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Aug 24, 2023 | In The News

OC Register

Once again. Even in California. These are the sentiments shared by local and state legislators in the wake of the mass shooting at an Orange County biker bar.

The oft-repeated calls for prayers or stronger gun laws were reiterated after a gunman killed at least three people and injured six others at Cook’s Corner bar Wednesday evening.

“Our district is one of the safest areas in the country, and yet we too are repeatedly afflicted with the scourge of mass shootings,” said state Sen. Dave Min, pointing to other mass shootings that have occurred in Orange County in recent years: a church in Laguna Woods in 2022 and a real estate office in Orange in 2021.

“There is no place in America that is safe from the scourge of gun violence,” Min said. “There is no community not affected.”

Sen. Catherine Blakespear, who represents communities near Trabuco Canyon, echoed those thoughts: “This is a sad reminder that even in California, which has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, no one is safe from gun violence.”

“In modern society, we should not have to live with the danger, and the anxiety it causes, that anytime we go out into public we could face a hail of gunfire,” said Blakespear. “The truth is, even in California, we can do more to prevent gun violence from happening.”

Assemblymember Kate Sanchez, a Republican who represents the area around Cook’s Corner in the legislature, expressed her gratitude for the first responders who responded to the mass shooting.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and the families affected by this tragic event,” Sanchez said.

“One again,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom, “a siege of bullets has shaken a community and torn families apart. California mourns for the victims of last night’s horrific shooting at Cook’s Corner.”

Orange County prosecutors and sources say the gunman, who died after being confronted by law enforcement, was a retired Ventura Police Department sergeant who was involved in a contentious divorce. It was his wife, family and sources say, who was the main target of his rampage Wednesday evening.

“This type of trauma is unfortunately not isolated. Two-thirds of mass shooters in America have a history of domestic violence,” said Newsom. “Victims and survivors in California should know they are never alone — we have tools and resources to support and protect you.”

Newsom called for the state’s red flag laws to be strengthened but also utilized. California has what are called temporary gun violence restraining orders, which allow a family member, close coworker, roommate or law enforcement, for example, to petition a court to have a firearm removed from somebody deemed to be in crisis.

Rep. Young Kim, R-Anaheim Hills, said she is “closely monitoring the situation” with her team and is in contact with law enforcement. “My heart is with the victims and our canyon communities,” she said.

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