Will Brown Sign the Gun Restraining Order Bill?…New Study Shows Most Juvie Offenders Have High Childhood Trauma….LAPD IG Calls for Ford Shooting Witnesses….September 3rd, 2014 by Celeste Fremon
On Friday, state lawmakers passed a piece of legislation called the California Gun Restraining Order bill, or AB 1014, which would allow family members to petition a court to remove firearms from a loved one temporarily if the family believes there is a serious risk involved.
The question is: Will Governor Jerry Brown sign the bill?
Brown is not all that fond of any legislation having to do with gun regulation.
The measure was introduced in response to the Isla Vista killing rampage that occurred in May of this year and resulted in six dead students and many more wounded before 22-year-old Elliot killed himself. In the days prior to the tragedy, Roger’s parents became so concerned about their son’s scarily erratic behavior that they called the police, who could do nothing because he didn’t meet the existing criteria for intervention.
Getting the bill passed and, now signed, has been a priority for a diverse group of advocates and officials like the Brady Campaign, the California State Sheriffs Association, Disability Rights California, the City of Los Angeles, Attorney General Kamala Harris, the California Psychiatric Association….and more.
Gun rights advocates opposed the bill as unnecessary and open to abuse.
Now the LA Times editorial board is urging the governor to sign the bill, and the San Francisco Chronicle’s board strongly favors it too.
Here’s a clip from the SF Chron’s essay (written just before the bill cleared the state assembly):
Sacramento’s rush toward an end-of-session deadline doesn’t always produce the best results, but the Legislature is close to producing a gun measure that deserves support and praise. It’s a marked contrast to Washington, still cowed by gun rights extremists.
The bill allows families of mentally troubled individuals to petition courts to take away firearms, a direct response to the Isla Vista that left six dead in May.
Present law allows law enforcement to confiscate guns from people who have court convictions, domestic violence restraining orders or a record of mental instability. But as the Isla Vista killings showed, there’s a gap: a troubled person – in this case 22-year old Elliot Rodger – easily obtained guns that he ended up using in the rampage….
And here’s a clip from the LAT editorial:
AB 1014 empowers a judge to issue a “gun violence restraining order” after being presented with reasonable cause to believe a gun owner could “in the near future” harm himself or others. Under its authority, police would be allowed to search the subject’s residence and remove weapons. Guns owned by another resident of the home could also be confiscated unless they are secured beyond the reach of the restrained person, such as in a locked gun case.
The legislation arose after it was discovered that Rodger, despite a history of mental illness, legally bought all three of the guns he used. Notably, they were only part of his arsenal: Rodger killed his first three victims with knives, and he injured several others by striking them with his car.
That has prompted some critics of this legislation to argue that it would not have prevented the rampage that inspired it. That may be true — or at least partly true — but it misses the larger point that mentally ill people with violent tendencies should not possess firearms….
FLA STUDY LOOKS AT JUVENILE JUSTICE & TRAUMA AND THE RESULTS ARE STARK
A recent study conducted by Florida’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the University of Florida found a significant correlation between a high degree of childhood trauma and kids who end up in the juvenile justice system. Kids who run afoul of the law have starkly higher amounts of adverse childhood experiences—or ACES—than the general population.
Interestingly, the Florida study found a much stronger link between childhood trauma and juvenile offenders than was originally found in the groundbreaking 1998 epidemiological study done by the Center of Disease Control, which mapped out the relationship between early trauma and poor outcomes later in life like cognitive impairments, high risk behavior, social/emotional problems and so on.
The Florida project, which surveyed 64,329 Florida juvenile offenders, found that only 2.8 percent reported no childhood adversity, compared with 34 percent from the original 1998 CDC study.
Cecilia Bianco at Reclaim our Futures has more on the significance of the Florida study. Here’s a clip:
The 10 adverse childhood experiences measured in the Florida research and the CDC’s ACE Study were the same:
*Emotional, physical, and sexual abuse
*Emotional and physical neglect
*Witnessing a mother being abused
*Household substance abuse
*Household mental illness
*Losing a parent to separation or divorce
*Having an incarcerated household member
Half of the Florida juveniles reported four or more ACEs, compared with 13 percent of those in the CDC’s ACE Study. Young people with four ACEs are twice as likely to be smokers, 12 times more likely to attempt suicide, seven times more likely to be alcoholic, and 10 times more likely to inject street drugs.
The Department of Juvenile Justice incorporates trauma-informed practices into many of its programs due to the higher rates of certain individual types of trauma among juvenile justice-involved youth.
This study provides further evidence to support these practices that create safe environments for young people to avoid re-traumatizing them and to facilitate participation of trauma survivors in the planning of services and programs. Released in the Spring 2014 issue of the Journal of Juvenile Justice, the Florida study has sparked the interest of state government, and academic and child advocacy communities….
LAPD INSPECTOR GENERAL HAVING TROUBLE FINDING WITNESSES IN THE EZELL FORD SHOOTING
On Tuesday, LAPD Inspector General Alexander Bustamante pleaded in a statement asking for anyone who witnessed the Ezell Ford shooting to please contact his office.
Ford was the mentally ill 25-year-old who was shot and killed by LAPD officers in South LA, on August 11, touching off a string of peaceful demonstrations.
Originally, there were said to be several community witnesses to the shooting, but only one has turned up, Bustamante said in a statement.
Frank Stoltze of KPCC has more on the story. Here’s a clip:
Bustamante’s investigation is one of three into the shooting: the LAPD’s Force Investigation Division and LA County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division also are conducting inquiries.
The inspector general said he remains hamstrung by the lack of first-person accounts of what happened in a neighborhood where distrust of police can run deep.
“I need witnesses to come forward,” he said “I remain powerless without witness accounts of the incident to shed additional light on what occurred.”
LAPD Commander Andrew Smith has said gang officers were making an “investigative stop” in the 200 block of West 65th Street around 8pm August 11 when Ford “tackled” one of the officers and tried to grab his gun. The department has refused to provide a more complete explanation of why officers stopped Ford….