Vigil in Pleasant Hill to Honor Victims of Sandy Hook Shooting – Coordinators Call for Tighter Gun Control

February 25, 2013 15:45 pm · 120 comments

A number of Contra Costa residents who are pushing for stricter federal gun control laws are coming together this evening for a rally and vigil in Pleasant Hill.

The candlelight vigil will honor those killed in the Newtown, Conn., school shooting last December, said Sandra Ruliffson, president of the Brady Campaign Contra Costa County chapter, which is organizing the event.

The gathering will begin at 6:30 p.m. outside City Hall at 100 Gregory Lane, and will include a bell-ringing. The group has joined with other local organizations, such as political advocacy group MoveOn, to support President Barack Obama’s call for Congress to pass stricter gun laws, including universal background checks for those who want to purchase firearms, an assault weapons ban and limits on high-capacity magazines.

“We know that people are really upset with what happened and they want change,” Ruliffson said.

Twenty children were shot and killed in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary, along with six adults. The shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, also killed his mother at her home, and took his own life.

She said the tragedy has spurred people in Contra Costa County to get involved politically. “There will be people for whom this is the first time they will be participating in something like this,” she said.

Ruliffson said tonight’s vigil and rally will show that all sides are coming together to keep communities safe. “We know that most people that are longtime gun owners do support sensible gun legislation,” she said.

Pleasant Hill Mayor Michael Harris and representatives from the office of Congressman George Miller have been invited to attend, Rulffson said.

After the names of those killed in Newtown are read, attendees will have an opportunity to share stories of those affected by gun violence locally.

“The impact of gun violence … it’s so pervasive,” Ruliffson said.

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1 bduns February 26, 2013 at 10:51 AM

@ #99 “@ Chris”

Educate yourself, fool. Read the Federalist Papers and other writings of the founding fathers.

It’s not about hunting or personal protection. It’s about deterring a corrupt government.

Your complete ignorance is a disgrace to the men and women that founded this country. They were a lot smarter than many of us, and especially smarter than everyone calling for more gun control.

2 Shuley February 26, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Nobody is proposing taking away second amendment rights – most people, including me, would not stand for it. There has always been agreement that some restrictions of certain rights, for the good of society, are legal and appropriate. Just as there are exceptions to the first amendment (you cannot slander anyone, you cannot threaten, conspire to commit a crime, etc etc), there are appropriate exceptions and regulations related to the second amendment. So, the second amendment argument holds no water.

Let’s not forget that 8 out of the first 10 Presidents were slave owners. Jefferson was one of the biggest slave owners in Va and slaves lived a pretty tough life, to say the least, on Monticello. James Madison owned slaves his whole life and did not even free them in his will. Women could not vote or own property. There are limits to how “holy” I find the writings of freedom and liberty from the founding fathers. These rights were intended to be extended to white men. Different time, different environment.

3 Henry February 26, 2013 at 11:29 AM

If you’re going to make the argument that guns need to be banned because they serve no purpose except killing innocent people. Maybe you should consider banning alcohol again. Think about it. What real purpose does alcohol serve other than getting people high, causing unnecessary violence, and causing tens of thousands of deaths each year? (overdose and DUI)

Oh yea, we’ve tried that before! It was called prohibition and it didn’t stop the distribution of alcohol. Instead it spawned a huge criminal underground.

At least with guns I can make the argument that it does serve the purpose of protection. Whether it’s from an individual, a group, or ( at the risk of sounding like a nut) the government. How dare you try to take away people’s right to this? Try telling the Koreans during the LA riots that they didn’t have the right to protect their business’ and families.

To quote David Joo, a manager of the gun store, “I want to make it clear that we didn’t open fire first. At that time, four police cars were there. Somebody started to shoot at us. The LAPD ran away in half a second. I never saw such a fast escape. I was pretty disappointed.”

Carl Rhyu said, “If it was your own business and your own property, would you be willing to trust it to someone else? We are glad the National Guard is here. They’re good backup. But when our shops were burning we called the police every five minutes; no response.

Jay Rhee said, “We have lost our faith in the police. Where were you when we needed you?”

4 Howard K. Mullins III February 26, 2013 at 11:30 AM

The “rule of law” is not respected by many in America today. Bending, twisting, usurping the law is popular right now in order for people of power to achieve their goals.

Ignoring the “rule of law” is what people of poor character, low integrity and poor morals support. There are many on this blog who believe that law does not mean they have to follow it, unless it does something positive for them in return.

People see the elected representatives misuse laws to their own purpose and the voters believe the law is theirs to misuse too.

The “rule of law”, for any society, is the core of the values of that society. When those core values are ignored, then there is no longer a society but simply a bunch of people with no values.

5 jtkatec February 26, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Other writings meaning the ANTI-Federalist papers?????

6 The Mamba February 26, 2013 at 12:26 PM

#95, I’m amazed they had such a high turn out. Crossing mom wins the most ridiculous post on this thread award.

7 Pegasus February 26, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Shuley @102 –
Nice quantum leap.

8 Anon2you February 26, 2013 at 12:50 PM

The fact that this group has an agenda, and that they are using the victims of Sandy Hook as martyrs for their cause pisses me off. If this was a true vigil to express grief at the loss of life in a truly tragic event, I would happily support it. But the fact that they are trying to push forth and agenda by false sympathy and lies, makes me sick to my stomach. If I was a family member or friend of one of the victims I would be ashamed of this type of “event”…

9 Chris February 26, 2013 at 12:57 PM

@99…no. You need to work on your reading comprehension skills and then try some analytical thinking 🙂

“Just as there are exceptions to the first amendment (you cannot slander anyone, you cannot threaten, conspire to commit a crime, etc etc), there are appropriate exceptions and regulations related to the second amendment.”

Sorry but this is a bad analogy to me. There are no exceptions to free speech, your ability to slander is protected by the 1st Amendment, but the 1st Amendment does not protect you from the consequences of that slander. The government does not restrict how many words you can speak a day, or the forum of that speech in the hope of preventing slander, instead you are entrusted with that right and you are responsible for the consequences of that speech. This is in stark contrast to the limitations they want to place on law abiding gun owners, making them criminals before a real crime has been committed. This is even more egregious in light of the facts, even as admitted to by the DOJ, that “assault weapons” are not a real factor when it comes to gun crimes. Absentee fathers, poverty and recidivism are much higher factors in gun violence, but those are tough issues that make politicians and the far left uncomfortable.

10 Anon2you February 26, 2013 at 1:30 PM

@ Crossings Mom #4 – Those are the worst ideas I have ever heard. I am not trying to be mean when I say this either, but are you serious? The waiting period you propose is absolutely unreasonable and logistically impossible. A (2) gun limit? That is just ridiculous…All LEGAL gun owners weapons are registered, and buyers complete a gun safety course (which I actually think could be stricter) so your License theory is kind of all ready there. If I have to apply for a License, then it would be to conceal carry it…and LAST but not least…You want to publicize WHO owns a gun and WHERE they live??? Yeah that is the ticket! Every criminal could just get a daily listing of “fresh” guns to steal. Why don’t we advertise every home that has valuables in them, or every home that doesn’t have an alarm system…REALLY Crossing Mom…Come up with a better solution. I have: Simply…Any person caught committing a crime with an illegally obtained firearm will be sentenced to a MIN. 25 years in jail, NO possibility of parole, whether the firearm was used to cause injury/death or NOT. USE/CARRY or possess and unregistered illegally obtained firearm and you go to jail period, and you don’t get out early. If you want to do something get the guns out of criminals hands not law abiding citizens…

11 Shuley February 26, 2013 at 3:08 PM

@ Chris

Not true. Defamation, whether it be slander or libel, IS NOT protected by the first amendment. If it were, than any laws prohibiting such speech would be deemed unconstitutional. Any attorney with half a brain would tell you that. It’s not very complicated. Defamation is not addressed specifically in the 1st amendment. The courts use the constitution and precedent as a guide on how to rule, usually following precedent, but not always. The laws of defamation, conspiracy, negligence (in the case of reckless exclamation – i.e. yelling fire in a movie theater) have all been certainly challenged in a court of law and NOT deemed unconstitutional or they would not exist.

There are limits to the second amendment already. A civilian cannot legally own a hellfire missile, or a nuclear warhead. A felon cannot purchase a weapon. These laws are not specifically addressed under the second amendment, but have not been deemed unconstitutional. The court determines where that line is drawn. But just passing restrictions against owning certain firearms is not automatically constitutional. Attempting to ban the the right to own firearms completely most certainly is.

12 Don't Censor Me Bro February 26, 2013 at 4:21 PM

@Shuely #102

And don’t forget that the worst violators (slavery) were African & Muslim people groups,while the USA was behind the ending there of

13 Chris February 26, 2013 at 4:32 PM


I said the ability to slander is protected and not the consequences of the slander once you’ve said it. Think about it, you have the capacity to say anything you want, your freedom of speech, any speech is protected, otherwise they could shut you up just by claiming that you were going to slander someone. The government cannot know how you’re going to use the right to free speech, could be for good or evil, the ability to use it for either is protected… but you are not protected from the legal consequences of that speech. People get this confused, that the 1st protects you from the consequences of whatever it is you just said, it’s about preventing the government from pre-emptively shuting you up… it’s a very important difference.

14 Dennis February 26, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Well said, Chris! Shuley can’t seem to grasp the concept of ‘prior restraint’, nor the basis for Law: consequences for actions, not punishment because some group believing false stereotypes feels they can predict intent of others.
So what next, Shuley, put mentally ill people on the ban list? Who decides, you? I declare you mentally ill, and revoke your Rights?
If someone uses a gun to commit a crime, prosecute them to the full extent of the law. But giving Shuley the power to ‘predict’ intent, and allow him to strip you of your rights … based on his paranoid profiling … is much worse.

15 Dennis February 26, 2013 at 7:13 PM

@#61 Here’s a hint: the main body of the Constitution defines the rights, powers, and limitations of government; the Bill of Rights (first 10 Amendments) specifically define rights of individuals. All court rulings and laws agree with that destinction. Individual rights also apply to groups of non-government individuals. Like the right of association: clearly association requires more than 1 individual, but the right is still valid for an individual. Any attempt to interpret wording in those 10 Amendments to limit the Right to a group (ie. Militia) is therefore wrong. The right to keep and bear arms is an individual right that shall not be infringed.

16 Dennis February 26, 2013 at 8:19 PM


“Dennis, in his ludicrous attempt at an argument, brings up a good analogy. Prescription drugs.”

guess it wasn’t ludicrous after all. even you agree with it.

“If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of a constitutional privilege. — Wilson v. State, 33 Ark. 557, 560 (1878)”

get it? penitentiary and gallows, AFTER the act, not a general deprivation of a constitutional privilege for EVERYONE before the fact.

“The American people have determined that the good to be derived from capital punishment — in deterrence, and perhaps most of all in the meting out of condign justice for horrible crimes — outweighs the risk of error. It is no proper part of the business of this court, or of its justices, to second-guess that judgment, much less to impugn it before the world …,”

– Justice Antonin Scalia

the good derived from the 2nd Amendment far outweighs the risks inherent in its protection.

17 Jeff February 26, 2013 at 8:43 PM

Bravo, Chris. Very eloquently stated, in a manner that Dums, er, Dems, cannot dispute.

18 Jeff February 26, 2013 at 8:47 PM

#93 @ Jeff February 26, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Some people have lived to tell their life experiences BECAUSE they had a firearm to protect themselves.

If you’ve been fortunate enough in life to not have a need for one, GOOD FOR YOU.

If anarchy, as you state, were to happen and people threatened my life, I would drop them in a fat second to defend myself and my family. And I wouldn’t think twice before doing it, and I wouldn’t have any regrets about defending my home.

19 Don't Censor Me Bro February 27, 2013 at 4:54 AM

@Chris & @Dennis, I’m reminded of the adage — you can’t match wits with the witless…

Good posts!

20 Shuley February 27, 2013 at 4:30 PM

@ Chris –

I am glad that you have your right wing kooks here to celebrate your “wisdom” But a simple matter of fact is you are 100% wrong. When something is “protected” by the 1st amendment, that means the act is legal because it falls under rights afforded by the first amendment. It’s not very complicated. If something is “protected under the law”, you can cite that law in your defense.

Ask 100 attorneys and 100 will agree with me – albeit very few will ever give you a straight answer. I understand the argument you are trying to make, but it is not correct. Sure, people cannot stop you from speaking because you might slander them but that does not mean all speech is by definition “protected” – what you are saying is simply incorrect. If the first amendment protected you, you can use the first amendment in your defense. Good luck doing that if you actually libeled or slandered someone. Even better, go to an event where President Obama is speaking and yell out “I’m going to kill the president!” and see how the first amendment protects you..

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