South Bay Remembers Sandy Hook Massacre; Gun Buyback Saturday

Saturday marks a year to the day since a gunman killed 26 students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. To remember the lives lost, a group of community leaders and activists will hold a vigil this weekend in Sunnyvale, a city that grappled with a massacre of its own in 1988.

“South Bay shares a unique solidarity with Newtown and Sandy Hook,” organizer Alison Abramowitz says, referring to the shooting 25 years ago at ESL Incorporated that left seven dead.

Last month, Sunnyvale voters passed a local gun control ordinance that requires gun owners to lock up their weapons when not in use, to report stolen or lost firearms to police within two days and for ammo sellers to keep records of buyers’ names. It also prohibits magazines that hold 10 or more rounds. The legislation came as a reaction to the school shooting a coast away. The law is now being challenged in court by a gun store and industry trade group.

Santa Clara County held gun buybacks earlier this year that cost $170,000 and netted more than 1,700 weapons, including dozens of assault rifles. San Jose plans to hold another buyback this Saturday. Seventy-one backers helped raise $18,499 via crowd-funding site

Since the Sandy Hook massacre, at least 194 children in the U.S. have been shot to death—including 127 who died of gunshot wounds in their own homes, according to a tally by Mother Jones.

Dr. Judith Palfrey, former president of the American Academy of Pediatrics who holds positions at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, told Mother Jones that the Newtown shooting “concentrated the horror in one place,” but that the problem persists day to day across the country, unnoticed because the incidents are separated by time and geography and reported as isolated cases instead of as part of a national crisis.

WHAT: Newtown remembrance and community gathering
WHEN: 1 to 3pm Saturday
WHERE: St. Cyprian Church, 1133 W. Washington Ave., Sunnyvale
INFO: Alison Abramowitz, Remembering Newtown Organizing Committee, [email protected]

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. – the U.S. has the best-armed civilian population in the world, with an estimated 270 million total guns. That’s an average of 89 firearms for every 100 residents — far ahead of Yemen, which comes in second with about 55 firearms for every 100 people, or Switzerland, which is third with 46 guns for every 100 people.

    So with a ¾ of America owning guns, the odds are quite low of being shot.

  2. Hate to say it but gun buy backs just put a few bucks in some peoples pockets.  This is not an answer just a political show,  criminals do not turn in their guns, so we are just having citizens turning in their old rusted guns for cash.

    Need to stop the circus and focus on mental issues and gang enforcement.

  3. These gun by backs will not prevent another Sandy Hook and as noted by retired3 are nothing more than political theatre.  It is really frustrating to see these politicians and their enablers prancing around acting like they are solving society’s problems when they proposed this simplistic bandaid.

    They should be ashamed of themselves for promoting this “feel good” measure that offers us no protection against the problem they are claiming to help solve.

  4. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but gun buyback programs only line the wallets of a select few. Tossing out old, rusty firearms for cash isn’t a solution, it’s merely a political show; we don’t see criminals handing over their weapons.

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