[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
January 22
1839 - Gov. Juan B. Alvarado gives most of SCV to Mexican Army Lt. Antonio del Valle. [story]

Out of Left Field | Commentary by Charlie Vignola
| Monday, Jan 7, 2013

charlievignolaAn open letter to Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita:


Dear Congressman McKeon,

Let me start off by congratulating you on being re-elected to Congress again, especially in a year when so many of your GOP brethren didn’t fare nearly as well.

I’m man enough to admit I didn’t vote for you, believing it was time for some new blood to represent our district and have a shot at serving our fine community. But you won fair and square, so you are now my congressman, charged with representing my interests as well as the interests of all of those who supported you in the last election.

There are many challenges facing us on a local level, but I’d like to take a few moments to talk about an important issue that dovetails with national concerns, as well.

The issue is gun regulation. Yeah, I know, know: Sandy Hook was weeks ago, and every conservative news outlet in America was hoping the furor over a classroom full of murdered 5- and 6-year-olds would’ve blown over by now so we could whistle past the graveyard and ignore a real discussion over gun violence until the next tragedy rears its head. That’s the way it’s supposed to work, right?

Well, sorry, but those dead kids are still dead, the grieving isn’t over yet, and the issue still needs to be dealt with.

Yes, I know every Santa Clarita member of the NRA and every non-member who’s a gun owner is already frothing at the mouth at the mere mention of regulating guns, fearful of the slippery slope that will lead to only criminals having guns and the rise of tyranny in America that will surely result if the government doesn’t have a well-armed populace to keep it in check.

Let me be clear, sir: No one is suggesting we get rid of all guns in America. That’s wish-fulfillment, not reality, especially in a country with 300 million guns on the streets and climbing. No, what I’m talking about is common-sense regulations that would be designed to reduce the danger of gun-related violence in America.

Now, we can debate whether the Second Amendment specifies that Americans only have the “right to bear arms” in the context of “a well regulated militia,” as the one-sentence amendment clearly states, but I think there’s one interpretation all rational people can agree upon. The “right to bear arms” doesn’t mean you have the right to bear any and all arms that now exist or will exist in the future, right?

I mean, if you define “arms” in the broadest sense to mean any weapon capable of inflicting injury or death, then surface-to-air missiles and nuclear weapons and rail guns and predator drones and chemical and biological weapons fall into that category.

I don’t think even the most die-hard members of the NRA are making the argument that average citizens should have access to the same level of weaponry as the most elite members of the U.S. military – or maybe they are, and we should all be a lot more terrified that people like that are voting members of the NRA.

My point is, if reasonable people can agree that yes, there are in fact limits to the “arms” average citizens can “bear”; that the Founding Fathers didn’t think people should have access to Buck Rogers-style ray guns if such a thing should ever be invented; then you have to accept the premise that there are limits to the types of weapons to which people should have legal access.

If we accept the premise of law-abiding gun owners that guns are mostly for recreation like hunting or for defending themselves and their families from the occasional home-invasion robber, road rage perpetrator or rapist, then they should have no problem giving up assault weapons and high-volume magazines capable of mowing down dozens of people per minute. Those are weapons of war and should only be available to soldiers tasked with defending our country in times of war – you know, like the “well regulated militia” that the Second Amendment is actually talking about.

You, Congressman McKeon, are the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. You more than nearly anyone else in Congress actually deals with the biggest weapons manufacturers on the entire planet on a daily basis, the people who rain down death on foreign lands for their livelihood.

If you decided to speak up on behalf of all concerned Americans for sane, reasonable gun regulations like banning assault weapons and high-volume ammo clips, and getting rid of the gun show loophole that allows four out of 10 guns to be sold without background checks – well, sir, I believe people would listen to someone with your distinction and experience in guiding our country’s national defense.

I think I speak for many in the community when I say I don’t actually know how you personally feel about sensible gun regulations, especially in the wake of a national tragedy like Sandy Hook. Maybe you’ve been interviewed and quoted on the matter, but I haven’t seen or heard it.

More likely, you’ve scrupulously avoided speaking on the issue because then you’d actually have to take a stand on it, and that’s something that could have serious political repercussions for someone in your position. Which is just a long-winded way of saying you’d have to have courage – a quality that’s sadly in short-supply in the modern Congress.

But that doesn’t have to be the case, sir. If you think America would be a safer country without people having such easy access to weapons of war – you know, like most police, mayors and doctors do – then you have a responsibility to say so, and to take measures as a legislator so that the next school or mall massacre doesn’t happen in your own district.

Conversely, if you think we should arm every teacher in every classroom like NRA head Wayne LaPierre believes we should, if we should not only have assault weapons and 100-bullet clips but also fewer background checks and more access to deadlier weapons of war for average citizens, then have the guts to say so.

But saying and doing nothing about gun violence in America when you owe your political career to the biggest arms dealers in the world is no longer an option, Congressman McKeon. Tens of thousands of your fellow countrymen are dying every year because of it, sir, and your silence comforts no one.

For all of us here in Santa Clarita, I urge you: Let us know where you stand.



Charlie Vignola describes himself as a former College Republican turned liberal Democrat.  A resident of the Santa Clarita Valley since 1999, he works in the motion picture industry and loves his wife and kids.



Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


  1. Larry says:

    I believe the gun control laws in place in California, which are the toughest in the country, would suffice nationally. If you take away guns from the law abiding citizens, only the criminals will have them. It has been proven over and over again that tougher gun control laws don’t reduce crime, in fact they cause an increase in crime. Look at Washington DC. To think that gun control will fix the problem is wrong. Drugs kill more people annually, and drugs are illegal. Use your logic people, take care of your guns, lock them up, but don’t ever give them up.

  2. DMV says:

    Define the Militia first.. Citizens are the militia.. It’s that simple.. Review the Federalist Papers..

  3. Iserved4you says:

    First things first. We need to enact much tougher automobile control laws. Too many drunks are using cars to kill people with.

  4. Wallace says:

    You sir, are an idiot!

  5. k,muhi says:

    Get a life looser

Leave a Comment

Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Thursday, Jan 11, 2018
There may come a time in your life when you need mental health care. Your Medicare covers a wide variety of such services, in both hospital inpatient and outpatient settings.
Monday, Jan 1, 2018
Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin previews Year 4 of the city's five-year Strategic Plan in his monthly message for January 2018.
Sunday, Dec 10, 2017
Derelict since the 1994 earthquake, the Pioneer Oil Refinery in Newhall was the first productive oil refinery in the American West and is believed to be the oldest existing refinery in the world today. Unfunded restoration plans have come and gone. Now that the surrounding property is under development, will the promises be kept?
Friday, Dec 8, 2017
A National Memorial designation for St. Francis Dam will honor those who lost their lives in the nation’s worst engineering disaster and the role it played in ushering in a new era of oversight for dam construction.
Thursday, Dec 7, 2017
Eliminating net neutrality would allow Internet service providers such as Verizon, Comcast, Spectrum and AT&T to create a “slow lane” and a “fast lane” on the Internet, prioritizing certain companies over others and dictating what websites you’re able to visit and at what speed, or even blocking you entirely from visiting certain websites of your choice.
Monday, Dec 4, 2017
In his monthly message for December 2017, Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin encourages residents to shop and party locally during the holidays to keep the cash in our community.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
A Castaic man was charged with attempted murder and assault for allegedly trying to set his ex-girlfriend on fire in one of three domestic violence incidents in the SCV Friday and Saturday.
Man Allegedly Tries to Kill Ex-Girlfriend by Setting Her on Fire
College of the Canyons Canyon Country Campus officials will break ground on the Science Center on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 1:30 p.m.
Jan. 24: Science Center Groundbreaking at COC Canyon Country Campus
The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley has named Canyon High School sophomore Lluvia Partida the 2018 Youth of the Year.
Lluvia Partida Named SCV Boys and Girls Club 2018 Youth of the Year
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce will host five grand openings for local businesses in February 2018 - Fantastic Sams, Bodhi Leaf Coffee, Kaiser Permanente, Farmers Insurance and Open Trails E-Bikes.
February: SCV Chamber Hosts 5 Grand Openings
California State Parks is taking reservations for the spring tour season at Tomo-Kahni State Historic Park in Tehachapi, site of a Kawaiisu Native American village.
Reservations Open for Tours at Tehachapi Native American Village Site
The Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretive Center at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve will be open March 1 through May 13 (Mother’s Day) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends.
March 1: California Poppy Reserve Center Opens in Antelope Valley
The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve’s two-day volunteer training for the 2018 spring wildflower season will be held on February 3 and February 10, both Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Feb. 3, Feb. 10: Poppy Reserve Volunteer Training for 2018 Wildflower Season
The 2017 Kosmont-Rose Institute Cost of Doing Business Survey again ranked Santa Clarita among the best cities for doing business in Southern California.
Survey: Santa Clarita Among County’s Best in Cost of Doing Business
Traffic on McBean Parkway between Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard in Valencia is being delayed intermittently between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. today due to filming involving a Cessna airplane that will land at the Valencia Country Club.
Small Plane Landings for Movie Shoot in Valencia Until 4 p.m. Today
Adam Rubio's game-winning RBI single in the eighth inning resulted in TMU's 5-4 win over Marymount California University Saturday.
Mustangs Rally to Beat MCU in the Eighth
With Robert Winslow on the mound, TMU won 13-0 over visiting Marymount California University at Master's in the second game of Saturday's double-header.
Master’s Baseball Team Wraps Opening Series in Dominating Fashion
The No. 4 Mustangs men's basketball team scored a 74-71 win over Westmont before a capacity crowd Saturday in the team's 18th straight victory, and fifth straight to open Golden State Athletic Conference play.
Master’s Holds off Westmont for 18th Straight Win
Hannah Forrar scored 16 points Saturday night but The Master's University women's basketball team still lost to Westmont 62-55.
Westmont Rises Over Mustangs 62-56
It’s not too late to register for the College of the Canyons spring 2018 semester, which will run from Monday, Feb. 5 to Thursday, June 1.
Not Too Late for COC Spring Registration
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies caught and arrested two men and two women from Bakersfield allegedly using credit cards stolen in Santa Clarita to purchase items at a Centre Pointe business.
4 Alleged Credit Card Thieves Arrested on Multiple Charges
Caltrans has reopened U.S. Highway 101 in between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara after nearly a nearly two-week closure due to mudslides.
Caltrans Reopens Highway 101 from Carpinteria to Santa Barbara
A 38-year-old man was arrested on charges including theft and forgery in Stevenson Ranch early Thursday morning.
Man Booked for Alleged Theft, Forgery in Stevenson Ranch
L.A. County health officials have extended a Cold Weather Alert for the Santa Clarita Valley through Monday night due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures.
SCV Cold Weather Alert Extended Through Tonight
In the ninth inning Friday, with Master's well on its way to a 15-7 season-opening win over Marymount California University, Coach Monte Brooks sent Josh Robison to the plate if for no other reason than to see what would happen.
TMU’s Robison Hits 3 Homers in Season-Opening Win
Here is the Castaic/Val Verde public safety and crime information report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for the week of January 1, 2018
Crime Blotter: Theft, Grand Theft Auto in Castaic-Val Verde
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck abruptly announced his retirement on Friday, capping off an eight-year stint leading one of the largest metropolitan police forces in America.
L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck Abruptly Announces Retirement
1839 - Gov. Juan B. Alvarado gives most of SCV to Mexican Army Lt. Antonio del Valle. [story]
1914 - Signal newspaper owner-editor Scott Newhall born in San Francisco [story]
1993 - Hart High grad Dee Dee Myers (1979) becomes first female White House press secretary [story]
Traffic on McBean Parkway between Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard will be delayed intermittently between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday, January 22 due to filming involving a Cessna airplane that will land at the Valencia Country Club.
Jan. 22: Filming in Valencia to Prompt Street Closures
Attorneys Brian Koegle and David Poole of Santa Clarita Valley law firm Poole & Shaffery, LLP will provide insight on legal matters affecting California businesses at the Valley Industry Association's February luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on February 20 starting at 11:45 a.m.
Feb. 20: VIA Luncheon, 2018 Employment Law Update
Oak Hills Educational Foundation and Oak Hills PTA will be hosting their annual science fair at Oak Hills School in Valencia in the form of an exciting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Expo event on Jan. 23rd-26th.
Jan. 26: Oaks Hills STEM Expo
2017 was an exceptional year for the Santa Clarita Valley economy, and 2018 promises even more positive growth.
Live, Work, Play in SCV: All to Improve in 2018
Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation Mythbusters tackle a tough and persistent question: Is growing a community a good thing?
SCV EDC Mythbusters: Why Growth is Good
The nonprofit SCV Mayor’s Committee For Employment of Individuals with Disabilities will host its second annual Educate-Empower-Employ Recognition Luncheon at COC on Thursday, February 22.
Feb. 22: SCV Mayor’s Committee Annual Luncheon, Fundraiser
CalArts alumni will stage the second annual Co-Incidence Festival, an experimental music festival and residency hosted at Washington Street Gallery in Somerville, Massachusetts from Jan. 19-28.
Jan. 19-28: CalArtians Stage Co-Incidence Festival in Mass.
Joseph Wayne Monroy, a South Gate man charged with the murder of a Newhall man in January 2016, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Los Angeles Superior Court today, and was sentenced to 21 years in prison.
Monroy Sentenced to 21 Years for 2016 Newhall Murder
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has appointed Joseph Hedges to the position of Chief Operating Officer and Pamela Mizukami as Chief Deputy Director of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
Brown Expands High-Speed Rail Exec Team to Move Project Forward
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reports that influenza activity has declined over the last two weeks; however, activity is still widespread and higher than peak levels observed during recent seasons.
Flu Outbreak Eases in L.A. County, But Still Widespread
The Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District has appointed Brittany Kruczynski as the new Director of Fiscal Services.
Kruczynski Named Hart District Fiscal Services Director
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies were out in force stepping up enforcement of pedestrian and bicycle safety laws and issued 69 citations to drivers Wednesday, but none to pedestrians.
SCV Deputies’ Pedestrian, Bike Safety Push Nets 69 Citations