Capitol Alert

Rapid Response: Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting renews calls for stricter gun laws

3 killed in Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting; suspect also killed

“This is one of those press conferences that you never want to give in your community,” said Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee, while giving an update on the killing of at least three people at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on July 28, 2019.
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“This is one of those press conferences that you never want to give in your community,” said Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee, while giving an update on the killing of at least three people at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on July 28, 2019.

A gunman killed three people, including a 6-year-old boy, at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday. Police said they’re investigating whether a second person was involved in the attack. Twelve other victims are wounded.

The mass shooting has drawn attention from President Donald Trump, and several California lawmakers are calling for stricter gun laws, declaring that “enough is enough.”

Here’s how some California leaders are responding:

Gov. Gavin Newsom

“This is nothing short of horrific. Tonight, CA stands with the Gilroy community. My office is monitoring the situation closely. Grateful for the law enforcement’s efforts and their continued work as this situation develops.”

U.S. Sen Kamala Harris

“Simply horrific. I’m grateful to the first responders who are on the scene in Gilroy, and my thoughts are with that community tonight. Our country has a gun violence epidemic that we cannot tolerate.”

President Donald Trump

“While families were spending time together at a local festival, a wicked murderer opened fire and killed three innocent citizens, including a young child. We grieve for their families, and we ask that God will comfort them with his overflowing mercy and grace.

“We’re praying for those who are recovering right now in the hospital — some very, very injuries. We thank the brave members of law enforcement. They never let us down (and) swiftly killed the shooter. We reaffirm our national will to answer violence with the courage, determination and resolve of one American family. We will continue to work together as communities and as citizens to stop evil, prevent violence and protect the safety of all Americans.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

“This brutal killing targeting children and families enjoying a day of community breaks the heart of America. We thank the heroic first responders who provided aid and support to those in need, and we send our prayers to all who are mourning the lives that were cruelly cut short by this shocking attack.

“Enough is enough. Congress has a responsibility to every family torn apart by gun violence to act, and help advance a future that is finally free from this senseless violence. Every day the Senate refuses to act is a stain on the conscience of our nation.

“May it bring some measure of comfort to the friends and loved ones of those whose lives were cut short that all of America mourns with and prays for them during this sad time.”

Gilroy Mayor Roland Velasco

“This is a tragic incident for our community. On behalf of the City and the Gilroy City Council, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families.”

U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose

“I am heartbroken over the innocent lives lost and outraged that this violence has happened in our community at a time when families and neighbors were enjoying the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival.”

U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Carmel Valley

“I join our community members in grieving & praying for the victims of the mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. I am grateful for law enforcement’s and first responder’s swift response, and my office will continue to work with all partners to provide support to those impacted by this tragedy. Tonight, we are a hurting, but we find strength and resolve in each other and our community.”

U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin

“My heart breaks for all of our Bay Area neighbors who attended the Gilroy Garlic Festival. We need gun reform and we need it now. Enough is enough.”

Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto

“Instead of sending racist tweets and stoking hate in America, how about Donald Trump put in a real day of work for once and bring legislative leaders together to find real solutions to the gun violence epidemic that’s plaguing our communities? Or is it more thoughts & prayers?”

Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland

“As news unfolds of another tragic mass shooting — at the Gilroy Garlic Fest— our communities weep, we grapple with both anger and heartbreak, and we hold our children closer. We send love to those whose lives are forever changed — we must match it with political courage to end this epidemic.”

Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda

“Unacceptable. Thoughts and prayers are not enough. Bold action on gun safety is required.You’ve (President Donald Trump) failed to adequately address gun violence even as mass shootings have repeatedly occurred on your watch. Unless you will act to make the US safe from gun violence, don’t talk. Action.”

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo

“Praying for lives and recoveries of each of the shooting victims at Gilroy Garlic Festival. We will continue to support our neighbors in any way we can.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

“Our hearts go out to the victims of the shooting in Gilroy. It is devastating that families cannot enjoy a community festival without fear of gun violence. We have a moral imperative to end this epidemic.”

Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco

“No more thoughts and prayers. Time to take more action so we can go to work, school and festivals in peace without fear of getting shot.”

State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco

My heart goes out to the people of Gilroy, to the victims of this act of domestic terrorism, and to the families and community that will be impacted forever. Our country must take action — must stop ignoring — the flood of guns plaguing our country. These murders are avoidable.

“We’ve dramatically tightened access in California to guns whose purpose is to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible. But, we can’t do it alone. Congress must act and take this tidal wave of gun violence seriously. Too many people, too many of our kids, are dying.”

Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido

“Heartfelt condolences to the victims and families of the Gilroy festival shooting. This is a nightmare that should never happen. Please pray for the community of Gilroy, the victims and law enforcement as they deal with this terrible tragedy.”

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Bryan Anderson is a political reporter for The Bee. He covers the California Legislature and reports on wildfires and transportation. He also hosts The Bee’s “California Nation” podcast.
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