Letter to the Editor: Lawmakers Should Vote Yes on AB 311 to Ban ‘Ghost Gun’ Sales at Shows

Dear Editor,

I started volunteering with Brady, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending gun violence, two years ago after a string of mass shootings across the country, including one at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, an annual outing I would take with my family.

Like most people, hearing news about mass shootings always shook me to my core. I felt I needed to take action since I could see that so little was being done.

But something I’ve learned since becoming a volunteer is that while mass shootings are always covered by the media and get public attention, the issue that is most overlooked is everyday gun violence.

An estimated 106 people die every day in this country from gun violence, while around 400 people are shot. In addition to mass shootings, we need to pay equal attention to the gun violence that occurs each day in our neighborhoods because the impact is often the same: life-long trauma, loss, damage, broken families.

Every single day, people lose mothers, sons, partners to gun violence and their pain isn’t any easier to bear just because their shooting wasn’t on the news.

These are the stories I’ve heard as a volunteer, the ones of everyday gun violence gone unnoticed. Living in a country in which so many people are victims of gun violence is not normal. Until we can live free of those fears, we still have work to do.

Assembly Bill 311 will not solve the problem of gun violence in America, but it will close a dangerous loophole in our state that has put guns in the hands of people who were not able to pass a background check, cultivating an environment in which rampant, everyday gun violence can occur.

I’m calling on California lawmakers to vote YES on AB 311 and prohibit the sale of ghost guns at gun shows. Families of survivors deserve at least this much.



San Jose, CA


  1. Require firearms licensing, training, periodic safety re-certification and liability insurance – much like motor vehicle ownership and operation requirements of every state in the union. Also, no anonymous sales, and no “ghost” guns. Seems like there’s plenty of reasonable middle ground to be found on this issue.

  2. Nearly 60% of the deaths from “gun violence” are intentionally self inflicted, as in suicide. What is th government doing to prevent that?

    According to (https://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/usa/cause-of-death/drownings/by-state) Suicide is the #8 cause of death. Homicide is #15, which include poisoning, blunt objects, knives, fighting, vehicle, etc.. Suicide prevention is not as sexy as rando-gun laws that don’t work. So are guns the problem or the politicians?

    http://www.stopdrowningnow.org says that estimated 3.5-4K drowning deaths happen each year. That is about 10 times higher that being killed in a “mass killing”. If you are concerned about drowning you take a swimming and water safety course. So if you are concerned about dying in a gun fight, take a self defense and gun safety course.

    Don’t perpetuate fear for something that is unlikely to every happen to you. Be part of the solution, not the fear mongering.

  3. @Jason. Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% in with safety and awareness training. However, you cannot require licensing, training and periodic certification for voting. They are both rights and you cannot restrict either one to that point.

    We should be teaching self defense, awareness, and firearms safety in high school! The youth is basically baby sat until they are 18 and not taught any life skills. Bring back life skills classes and there will less problems.

    BTW – Ghost guns and anonymous sales are already illegal in CA. Every transaction, including ammo has to be documentation with the state and a background check done. Mass shooters choose to ignore the law, so why would more laws help prevent it.

    Can you make a gun in your basement – yes. But to be legal it has to have a serial number from the DOJ before you construct it. To get a serial number you have get a background check and become a manufacturer.

    This law is 100% fluff and only puts names in the public eye for re-election only. No loop-hole to close here.

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