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Altadena's Supervisor Only Vote Against Assault Weapons Ban

Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who represents Altadena, was the sole dissenting vote Tuesday as the rest of the County Board of Supervisors supported an assault weapons ban. What do you think of his decision?

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to support the reinstatement of a federal ban on assault weapons.

A 1994 ban on certain automatic firearms expired 10 years later and attempts to renew it have failed. But some legislators, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, have pledged to pass a new ban in light the shooting massacre in Newtown, CT, last month.

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky recommended that the board throw its weight behind Feinstein's bill, which she has promised to bring to the Senate on Jan. 22, the first day new legislation will be heard.

Since the bill is not yet available for review, the board agreed to support it only to the extent that it reinstates the previous ban.

The board joined several city leaders calling for re-authorization of the gun control legislation, including Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, Councilman Eric Garcetti and City Controller Wendy Greuel. City Councilman Paul Koretz has said he will introduce a City Council resolution in support.

The board also voted to send letters to the mayors of all 88 cities in Los Angeles County, asking them to have their councils consider supporting Feinstein's bill.

Supervisor Michael Antonovich was the sole dissenting vote.

The measure was part of a broader public safety review recommended by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and also approved by the board Tuesday.

"We don't need to look across the country for examples of the devastating consequences of gun violence," Ridley-Thomas said of the many times he's met to comfort the families of those killed in local shootings.

The board voted unanimously to establish a task force of law enforcement, public health and mental health officials and charge that group with developing a comprehensive plan for curbing gun violence locally. The group will be asked to consider enhanced enforcement of gun control laws, as well as efforts to erase the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health problems.

The county will also survey public school districts to ensure compliance with mandated safety plans and conduct a safety assessment of county facilities and protocols in the event of an armed attack.

"It is not just a question about laws, but it is a question about our own set of values," Ridley-Thomas said. "We must recommit ourselves to the principle of non-violence."

What do you think of an assault weapons ban? What do you think of Altadena's Board of Supervisors representative, Michael Antonovich, voting against the ban?

Joel Mosher January 10, 2013 at 12:46 AM
Michael Antonovich is a good man. We need more like him
Bill Burnett January 10, 2013 at 12:53 AM
Antonovich may be a good man but good men make mistakes. I am outraged that anyone representing me and my town would vote against an assault weapons ban. We live in a blood soaked gun culture and we must draw the line. Shame on Mr. Antonovich.
p ungaro January 10, 2013 at 12:55 AM
First lets get something straight. The statment in the above article is misleading "A 1994 ban on certain automatic firearms expired 10 years later ". Automatic firearms have been strictly regulated since 1932. What we may own today are only semi-automatic. Fully automatic arms are only for the police, military and a few regulated private owners (one trigger pull = multiple shots limited by magazine capacity) Semi-automatic arms are what the average person may own (one trigger pull = one shot ) . The 1994 assault weapons ban did nothing to lower violent crime, it actually went up in the 10 year period of the ban. The following comment is spot on however, "enhanced enforcement of gun control laws, as well as efforts to erase the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health problems." That type of action will do more to stop gun violence that a knee jerk gun ban. If people were truly sincere about saving lives they would ban cigarettes and all other tobacco products as they cause approximately 500,000 related deaths a year.
Michael Anderson January 10, 2013 at 02:08 AM
Antonovich is an effective supervisor and a good man, but I disagree with him on assault weapons. I see no sound reason to allow these weapons to circulate freely in civilian society. True, they are semi-automatic but instructions for converting them to full auto are widely available and widely used. It seems an almost insurmountable task to recover the 250-300 million weapons in private hands, but we should make every effort to recover assault type weapons and multi-shot replaceable clips and ban new sales.
Dan MacPherson January 10, 2013 at 04:18 AM
Those weapons are militia weapons. Same pattern, common ammunition, and parts with both the military and police. The second amendment is about militia weapons. Read the 1939 Supreme court ruling "Miller V. The United States". Any weapon can be a terrible weapon when used against innocent children or for that matter any innocent person. An ordinary .22. A bow and arrow, or a knife. An automobile, a bomb. A gallon of gasoline. Poison. If you want to see how a gunless society functions you could always look at Australia like the media does. However I choose to just look south of our border. If that violence and killing ends up in the United States we might need those weapons. Better not give them up just yet. I think we should investigate what might cause a 20 year old to kill his mother and then shoot school children and ultimately kill himself. That is the problem. Weapons like those you seek to ban have been around since WWII (the M1 Carbine) but young men did not go on suicidal murder rampages then.
Andrew Morrison January 10, 2013 at 04:25 AM
I am very disappointed in Mr Antonovich.
Steve Lamb January 10, 2013 at 05:44 AM
On this particular issue, I could not possibly agree more with Supervisor Antonovich. it seems he takes his oath of office to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic seriously. Thank you, Mike.
Gene Stevenson January 10, 2013 at 07:15 AM
Perhaps our knees should be jerking given the level of violent deaths that occur in this country from the use of guns. It does little towards solving a major public health/public safety issue to "... go again." into the cynical labeling of anyone or any action that speaks to or attempts to address one of the most troublesome issues of our time. What insanity there exists in this country (and in this very Los Angeles County) to witness the mad dash of thousands of stock up on weapons of destruction, automatic/semi-automatic or whatever. An innocent dying at the hands of gun hardly cares whether their death was caused by either; they are just as dead. What a very specious and diversionary argument to make relative to cigarettes. Tell that very same argument to the innocent people whose lives were taken in Connecticut and Colorado. OK, have your way, lets ban cigarettes as well
Steve Lamb January 10, 2013 at 07:23 AM
Gene- if you care about human life, as opposed to irrational fears of an inanimate object, perhaps you should be jerking your knees about the 30,000 drunk driving deaths a year or the 120,000 medical malpractice deaths a year at the hands of 700,000 medical doctors. If the same percentage of gun owners killed as medical doctors do, the yearly gun deaths would be 13 million yearly, not less that 9000, Show me some appropriate outrage for the waste of human life where it is wasted, and in the case of doctors almost totally covered up. 1300 % of the deaths by guns by negligent doctors....
Gene Stevenson January 10, 2013 at 08:01 AM
OK, Steve, I'm appropriately outraged and my knees are jerking re. those statistics as well! Now, enough with the diversionary argument. I understanding debating tactics also. Lets lets get back to the issue at hand. It's the inanimate object in the hands of irrational, animate objects that is the issue. Not sure you've served in the military and had the opportunity to understand what that inanimate object is capable of doing when it becomes animated. Law enforcement officials across this country certainly do.
Mattkaine January 10, 2013 at 08:23 AM
Banning any weapons is only crippling the good guys. These "Assault Weapons" so many politicians are trying to ban are used in less than 3% of violent crimes. You would save more lives by banning fast food restaraunts than you will banning a firearm. More often than not, these weapons are actually "Anti-Assault Weapons" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wsQNCjoafY It is only communities who have strict gun laws or places where Conceal and Carry licenses are not allowed that these massacre occure. Do a little web searching and you will find there were 2 other attempted massacres the week Sandy Hook happened, in both cases the shooters were stopped almost immediately by lawfully armed citizens. Another the same day in China by a maniac carving up kids with a knife. The firearms are not and have never been the issue. Here is some more light reading for those of you so eager to ban firearms... http://nrano.com/anti-gun-lobby-assault-weapon-ban/ http://nrano.com/the-highest-death-gun-rate-world-not/ Please start educating yourselves to the facts before going on a knee jerk terror campaign to ban things.
Michael Anderson January 10, 2013 at 12:22 PM
That is a point not often discussed but true. The newly independent states did not trust the new federal government with a standing army, and also they did not want to pay taxes to support one. Hence the second amendment to provide for state militias, which were intended to be capable of fulfilling the same function as a standing army but much cheaper. So "keep and bear arms" does mean military style weapons. It's outdated and counterproductive now but most likely impossibled to repeal.
Melody Comfort January 10, 2013 at 05:34 PM
I would be interested to hear the specific reasons why Supervisor Antonovich voted no. Was it something as simple as the language used in the ban? Was there some kind of rider attached to the 1994 ban that he doesn't accept? Or, is it the concept of citizen freedom that he is trying to defend? Anyone?
Russell Person January 11, 2013 at 02:48 PM
Why do County Supervisors think they should vote on an issue that is clearly national? Please don't waste our money focusing on issues out of your scope!
Steve Lamb January 11, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Russell- well speaking from my Altadena Town Council experience, in all probability some well organized highly funded anti gun group demanded it go on their agenda. Then they probably demanded a vote on their pre written motion, and since they had either given money in the past or promised it in the future got a vote and got the vote they wanted. When this happemed about twenty years ago at the ATC they had a twenty page bill they wanted us to endorse without reading. Of Course since most of the Town Council was associated in some way either with Jack Scott, All Saints or the PEF they voted for it without bothering to read it. I voted abstain so it could be brought back up the next month when more members would be present. Then I analyzed the bill. It outlawed what guns looked like. It did not outlaw or regulate rate of fire or anything else that was perhaps a reasonable thing to regulate other than the shape or color of the stock, or the model number of the gun. After the bill was totally understood, and opposing east side Councilpeople were present, the Town Council thought about it and reversed their position. Just do something NOW doesnt make for well reasoned legislation. I was really proud that the ATC reversed its position after using REASON and logic. No other governmental or quasi governmental body actually read the legislation and cities all over the SGV were on the record supporting a bill they had never read and that only really regulated how cute guns were.
Steve Lamb January 11, 2013 at 03:09 PM
Of course I believe Supervisor Antonovich voted no because he respects both the Constitution and takes his oath of office to uphold it seriously.
dc dalton January 14, 2013 at 06:54 PM
You do realize converting a semi-auto weapon to full auto is a felony right? Major no-no in the gun world!
James Mullally January 15, 2013 at 04:59 PM
The gun issue is just another red herring for those who want to control every breath we take. I agree with Mr. Lamb above. Antonovich respects the Constitution and takes an oath to uphold it. As long as the citizens allow representatives who don't "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic: that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same: that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office I am about to enter: So help me God." If you don't know what it says, how can you defend it people. If your representatives don't understand the Constitution, get some who do.
Mark Baird February 15, 2013 at 02:26 AM
Do any of you realize that law enforcement is under no legal or moral obligation to defend individuals against crime, against violence, against threat or anything else for that matter. Look up Calif. Govt Code sec. 821, 845, 846. Look up Miller v D.C. Look up Balisteri v Pacifica Police Dept or Deshanny v Winnebago Co. " The Constitution was meant to protect us against the good intentions of well meaning despots, they mean well but they mean to govern. They mean to be good masters but they mean to be your master". (Danial Webester). I am involved in law enforcement and you people would be horrified to learn what goes on outside your home when you think you are safe in your beds. I thank God for the second amendment. It is an inalienable right and just as valid if not more so than 235 years ago.
Russell Person February 15, 2013 at 02:46 AM
I'm hoping to see pink slips for people who exert so little logical care and are acting on our behalf!

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