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'Shame on them;' Newsom excoriates gun control opponents following California mass shootings

CBS News Live
CBS News Bay Area Live

HALF MOON BAY -- A shaken California Governor Gavin Newsom railed against opponents of gun control and gun safety reform following the latest in an epidemic of mass shootings, with three mass shootings in California in as many days.

At a press conference held at the Portuguese Culture Center in Half Moon Bay, Newsom said he was still processing the Monterey Park mass shooting from Saturday after attending a similar press conference - and then turning down several other requests to speak - when he received the news of the Half Moon Bay shooting.

"I went down to Monterrey Park and was invited to speak at three press conferences like this and I said, 'Nope, nope, nope," said Newsom. "I watched them on my cellphone instead as I walked around the community. And I tell you what, I did that selfishly because I didn't have the guts to come up and say the same things we hear again, and again, and again. That was tough."

Newsom said one of the Monterey Park shooting victims he spoke with Monday had died by Tuesday morning.

"Met a man yesterday morning on life support. The next morning he passed away," said Newsom. "It was said at the time and it's still true: Only in America. This only happens in America, and it's on our watch. We've allowed this to happen."


Newsom said the common denominator among the mass shootings across the U.S. - 39 mass shootings already in 2023 - was the availability and prevalence of guns, as well as Republican Party resistance to gun control measures.

"The common denominator is these damn guns," said Newsom. "Gun safety saves lives. The modern gun safety movement started with Ronald Reagan. The Republican Party should look that guy up!"

Newsom continued to single out the Republican Party, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in particular, for their resistance to increased gun control measures.

"I'm still waiting for Kevin McCarthy, the leader of the House of Representatives, who purports to represent the people of the state of California and the proud and remarkable district in Kern County. We haven't heard one damn word from him," said Newsom. "Not since Monterey Park. Not [after] what happened here. Not one word, not one expression, of prayers, condolences, nothing. And it should surprise no one. Where has he been on gun safety reform? Where has the Republican Party been on gun safety reform? They've blocked it every step of the way. One state can't do it alone. Shame on them. And shame on those that allow and perpetuate that to be rewarded politically."

Newsom also called out judges who have overturned some of California's strict gun regulations.

"Shame on these judges who are rolling back the laws that we've established in the State of California," he said. "You deserve better. We deserve better. And so I'm here processing, like all of us, the absurdity, the theater - look around - of absurdity. Only in America."

Five men and two women were killed, with another man injured and in stable condition, in the shooting Monday at two mushroom farms in Half Moon Bay. Authorities said the 66-year-old gunman was an employee of one of the farms he allegedly targeted.

Hours later in Oakland, an 18-year-old man died and four other people were injured in a shooting during the recording of a music video. Three others were hurt in a crash while fleeing the scene.

On Saturday in Southern California, 11 people were killed in a shooting at a dance hall in Monterey Park during a Lunar New Year celebration. Police believe he was attempting to carry out a second attack when he was disarmed by another man.

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