CA Assemblymember Phil Ting decries presence of guns in wrong hands

California Assemblymember Phil Ting

By Jun Nucum
 
SAN FRANCISCO – California’s Assemblymember Phil Ting who represents the 19th Assembly District covering portions of San Francisco, South San Francisco, Colma, Broadmoor and Daly City, lamented that guns, including high-powered ones, are in the hands of people who should not possess or own them.

In an exclusive interview, Assemblymember Ting, in the wake of successive shooting incidents in California,  underscored that ”we are doing a very good job in California protecting our citizens from gun violence.”

“We have some of the lowest in the country but we just have too many guns in the streets and it is way too easy for people to get guns,” said Ting. “One of the guns was purchased legally and then after the owner purchased in Monterey Park, the gun became illegal. We had two recent mass shootings involving Asians within days of each other, one in Monterey Park and another in Half Moon Bay, one of the nicest towns. More recently also in upscale Beverly Crest.”

Ting said that, every time, they are trying to do to get these illegal guns off the hands of the wrong people but they still cannot do enough “because we have more guns in the United States than people which is unheard of.”

A study by the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey found that more than 393,000 civilian-owned firearms or 120 guns for every 100 Americans and majority of the guns are owned by owned by minority of people.
“They say guns make you safe but so if that is true then we must be the safest country in the world but that is not the case as we see how many people are dying from gun violence from mass killings, from mass shootings,” Ting said.
 “A gun is a weapon to do one thing – to kill people. Anybody could just get it her in the U.S. you don’t need training, any kind of knowledge, safety protocols,” he said.

Ting added that California has laws now on safe storage making sure that guns are safely stored and that is supposed to be the way it is across the country.

“Even in California, there are too many guns. Guns in the hands of the wrong people who end up using them. These are folks who are isolated, angry, and those that should not have weapons. People get angry and upset. Imagine if you are upset, instead of taking a walk to cool down, if you have a gun, imagine what kind of damage you could do,” said Ting.

As to the still preponderance of hate incidence, Ting assured that they are doing more to make sure that there are adequate responses in the community against hate incidents.

“The community groups need more support from the states. I am proud we were able to champion $165 million AAPI equity budget along with my legislative colleagues where we began to have a state budget two years ago and grants are now being given to the community groups to hire people build capacity as we still hear about cases all over the country so having that response is very critical,” Ting stated.

Ting is also very proud of that ethnic grants they had because with ethnic media people would know and hear what is happening going on and that people will also be able to relay information in the community.

“I am proud to carry two bills one bill which we held another which we plan of reintroducing again to have POST Peace Officers Standards and Training. Making sure that peace officers all around the state have the best practices around hate incidents/crimes. They have a checklist. We were not able to and we hope to get it through next time,” Ting pledged. “We have a lot of law enforcement agencies that have no checklist of hate crimes so they don’t have to identify hate crimes.”.

Ting said he is glad that there are more awareness, more are standing up to address the issue of hate, reaching out building bridges with other communities which is so important as they cannot fight this alone.

“We really need to be together and reach out to other minorities. We really need to get involved and be able to partner with these groups. You will able to stop hate when you make it unfashionable and when the community sat that this is not what we want,” he said.

Among the grants passed in the 2022 budget for Asian Americans Pacific Islander (AAPI)  community includes:

o   Ethnic Media Grant Program: $5 million for the ethnic media grant program at the California State Library.

o   Language Access Pilot Project: $5 million for a pilot program to provide language access at hearings and events in order to increase AAPI public participation

o   AAPI MultiMedia Textbook: $10 million to the UCLA Asian American Studies Center to create a narrative change project that brings together distinguished scholarship, open access technology, and ethnic studies pedagogy to deepen public knowledge about who we are, strengthen students’ historical empathy, and build a more inclusive and equitable society.

o   Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies: $15 million for UC Berkeley Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies program to increase faculty and enhance campus community engagement.

o   CSU Asian Bilingual Teacher Education Program Dual Immersion Education: $5 million to provide financial assistance to aspiring teachers for bilingual accreditation, support the infrastructure of the CSU Asian Bilingual Teacher Education Program Consortium, and fund a pilot program to support a cohort of aspiring teachers seeking accreditation across the CSUs.’ and

o   Anti-Bias Block Grants: $10 million to increase funding for the state’s Anti-Bias Block Grant program at the California Department of Education in order to provide grants to schools that create anti-bias programs.