Congressman Eric Swalwell hosts emotional town hall on gun control in Hayward

HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) -- It was a full house in Hayward for a town hall meeting on gun violence hosted by Congressman Eric Swalwell.

"I believe it is time for the nation to repeal the second amendment," said one attendee, to rousing applause.

Another read a poetic statement, "We need the right-wing and the left-wing to be able to soar above our differences and help protect our children."

For nearly two hours, it continued with one question after another. The crowd was engaged and enraged over the recent spate of mass shootings in the country-- but, there was conflict on solutions.

"I want us to look at what is the root cause of gun violence. That's the root before talking about assault rifles or handguns," said Robert Lopez.

"Don't attack this from a gun issue, attack this from a mental health issue, people who do this aren't normal-- they're not all together," said Bill Brennan who is a hunter and a Hayward local.

Swalwell was clear on his position, the cornerstone of his brief run for presidency.

"The American people already know what they want us to do. Overwhelmingly they support background checks and assault weapons ban, just getting a congress that will do it."

Swalwell said he hosted the meeting because his constituents, many of whom were born outside the United States felt targeted.

"I'm very blessed, that many cultures live here but again, it is pretty much like the ticking timebomb in every parents head with different color and different background," said Andy Mendhi who was born in Bangladesh.

The common thread in the room seemed to be this-- at least speak up, even if the solutions still remain unclear.

"As an African American it's really heartwarming to hear people speaking on this issue," said one attendee.

"You can't really go right for the second amendment, you have to go step by step that's why I'm here what are the steps to go there, added Mendhi.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.