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On the heels of three devastating mass shootings, California officials have worked to find new ways to control the possession and use of guns in the state, while federal and other states’ rules are less stringent.
My colleague Thomas Fuller reported on one of those efforts:
Sam Liccardo, the mayor of San Jose, has spent the past two weeks attending memorial services and vigils for the victims of last month’s Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting. Two people who were killed in Gilroy were from San Jose, both of them children. The mayor says he has stumbled for words — all that he could muster sounded like “trite pablum,” Mr. Liccardo said in an interview.
On Monday, he proposed what he hopes will be a more substantive response, a proposal to require gun owners to buy liability insurance. The idea has been around for a number of years but Mr. Liccardo’s office says it would be the first time it is actually put into practice.
It will be months until a bill is ready for a vote in the City Council, but the mayor says he is counting on San Jose, as the nation’s 10th largest city, to inspire other municipalities to take similar steps.
[Read more about how legally purchased guns make their way across state lines into California — even if they’d be banned here.]
The idea behind the proposal is that insurance would incentivize gun safety in the same way that car insurance encourages better driving. Gun owners who have taken a safety course might receive a discount, whereas someone with a prior domestic violence conviction would be forced to pay a higher price for insurance.
“I would be lying if I said to you that the insurance companies are enthusiastic about this,” Mr. Liccardo said.
[Read more about public opinions on gun control legislation in California.]
Those who cannot obtain insurance would be forced to contribute to a public fund to help defray the public costs of gun violence.
Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, has in recent days signaled that he might be open to bipartisan legislation on background checks or other forms of limited gun control. Mr. Liccardo is skeptical.
“I have zero confidence that Congress will get anything done,” Mr. Liccardo said, “so it’s up to the rest of us.”
Here’s what else we’re following
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— State lawmakers returned on Monday after a monthlong break. Here’s the legislation they’ll be looking at. [CalMatters]
— A California Highway Patrol officer was killed and two others were injured in a shootout with a gunman who was also killed in Riverside on Monday. There wasn’t much detail about a possible motive, and the suspect wasn’t immediately identified. [The New York Times]
— An 8-year-old boy is afraid to go to a park where he once took martial arts classes. A young woman with a bullet lodged in her liver replays the moment she was shot whenever she’s awake. For Gilroy residents, and other mass shooting survivors, “trauma lives in the body.” [KQED]
And if you missed it, a community leader in Gilroy talked about how the El Paso and Dayton shootings reopened a wound. [The New York Times]
— U.C. Irvine nabbed the top spot in Money magazine’s college rankings, which were based on a range of factors that point to value and quality of education over prestige. Seven other U.C. campuses, Cal State Long Beach and Caltech also ranked highly. [Money]
Here’s more about who got into the University of California this year. [The New York Times]
— Facebook is facing more antitrust scrutiny. From changes to chains of command to halting acquisitions, here’s how the company is changing to deal with it. [The New York Times]
— Another reminder to never leave valuables in the car: A half-million dollars’ worth of jewelry and electronics were stolen from the S.U.V. that Alex Rodriguez was renting while he was broadcasting a game at Oracle Park. [The San Francisco Chronicle]
— “Diana,” a musical about the princess that started at the La Jolla Playhouse, is headed to Broadway. [The New York Times]
— Forgive Lucas Kwan Peterson, a food columnist for The Los Angeles Times, for eating the Greengage plums. They were delicious — so sweet, and probably not so cold. (They don’t ship well.) They’re also kind of hard to grow, which is why they’re tough to find. But they’re in season now. [The Los Angeles Times]
— If you missed it, here’s the strange story of a man who went to jail for pretending to be a doctor at U.C.L.A. Now, he’s a real one — but having trouble finding somewhere to treat patients. [The Los Angeles Times]
— Before Google Maps and Waze told drivers how to get around Los Angeles, thousands of families kept a Thomas Guide in their back seats or glove compartments. Now, with the apps’ “egocentric” routing, have we lost the ability to see L.A. as a whole? [CityLab]
Today, we’re adding a song to the California Soundtrack that at once evokes an earlier time in the Golden State and serves as a timeless ode to the meditative pleasure of just sitting and staring at water.
I am, of course, talking about Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay,” the monster hit recorded not long before the singer’s tragic death in a plane crash.
Mr. Redding started writing it while he was staying on a houseboat owned by Bill Graham, the San Francisco rock promoter, in 1967, according to Rolling Stone.
For Christa Hall, who emailed from the South Bay, it’s her favorite California song because it traces her own journey.
“I had literally left my home in Georgia after separating from the military in 2007 and drove with a friend to S.F., hung out in the Bay, and ultimately arrived back in Sacramento where I’m from,” she said. “It speaks (to me) about the pain and bone-deep loneliness of leaving something that you cared for so much to seek out something bigger and better for yourself even if you don’t know what it is yet.”
Click here to listen to our California playlist on Spotify.
Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, went to school at U.C. Berkeley and has reported all over the state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles — but she always wants to see more. Follow along here or on Twitter, @jillcowan.
California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.