Vigil held in Bay Area for Texas school shooting victims, calling for gun control action

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Thursday, May 26, 2022
Vigil held in Bay Area for TX shooting victims, calling for action
Dozens gathered at Leo J. Ryan Park in Foster City to remember those who lost their lives in the elementary school shooting Uvalde, Texas.

FOSTER CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- Following the Uvalde school shooting, intense sorrow felt from Texas all the way to here in the Bay Area.

On Wednesday night, dozens gathered at Leo J. Ryan Park in Foster City to remember those who lost their lives.

"We're here to honor those victims and grieve and vent and get to action," said Shikha Hamilton, the event's organizer and the vice president of Brady United Against Gun Violence.

Many in attendance were still in shock- worried about their own families and young children.

"You think that they should be safe, and it's just until you hear about these things happen that all of a sudden it just comes home that the world isn't as safe as we thought it could be," said parent, Stacy Jimenez.

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The event is calling for tougher gun control measures.

Their top priority, closing loopholes on federal background checks.

"In some states you can just exchange guns and we need to make sure that we create that foundation where all gun sales go through a background check," Hamilton said.

Their pleas are being heard by state legislators in Sacramento.

In the aftermath of the shooting, lawmakers here in California have vowed to take new action to curb gun violence.

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Some of that action involves speeding up the passing of several new laws.

Assemblymember Buffy Wicks from Oakland made an impassioned plea during Wednesday's legislative session.

"Our number one job is to keep our communities safe. And we are failing," she said.

One state proposal would allow people to sue anyone who makes, sells or distributes assault weapons.

But some say, with hundreds of millions of guns already in circulation in the U.S., they worry that even if passed, the effect of new laws could take years to be felt.

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Law enforcement says the United States has seen a sharp rise in deadly mass shootings.

Frank Zimring is a criminal law professor at UC Berkeley.

"If you've got that many guns in circulation, and they're freely in circulation, it's very difficult to keep guns from bad guys," he said.

But no matter what obstacles lie in front of her, Hamilton says she's not giving up.

Not now, not ever.

"I'm always optimistic. I never feel defeated because it's too important. Too many lives are at stake," Hamilton said.