leading to the loss of one incumbent and one challenger who in many opinions were more in tune with community values than the winners. One need only examine the campaign disclosure statements available through the city clerk and online county records to see the huge disparity of incoming funds and expenditures between the winners and the losers. These contributions from outside interests need to be mitigated to give more people the opportunity to run for office.

What opportunities are available to city residents who want more input into city issues but cannot continue to afford the hefty price tags required for “at large” elections? One solution that over 100 of California’s cities (one fifth) currently have turned to is district elections. Once only common in larger cities like Los Angeles, San Diego and Long Beach, district voting has been gaining in popularity in middle- and small-sized cities as well as cities in Orange County. It is expected that one third of California cities will have switched in the near future.

One needs only to look to Costa Mesa, which switched to district elections recently. In the last few years it seems like the city has been refreshed and revitalized by the the participation of more residents in city government. Consider the popularity also of the elected Mayor Katrina Foley, elected March 9 to the county Board of Supervisors.

The most important change that district voting will make is to lower the main barrier to candidacy — the large amount of money needed to be competitive. Also, a candidate in a district election can go around door to door in his or her neighborhood to become acquainted with constituents. There is little doubt that district elections will bring more accountability and democracy to city government.

Lynn Lorenz
Newport Beach

Newsom better than the alternative

Disgusted as I am about Gov.Gavin Newsom’s apparent support for the Poseidon Desalination Plant project here in southeast Huntington Beach, I must remind myself that the governor’s stewardship of our environmental issues is far superior to any of his Republican rivals.

Yes, Newsom is letting down the very environmentalists that helped put him in office, and, yes, he is pandering to powerful big money special interests supporting the project, and, yes, he is sticking it to the residents of Surf City and Orange County Water District ratepayers by backing this billion dollar boondoggle, but I am not going over the recall cliff in order to put a worse politician in power, especially a Republican who would favor Trump-style policies to further erode our quality of life.

We can still let our voices known both directly to Gov. Newsom and through our representatives in Sacramento to keep the opposition pressure on.

Tim Geddes
Huntington Beach

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