A mass shooting prompted a California mayor to take action. He couldn’t stop another one

A mass shooting prompted a California mayor to take action. He couldn’t stop another one

On 28 July 2019, a gunman opened fire on a crowd at the Gilroy garlic festival, killing six-year-old Stephen Romero, 13-year-old Keyla Salazar and 25-year-old Trevor Irby, and injuring 17 others. The mass shooting sent shock waves through the community, located 30 miles south of San Jose in California’s Bay Area, as it elicited all-too-familiar calls from elected officials that “ thoughts and prayers ” were no longer a sufficient response. Among them was San Jose’s mayor Sam Liccardo, who two weeks later unveiled a first-of-its-kind proposal that would require gun owners in the US’ 10th largest city to buy liability insurance for their weapons. Those that didn’t buy the insurance would be required to pay a fee to cover the cost of gun violence in the city. But in the 22 months following the announcement, the initiative failed to make it in front of the San Jose city council. Then, another mass shooting rattled San Jose. Justin Bates, who was injured in the Gilroy garlic festival mass shooting, and his mother, Lisa Barth, attend a vigil outside of city hall, in Gilroy, California, on 29 July 2019. Photograph: Kate Munsch/Reuters On the morning of 26 May, a 57-year-old Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority maintenance worker shot and killed nine of his co-workers at the transit agency’s rail yard in San Jose before killing himself. In the weeks following, Liccardo lurched back into action, reannouncing his gun insurance proposal with the addition that paying a fee would be required […]

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