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Gun Control in San Francisco


As mentioned by Smith (2018) the worst shooting in history has now changed the life of people of Florida; a couple of schools were closed in San Francisco after they found one student holding a gun in the school area and a student was put in jail for bringing a gun to the school. Although, no one got injured as no fire was shot but the incident resulted in a lot of chaos while the police was finding the student. Frequently occuring school gun violence has now become an everyday story for students of the city. A nation wide youth-dominated movement against the gun use emerged during the deadly February. February 14 incident of shooting leading to 17 fatalities at a Florida high school has led to activism in residents including teachers, students, parents and senior citizens of San Francisco about the incident.


California is known for having the most strict laws concerning firearm usage in the United States, and the Unified School District of San Francisco has already shown a great concern towards guns. (Clear & Cole, 2018) Residents believe that San Francisco has implemented some of the best firearm usage laws within the US and number of such laws have been implemented at the state level. Still, only in 2012, there were nearly 10000 or more guns that were stolen in California and that incident was followed by 9000 victims of gun violence in 2013.

It is believed that gun violence has become an extremely horrifying and regularly occuring incident in the US. Whether the occurrence of gun violence experienced by the students is due to residing at a less secure neighborhood, a gang or violent group activity or because of any form of domestic violence it should be condemned. (In an effort to control usage of weapons in the city, the government has proposed a law to prohibit the firearms storage inside an unattended vehicle in San Francisco unless these are kept locked in a trunk or a box. The lockbox must remain stick to the vehicle and in case of storing in a trunk, the trunk’s automatic release option must be disabled. In case of violation of the law, the accuser will be considered to have committed a crime and he may get a charge of up to $10,000 panelty and six months in jail. If the law gets approval, it will be the first law of it’s own type within California.

Moreover, few weeks after the proposal of gun control law in the city, the last gun store named High Bridge Arms in the Mission in San Francisco has been closed. The proposal has been appreciated by most of the residents of the city including Martinez. Martinez’s nephew Chris was shot and killed in the 2014. Residents feel that if people have to live with weapons there is need of large numbers of measures to keep the guns safe to be used safely. (Kimmel and Mahler, 2003)

The proposal was given subsequent to a rise in car burglaries in San Francisco and considering a rising unfortunate trend of using firearms stolen from the murderers’ vehicles. Anderman, who is working at the Law Center of Preventing Gun Violence, also supported the latest firearms control law which was approved by the government. As per the recent law, it is mandatory to keep a video record of the guns purchased and to report the purchase at the Department of Police. This law, along with number of several other firearm control laws approved in past years, are the main reason behind the 31st October closure of High Bridge Arms.

After only about few hours of shooting at Parkland, Schlax and couple of other bay areas teachers formed a Facebook group named “Teachers Taking Action Against Gun Violence” that provided a platform to the teachers to not only discuss gun violence but to discover the root causes leading to the gun violence in the US.

Only after few hours after the Parkland shooting, Schlax and two other Bay Area teachers created Facebook group called “Teachers Taking Action Against Gun Violence” to give educators a platform to not only address gun violence, but also its root causes. Teachers discovered that poverty, exposure to criminal activities and domestic violence are the most significant reasons behind a person’s involvement in the gun crime. There is a need to pay attention to what is said by the teachers who spend large amount of time with their students every day. Hence, it is possible to find important solutions to bring an over all change in the society prior to arming teachers or increasing restrictions to our youths present in present day classrooms.

Just after its launch more than 7,000 teachers present in the country joined the group, and that led to arranging a day of advocacy in March 2018, in which teachers of the Bay Area and surrounding sat down with law makers, they got a chance to talk with each other, various teachers organizations and administration. They talked about the most preferred ways to providing support to the community students to take part in the forthcoming actions, as mentioned on their page. Teachers of Florida, look highly concerned about the issue and they claim they would not compromise on their students’ well being either they are present inside or outside the school premises.

The young students of San Francisco are using social media to invite local law makes along with motivating residents for registration to cast vote at the schools. The students of San Francisco are also busy in preparing a proclamation which will be presented before the Board of Education in upcoming time with an objective to reinforce the SFUSD’s commitment to discourage gun control and motivate support from the students about the issue.

Students of San Francisco and rest of the US intend to organize a few minute school walkout in memory of the victims of the Parkland shooting that occured on 14th March. Similarly, on 24th March a gun control rally is planned by the students of Washington D.C. which will be led by by the survivors of the incident. Several other rallies are expected too in other parts of the country.

In an endeavour to make all the high school students of the city unite some senior citizens launched a Facebook page named “SF Students #NeverAgain” within the city. It’s efforts for the movement with the same name got viral that later became the name for the nationwide movement. A group of students are also trying to spread the word locally on Instagram with a heading of “#dontriskmylife.” As said by one of the group member of “SF Students #NeverAgain” soon after the shooting occured, senior citizens started to plan how they will move forward and how will get their voices heard. As per a senior citizen, their foremost demand is to ban common man access to semi-automatic arms, and the accessories that are used to support them work like an automatic arm. There should also be a fool proof assessment of background before selling weapons to anyone in the community. (Cole et al., 2018)

However, teachers, students and senior citizens were not the only members of the community that showed extreme concern for the humanity on basis of gun violence incidents but all residents of San Francisco looked actively involved in making efforts and discourage such events from happening again. The bill to stop production of weapons is still not passed which is a sad reality. It is largely believed that students would bring a change by showing activism subsequent to Parkland’s incident. Parents of San Francisco are waiting for the government to implement suitable legislations. Legislations that could stop the mass shooting. As said by one parent, it is not easy to see someone walking on body of their own child or his or her friend and hear that no one is willing to do anything about it. In comparison to rest of the country, California has strictier laws related to gun control. These also include a ten days waiting time to make the purchase and just passed initiative of the voters to limit the arms sale. ( Wilson et al. 2018). These efforts will certainly make a difference.


Still it is needed that, California must do everything to protect it’s residents. The state of California too has it’s individual weaknesses in the laws concerning arms. The proposals in the pipeline include implementation if gun tracing program and promotion to keep a high powered semi automatic gun with faulty magazine. It has been proposed to give permission to school staffs, mental health workers and employers to demand a temporary restriction on a person to keep a weapon if they believe the person can harm himself or others. At present, only law enforcing persons and family members can demand that ability. It is also a must to do a background check for a person willing to purchase a key part of an assault weapon.

Annotated Bibliography

Smith, R. (2018). International Human Rights Law. Oxford University Press.

In his publication, Rhona Smith mentioned how to stay safe for families and introduced violence prevention strategies into the curriculum and classrooms said that San Francisco Unified School District must carry out the duty of addressing arms usage as a crisis and must perform every possible effort to keep the students safe. Still, residents are forcing the legal authorities to implement new laws to protect youth from the gun violence within the city and for introducing restrictive gun control laws all over the US. Also, the mortality rate of California due to the firearm reduced by 56.6% between 1993 and 2013. Whereas the decline was 26.9% for rest of the US. In those years, the state experienced a ban on production and sale of assault weapons even the gun shows were banned. However, the need of the time is for federal officials and government to take required action, otherwise it is unlikely to achieve a sudden and drastic change in gun related crimes and fatalities.

Kimmel, M. S., & Mahler, M. (2003). Adolescent masculinity, homophobia, and violence: Random school shootings, 1982-2001. American behavioral scientist46(10), 1439-1458.

Michael S Kimmel in his publication said that in 1994 a gun control law was written by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat. The legislation was prepared as a result of a shooting incident in the previous year at a law firm at 101 California St. in San Francisco. Eight persons were killed in the incident. As per this legislation, it will be prohibited to produce and sale new armed style assault weapons and large scale magazines with a space to hold more than ten rounds. Such weapons included AR-15 Semiautomatic gun which was used in shootings in Newtown, Las Vegas and Parkland along with Aurora, Sutherland Springs, Texas and San Bernardino. However, the legislation was supposed to remain valid for up to ten years i. e. 2004, and Congress paid no attention to renew the bill and prepared no legislation concerning gun restrictions in the past 14 years after the bill expired.

Cole, G. F., Smith, C. E., & DeJong, C. (2018). The American system of criminal justice. Cengage Learning.

George E Cole explained that George in his publication said that the gun which was used to murder 17 persons in February at a high school in Parkland, remained banned from production and sale inside the country for good 10 years as a result of a law authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein. As per a study, the ban on production of such weapons will lead to better results as compare to making effort for an over all reduction in crime occurence. As per him when this legislation was in effect the mass shooting incidents percentage involving six or more fatalities were reduced up to 37% in comparison to the past decade. Even if a bill is passed to ban all types of weapons the same day, there will be still incidents of mass shootings. Hence, its better to keep the target limited to reduce the frequency and fatalities as result of mass shootings. It has been revealed that assault weapons only constitute a small percentage of guns used for crimes in general, however these could count for more than 40% for the incidents of serious violence, that may also involve police killings.

Wilson, J. Q., DiIulio Jr, J. J., Bose, M., & Levendusky, M. S. (2018). American government: Institutions and policies. Cengage Learning.

James in his study said, an example of state’s efforts towards empowerment of gun control laws is Armed Prohibited Persons System. Some 12 years ago, there was a database set by the state to alert law enforcement bodies about the owners of the assault weapons being convicted of felonies, appeared mentally unwell, got a restraining status or was found to have inability that prevented people from owning assault weapons. The list owned by the California state contains 10226 persons names and altogether 4000 guns were seized by the state Justice Department last year. Although these leads are real, but the history of this database is also affected due to absence of resources, law checks and the facility of importing weapons from another state. Weakness in firearm regulations at federal level along with other states of the US have brought a negative impact and reduced the efficiency of California’s smart regulatory implementations towards gun violence.

Clear, T. R., Reisig, M. D., & Cole, G. F. (2018). American corrections. Cengage Learning.

Todd in American Corrections mentioned that revealed that number of assault weapons collected by the police from multiple cities dropped greatly in number of cities in the ten years of the ban, implemented by the government on production of particular type of weapons. Hence, if the ban is reimposed, it could help in decreasing the amount and severity of gun violence incidents. According to a group of legislators in favour of tougher gun control, mentioned that Feinstein’s ban was not as strong as it should have been. It was weak due to the compromises made in favour of the gun lobby. In order to avoid mass shooting incidents community must demand legislators to put a full stop to production of high capacity magazines and assault weapons. However, a victim of gun shooting. He believed that the ban would not be successful in stopping any type of shooting. He was attacked by an armed person however his security guards, who were armed too, saved his and his family’s life. It is believed that the main solution is to find the root cause of the problem and then finish the root of all problems. It is time to improve things and start from one’s own home.



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