More than a half a year before the congressional midterms, and the campaign has already found its driving issue: Gun control. Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is lending his voice to the debate, in hopes of spurring congress to enact new legislation geared to increase public safety. The big attraction on Newark High’s basketball court was a famous basketball coach who didn’t come to talk about sports..
“I’m here because I’m a citizen of this country and we’re a democracy,” said Kerr.
Politics was on Steve Kerr’s mind, as well as 17th district congressman Ro Khanna. The two talked weeks ago in Washington about gun violence, and that led to Monday’s hour-plus town hall style forum on gun violence.
“…Something is different and that’s because of these student voices and what they’re doing. And if we can get more young people in this district and around the country demanding change, then something is gonna happen,” said Rep. Ro Khanna.
The most recent shooting massacre in Parkland, Florida, in February has given new fuel to the issue of gun violence and gun control..
“If this is happening at stoneman douglas, it can happen anywhere in this country,” said Matt Deitsch.
He graduated from Stoneman Douglas, and had two siblings in the building when Nikolas Cruz allegedly shot and killed 17 people.
“We had this purpose thrown at us to fight this evil that plagues so many people in this country. And I wanted this community here to feel the way we’re feeling so that hopefully they can go out and grow this movement,” said Deitsch.
That movement is a wave that’s swept west, with people lined up under gloomy skies to see a star, but more importantly, seek solutions..
“I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to get better gun control measures passed in this country?,” said Newark High School parent John Adams, as he waited to enter the gymnasium..
Kerr and others say it’s a 1960s-type question asked by young people, of their elders. After brief remarks, high school students were allowed to express their views, frustrations, and ambitions..
“It’s our turn to take it, use social media, use anything we can to make a move. Because we are the next generation and we’re the ones to make this more of a thing,” said sophomore Morgan Souza.
“It was young people who changed our civil right’s laws. It was young people who got us out of Vietnam. And in regard to guns, it’ll be young people who have a very loud and influential voice in this,” said CA 5th Dist. Rep. Mike Thompson, the chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.
“This is pretty simple. Let’s see if we can save some lives,” added coach Kerr.
To accomplish that – first increase the young voter turnout from one-in-five to three-in-five. Second and most immediately, get House Speaker Ryan to at least bring universal background checks to the floor for a full vote in the next few months.