Guns in Bayview

Local activists differ on SF gun control ordinances that are now under fire by the NRA


The National Rifle Association's bid to kill two San Francisco gun control ordinances — which a federal judge initially rejected last week, although that legal process continues — highlights differing views on the issue in the violence-plagued Bayview, where two prominent activists have opposing viewpoints.

One ordinance requires guns in the home to be locked up when not on the owner's person and the second bans the sale of fragmenting and expanding bullets, affecting only the city's sole gun store: High Bridge Arms, in the Mission district.

The first ordinance was introduced in 2007 by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom and supported by Sheriff and then-Sup. Ross Mirkarimi and opposed by three supervisors: Ed Jew, Aaron Peskin, and Chris Daly. City Attorney Dennis Herrera was pleased at the judge's ruling.

"The NRA took aim at San Francisco's Police Code," Herrera said in a press release. "I'm proud of the efforts we've made to beat back these legal challenges, and preserve local laws that can save lives."

NRA attorney C.D. Michel told the San Francisco Examiner, "This is not over, not by a long shot...What if you're old and need glasses in the middle of the night, or you have kids at home to protect? Why are they being forced to keep their guns locked up?"

Interestingly, its not the NRA's name on the front of the lawsuit, entitled "Espanola Jackson v. City and County of San Francisco."

Jackson, a San Francisco native and longtime Bayview Hunter's Point civil rights activist, has been fighting for the rights of minorities since she was old enough to hold a picket sign. She was recognized last May by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission with a "Legacy Award for a Lifetime in Human Rights Advocacy."

So why is she advocating for unlocked guns in the home, and more lethal bullets?

"I live in the Bayview and I'm 79 years old," she told The Guardian. "We're mostly single women, but we need to have protection."

She cited a recent police report she'd read of an elderly woman being assaulted by several teenage girls, just blocks from her home, as one of the many reasons she feels she needs protection in her own neighborhood.

Jackson said she's had a lifetime of training with her firearm, although she wouldn't identify the kind of weapon she wield. Back in the '60s, she said, "they were calling us pistol packing mamas." It's that history, she said, that makes her feel safest with a gun in her drawer, where she can easily get it in case of a robbery.

But Theo Ellington — a board member of the Bayview Opera House and the Southeast Community Facilities Commission — sees the issue differently. Notably, as a member of the Young Black Democrats, he led the opposition against Mayor Ed Lee's proposal to introduce "Stop and Frisk" policing to San Francisco. Lee abandoned the idea after activists cited rampant civil rights abuses under the policy in New York City.

Ellington thinks that overturning the San Francisco's gun ordinances would be a bad idea. "We face a much greater risk if we fail to take measures to prevent [gun] accidents," Ellington told us. "The last thing we want is for any weapons to be in the hands of children or for potential misuse."

He has reason to be worried about the Bayview. Recent city statistics show an upswing in most crime categories in the district from 2011 to 2012, from homicides and rape to vehicle theft and burglaries. National studies have shown gun owners or their family members are more likely to get shot by guns kept in homes than are intruders. Public safety means different things in different areas, Ellington said, especially "when we're dealing with a population that is plagued by gun violence."


The gun violence that is plaguing the Bayview is from CRIMINALS. Does Ellington really think that criminals will abide by the law and keep their illegal guns in a safe and that this will make the Bayview safer? Laws like these affect only law-abiding citizens.

And frangible bullets have a very practical purpose. They won't go through a body or wall and hit something else behind the target.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

"National studies have shown gun owners or their family members are more likely to get shot by guns kept in homes than are intruders."

That is absolutely not true. Look at the studies closely. Read the critiques.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 1:33 pm
Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

Why would someone be against frangible bullets in an urban situation? That means they won't go through the wall and injure your neighbor.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

Larger caliber firearms tend not to.

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

Well, not really. Any effective round will likely go through a typical interior wall and still be lethal. Frangible rounds are less likely to over-penetrate, but may not sufficiently penetrate the "bad guy" either. See the box of truth.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 24, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

have to keep it locked up, broken down or unloaded. The whole point of the 2nd is "bearing" arms and not just having them locked away unavailable for immediate use.

Oakland has strict gun laws and the highest murder rate in California - what further proof does anone need that gun control doesn't work?

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

Those shootings are pretty deliberate and everyone knows it. These ordinances are designed to chip away at 2nd Amendment rights - towards the ultimate goal of people like Chris Daly who proposed the measure which required citizens to turn in their handguns to the SFPD. Everyone knows exactly what these types of laws are aimed towards - hopefully they're all struck down and the city required to pay the plaintiff's attorney fees too.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

turn this nation into Cuba or North Korea. And maybe they might even succeed were it not for our right to bear arms. Remember that the 2nd was predicated on the idea that the people need guns to protect themselves not against our fellow Americans, but against our government.

A well-armed peoples' militia is essential, but only because we cannot trust our politicans.

Meanwhile, ask me if I care whether a bunch of criminals, gang members, drug addicts and robbing felons kill each other. Go on, I dare you.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

Despite the fact he had several loaded handguns in his apartment (one of which he couldn't immediately locate) at the time of his arrest. The sleaziest kind of hypocrite.

No guns for you plebs - just for me!

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

Ross Mirkarimi located all the guns easily.

The guns were all together, locked in a gun safe, in the locked basement storage area that belonged to Eliana and he.

The guns were not "loaded" -- they were not even within reach -- as Ross hadn't used them since he was an investigator for the San Francisco District Attorney's office

The supposed controversy about one of the guns -- a "controversy" laid to rest when it was examined by the Ethics Commission -- was that when original questioned about the guns and told that he had to surrender them, he'd misremembered how many he owned, thinking he'd sold one of them years before.

Snapples, you really ought not be bandying about phrases like "sleazy hypocrite."

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 5:24 pm

to surrender their own handguns to the SFPD. Thanks for confirming this statement of fact for everyone. Sounds like the definition of a sleazy hypocrite to me!

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

else" to surrender their guns.

Despicable liar and fool, the Snapples is.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 5:59 pm
Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

We all await your research. Here's a hint: start on the SF Examiner's website.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 6:21 pm

at one point you resorted to claiming that Ross knew the laws he advocated would not pass so he voted for them anyways.

Are you a right winger attempting to make lefties look even dumber?

Posted by matlock on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

lilli's tortured reasoning goes something like that.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

First of all, there would be *no* hypocrisy in advocating gun control while owning guns. Gun control is something which can be seen as an appealing alternative to personally owning guns for protection. Unilateral disarmament would serve no purpose towards that goal.

Of course there is no reason to believe that pertains to Ross Mirkarimi, who owned guns because of his previous professional responsibilities in the DA's office -- the type of job and gun ownership which wouldn't have been affected by the gun control law later put forward by Chris Daly incidentally -- and who didn't "advocate" for the law, but instead explicitly characterized the plebiscite as "symbolic."

I've already posted the links to prove that I'm right -- again! -- and the fact that this trio of fibbers is back at this same bogus charge demonstrates that there is no hope for them adopting ideas based on factual proof. They are like zombies who keep on advancing no matter what you do to them.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

ago? How does that work - he hadn't worked in the DA's office since 2005? Why three - one wasn't enough? Was one a tiny pink-handled pistol for Eliana and another a cunning little toddler's gun for Theo?

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 9:10 pm

use the guns. He didn't know how many guns he owned or even exactly where they were except that he knew his guns were inside a gun safe somewhere in a locked storage room.

Of course all the vile mendacious reactionary trolls -- the same ones who fibbingly derided Ross for supposedly not having any law enforcement training or experience -- now blabber away about him owning guns. I'll bet that close to 98% of all cops own personal firearms.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

A gun is not something you "don't know how many of" you own or "even exactly where they" are.

Watching lilli contradict himself while twisting himself into rhetorical knots is hilarious.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 9:44 pm

lilli makes the 'point':

>The supposed controversy about one of the guns -- a "controversy" laid to rest when it was examined by the Ethics Commission

I remember that...Ben Hur said that Mirkarimi's actions with the guns were childish but that they didn't rise to the level of criminality.

Which by lilli's standards is a big victory. If it doesn't put you in jail, it's all good.

Posted by Troll on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 7:33 pm

Most people can answer that question instantaneously. Especially those with five or fewer weapons. Any law enforcement officer can answer that question within seconds. Ross had THREE handguns and it took him hours to figure that fact out.

He's either suffering from early onset Alzheimers or he should be disallowed from owning a weapon forever. He's not a responsible gun owner.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

When the police came to collect his firearms, didn't Mirkarimi originally tell them that he sold one and only had 2 left? It was only after they researched it did he magically remember that he had it in a storage room. Didn't he also then try to turn it over to the Sheriff's department (which he was the head of) and only finally turned them over to the police after a judge got tired of his BS and ordered him to give them to the SFPD?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 8:04 pm

that he only had two. When he looked for the two guns he knew he had in a gun safe in a double locked room and gun safe -- all according to laws he was the proponent of -- he found that he actually did have three. He turned them in to law enforcement personel, the fact that he turned them into the sheriff's office rather than the police was found to be without import by the Ethics Commission.

You trolls will go on and on without any basis in fact to support your rubbish; it hardly makes sense to refute your easy lies.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

It is exactly as Mr. Lillipublican stated.

Mirkarimi didn't know how many guns were in his house and he didn't follow proper legal procedures when he was ordered to surrender them. Which is exactly the behavior that we want to see from our Sheriff.

Yet I fully expect that you deceitful, deceptive, duplicitous, equivocating, erroneous, fallacious, false, fibbing, fraudulent, insincere, lying, paltering, perfidious, prevaricating, shifty, spurious Trolls will use your feeble brainpower to try and find a flaw in Mr. Lillipublican's logic.

Posted by Troll on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

Nobody knows how many guns they have in their house!

It's a common problem!

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly, Persistent on Dec. 06, 2012 @ 7:27 am

Ross the gun nut and a wife beater, oh and sheriff too!
He can't even carry a gun, a sheriff that's forbidden to carry because it would violate his probation, he's the definition of hypocrite!

Posted by Guest on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

One out of three. And that's the one which you find most galling no doubt.


Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 6:01 pm

If a wife-beating sheriff can bear arms, why not the rest of us to protect ourselves against people like him?

The 2nd was conceived to protect us against our government, after all.

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

These latest laws are like pro-lifers and their goal of tormenting the law abiding one chip at a time. What these gun laws also do is continue a long history of racism, I don't fall for much of the strained logic of the article, but progressives do in so many other areas, so interesting on that front considering "progressives" and their racism screams. The article is written like so many lefty strung together screeds.

Anywho, as the author notes gun laws since the end of the civil war have been designed to take guns out of the hands of law abiding blacks, and make sure they remain in the hands of so called militias and "law abiding" whites.

Posted by matlock on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

Guns are not going anywhere, best we'd figure out how to deal with that fact.

I'd prefer that guns be restricted to a well regulated militia like in Switzerland where everyone's got an automatic weapon under lock and key in their home and everyone knows it.

Unfortunately, neither the government nor the courts agreed.

Posted by marcos on Dec. 05, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

gun crimes should be forced to join a militia.

A militia that has a boot camp of six months, six months of running around in the desert sixteen hours a day. No county jail with their bro's.

Posted by matlock on Dec. 06, 2012 @ 2:02 am

All that exercise in the desert will make them run faster from the cops later

Posted by RLM Stonebody on Dec. 13, 2012 @ 12:23 pm

I support the right of the pistol packing mamas to not be prey!

Posted by sftparty on Dec. 21, 2012 @ 11:06 am

yo, reporters; during politicians gun control press conferences ask the politician how many guns they own? how many rounds of amo do they own? do they have the, difficult for most of us to get, concealed weapons permit?

camera people; include politicians', armed body guards in your images.

Government can NOT protect us.
We are tired of being prey!

Posted by sftparty on Dec. 21, 2012 @ 11:11 am