Los Angeles County’s top prosecutor called Wednesday for implementation of “reasonable gun control” in the wake of three recent mass shootings in Orange County, Buffalo, N.Y., and Milwaukee that left nearly a dozen people dead and almost 30 injured.
“I’m holding this press conference today to remind leaders that thoughts and prayers are not enough. They have never been enough,” District Attorney George Gascón said. “We must demand action. We need to implement reasonable gun control.”
The district attorney said people should not have access to military-style assault rifles or so-called ghost guns — the latter of which are typically assembled from purchased or homemade components and lack serial numbers by which they can be identified.
“We’re in this position today because we have leaders in our country who are willing to disregard public safety, sell assault rifles to 18-year-olds, spread racist hate if it helps them win elections and offer a false narrative that locking out the mentally ill, the homeless … is somehow going to make us safer,” Gascón said.
“It should be of no surprise that racially motivated crimes have increased since unscrupulous and right-wing politicians and commentators began embracing hateful, racist rhetoric to appeal to their base to win elections. That has to stop.”
The district attorney added that gun violence continues to be a major problem in the United States, with that violence being “driven by many forces which our elected leaders have the power to address.”
Gascón — who is the target of a recall effort — was quickly criticized by Eric Siddall, the vice president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, which represents more than 800 deputy district attorneys in Los Angeles County.
“California’s gun laws are the strictest in the nation. Yet, for some inexplicable reason, Gascón refuses to enforce them,” Siddall said in a statement.
“Now he has the audacity to lecture the rest of the country about the danger of gun violence. His exploitation of this tragedy to spout political platitudes is unbecoming of his office. On one thing we agree with Mr. Gascón; thoughts and prayers are not enough. Nor are press conferences.”
In February, the association announced that Los Angeles County prosecutors voted overwhelmingly in support of an effort to recall Gascón.