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Commentary by Enaya Hanbali
| Wednesday, Mar 2, 2016

EnayaHanbaliLast week, U.S. Rep. Steve Knight, who represents Santa Clarita, Simi Valley and Antelope Valley, along with a majority in Congress passed the SHARE Act, a bill that states it is going to “protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting, and for other purposes.” This bill got passed by 230 Republicans and 12 Democrats in the House. The Senate will have to decide whether to approve the bill.

There are a couple of amendments that are added onto this bill that got rejected. House Amendment 947 got turned down by 233 Republicans and 11 Democrats which states. It would “prohibit an individual who is prohibited from possessing a firearm by the Gun Control Act from using a public target range.” There must be a reason why it needs to “prohibit an individual who is prohibited” when having access to guns.

The Gun Control Act of 1968 attempted to address the need to have gun control laws by imposing stricter licensing and regulations on the firearm industry. This law also prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition to felons and certain other prohibited persons.

Our society should not have to risk our safety when an issue like gun violence arises at high rates. Even though the reason why people would want to have access to guns would be for recreational hunting, fishing or shooting, our society needs to balance the need to be safe such as not allowing felons and other prohibited persons to have access to guns.

Knight voted against this amendment along with the majority of the Republicans. He along with 230 Republicans and 2 Democrats also voted and passed House Amendment 954 of the House Resolution 2406 to prohibit USDA and NFS from issuing restrictions and regulations on hunting and recreational fishing.

These decisions are extremely dangerous with the increasing rates of public shootings that have been going on for the past decade. Even though there are some laws that are in place, we still don’t have enough laws to keep our population safe from the increasing rates of public shootings. Our congressmen and congresswomen should be increasing regulations such as requiring background checks and imposing higher standards of who should own guns, and accountability when they go into the wrong hands. Instead, they decrease regulations.

There have been shootings in schools, work places, movie theaters, people’s homes, and in every day-to-day place at increasingly high levels. According to Gunviolencearchive.org 2016, in 2014 there were 51,807 incidents of gun violence and 12, 585 people killed that year. In 2015, there were 53,076 incidents of gun violence and 13,395 people killed in these incidents. The number of children (ages 0 to 11) and teens (12-17) have increased in deaths due to gun violence. The number of children’s deaths due to gun violence in 2014 was 626 and increased to 695 in 2015. The number of teen deaths due to gun violence was 2,372 in 2014 as increased to 2,691 in 2015.

If the United States is going to continue to increase the lack of gun regulations, our nation is going to continue to see the number of gun violence incidents increase, too. If this bill passes into law, our nation is going to face an increasing number of families’ lives ruined and damaged.

In Santa Clarita from 2014 to present, the city experienced 12 reported incidents of gun violence. According to Gunviolencearchive.org 2016, there were four incidents of gun violence in 2014, six in 2015, and so far in 2016 there have been two. There have been 10 deaths due to gun violence and two injured in these incidents from 2014 to the present. The city needs to come up with better solutions to keep our communities and families safe from gun violence.



Enaya Hanbali is a native Southern Californian of Arab American descent. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in public policy and administration from California State University, Long Beach.



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  1. Javi says:

    Enaya. Please explain to me why I should only be allowed 10 rounds in a magazine to defend my family? Why, after having passed a background check, do I need to have one processed for each and every firearm I purchase? Why isn’t the Los Angeles Sheriff issuing Concealed Carry Permits to CITIZENS who have that right?

  2. Javi says:

    Do you not realize that Citizens with legal concealed carry permits could have stopped these insane theatre, school and MILITARY BASE shootings? People who think like you are the cause of these mass shootings, not us regular Americans who have the constitutional right to carry arms inside and outside of the home to protect ourselves and other fellow citizens from attacks mostly arising from Radicalized Muslims.

  3. Tim says:

    Is gun violence rising as you claim? Using statistics from organizations with an inherent bias distorts simple facts. Using the FBI’s own statistics, violent crime (including “gun violence”) is down, while gun ownership and gun sales are sky rocketing, crime is consistently going down. Separating suicide from violent crime lowers gun violence even further. Over 300 million guns are privately owned, and yes a few thousand have resulted in crime due to illegal use by the those who possess it (most likely already illegally). How do you propose to make more laws that make something illegal more illegaler? That seems to be the road you’re going down. Someone committing a violent act is already cross the law, making more laws on top of more laws that reiterate the same thing only add to the confusion of laws. The laws currently on the books are not enforced. How many people that lied on their background checks and have been rejected were prosecuted? Minimal amount. The background check system is already broken and useless. Do not legislate what you feel is morally right, morals can not be legislated.

  4. jimvs says:

    Ms. Hanbali,

    Please do not assume that the information you quote in your opinion piece is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Every single source you quote is using statistics that are not accurate. If you only search for gun violence from those sources, you will be looking at shootings that include every single shooting (with guns) that occurs.

    That means you are looking at both violence in the home (domestic violence – couples and others, break and enter violence, armed theft, gang violence, and accidental discharge) and violence in the streets. You do not even try to separate gang violence – drug selling, armed robbery, and other murders from the rest of the data.

    I’m not pushing an NRA agenda here, although I am a member. I’m saying that you are making a point that is unsupported by actual data. And yes, there are many sources of data regarding the use of firearms in both crimes and in legal attempts to prevent or respond to crimes.

    Please, don’t just pick the data that makes you happy and supports your own current beliefs. Look at all the data that is available, including vetting the sources first. And then come back here and make your argument in a fair and open discussion.

    I’ll be glad to discuss it with you then.

  5. Javi says:

    I’ll chime in one more time. The problem is the recent creation of “gun free zones”. Schools, theatres, military bases, malls….you name it. If there is a gun free zone, wacko gunmen and women, in the case of San Bernardino, will focus their efforts there where nobody cam stop then for long periods of time. Constitutional Carry prevents these scenarios. Would love to hear your thoughts Ms. Hanbali.

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