Correction: The letter signed by Mayors Elizabeth Patteron and Osby Davis has already been subitted to the congressman, and was not up for debate Tuesday night. The council was voting on a resolution, not the letter. Patch regrets the error.
A federal debate over ways to reduce gun violence will come home to Benicia this week, if only briefly.
The Benicia City Council and Benicia Unified School District Board of Education will both consider sending letters to Rep. Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) supporting stricter gun control laws.
"While we respect a person’s right to own a gun, there must be better control over the type of guns we allow, who is allowed to possess them and the criteria by which those guns are acquired," reads a draft of the letter scheduled to be considered by the city council. "To say that a person has a right to own assault weapons (including children) is ignoring what such weapons are made to do (get off a lot of rounds in a short period of times to maximize destruction)."
The letter from the Benicia city council, set to be discussed Tuesday night, would be signed by Mayor Elizabeth Patterson and Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis. It's addressed to Thompson, who is chair of the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, created in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Benicia and Vallejo will hold gun buyback events this month, according to the letter.
"We certainly agree that there are too many guns on the streets," the letter says.
The school board's letter is similar, but adds that "strengthening gun laws alone is not enough," and encourages "efforts such as strengthening background checks, improving mental health services, and keeping military type guns and assault magazines out of our communities, addressing the culture of violence perpetuated through violent media, among others."
The city council will discuss the item during its 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday at the City Council Chambers, 250 East L St. The school board will discuss its proposed letter at 7 p.m. Thursday at its board room, 350 East K St.
Should the city council and school board support stricter gun control legislation? Where do you stand on the issue? Tell us in the comments section below.
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