September 17, 2019
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RCHS Mascot at Welcome Back Rally Police and housing topics discussed at Council Credo ladies in Trashion show Cotati Council makes it short Man takes own life PG&E Wildfire Assistance Program distributes first checks to victims  Home invasion robbery, suspects still at large SOMO Village overrun by CHP party Latino Alliance promotes first festival Special education funding complicated Keeping California history alive RP man sentenced to prison 23 years for robbery Promotions in the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety Homelessness spikes in RP Home delivery changes Former Rancho student convicted Fresh faces on the CRPUSD board 73rd Miss Sonoma County competition held at Spreckels Straus Family Creamery moving to RP TAG building grand opening RP Foundation to reinstate Small Grants Program Newsom’s vision “cradle to career” RP Downtown project underway Schools, facilities and bonds: Plans but no money DUI driver crashes into 7-1 Teen arrested for shooting at RP RP votes to restrict fireworks Three arrested; stolen items recovered Bad air quality cancels sports Official election winners as projected by the VOICE  RP swears in new council member 2018 local stories which made history ArtStart brings art to the RP Senior Center Holocaust piano now in Cotati CRPUSD seeking a new superintendent Superintendent search begins Cotati Council moves ahead Planning Commission approves hotel In memory of Greg Beedon Fun family Christmas events in Cotati Cougars’ season comes to a tearful sad conclusion CalFresh clients get Feb. benefits early Rohnert Park Station Ave. update Cuts suggested for school district The “Healing Wall” comes to Sonoma County Cotati memorializes victims Rohnert Park considers firework restrictions CHP to check motorcycle safety in local area Cotati honors and appreciates Winners of “Discovered: Emerging artists of Sonoma County” Dr. Dominguez and Hawkins named as director and co-director for Hanna Institute University Elementary School to host Maker World at SSU Animal Shelter League of RP receives grant Cotati Council reshuffles seats Help save lives by donating blood New laws on purchasing and concealing handguns Fencing in Sonoma County School district leaders tackle 1.9m deficit School district seeking new superintendent Cotati protests CASA compact School district balances budget More high density in Rohnert Park Put down your phone April is distracted driving awareness month SSU Police make arrest in sexual assault case CRPUSD district’s good news in May Cannabis cultivation and more projects The Community Voice endorses candidates DA’s office awarded DUI Prosecution Grant Rohnert Park kid joins TCU El Camino graduates Rohnert Park Council says we don’t need another agency Rancho students excel in Poetry Out Loud  SC public safety heroes of the year Don’t drive with an open container Traffic concerns top RP survey SSU Equestrian looks to go national Brace yourself for mosquitos Station Avenue project An offer has been made and accepted on Rohnert Park’s corporate yard SMART to offer free rides... Rep. Thompson speaks at SSU on climate change Frightful, fun, free Halloween activities Cougars crush Ukiah Election projected winners November 6, 2018  Sonoma Clean Power offers no-cost energy upgrades Rancho advances to semifinals RP’s n­ew Director of Public Safety A stand-off with barricaded, suicidal woman ends safely in RP RP has a new director of public safety Mackenzie leaves SMART RP officers spent Sat. car chasing A shimmer of hope against the angry heavy sky SSU to host North Bay Women of Color conference Rancho’s TAG building, now a reality Mayors of So Co write angry letter Dodd’s college student food bill passes Rohnert Park caregiver arrested Sheriff’s canine apprehends convicted felon Issues and recognition but no council meeting Public invited to give input on Downtown RP Site School board candidates voice opinions Woman stabbed on west side of RP LandPaths connects people to protected land Tech High Girl's Soccer Undefeated champions! AG Becerra issues consumer alert on price gouging in fire-affected communities Learn to docent at the SSU Fairfield Osborn Preserve New signs point in the right direction Where are the ski lifts? Is Cotati being targeted? New alcohol fees for Rohnert Park Sonoma State president testifies for tax relief for disaster victims Fixing Cotati’s roads RP driver identified Burglary suspect found with firearms Learn to become a naturalist State Farm property steams forward to Station Avenue Scrappers Steal Win RP Foundation issues grant Cotati allows second dispensary New residential building lands approved In Singapore Strait aboard a missile destroyer PG&E has a prediction model USCIS presents free training on how to apply for citizenship RP investigates new site for Corp. Yard Two arrested in RP motel for mail theft  Is Juuling the new norm? Cotati considers $15 min. wage No criminal charges filed against PG&E in northern Ca. wildfires  RP decides on west side Vintage race cars on Sonoma raceway track May CalFresh month celebration Sozo Student Center opens Rancho Cotate Band fundraiser BBQ Jessica Holman: Thirty-five years of Rancho Spirit Titans crush Mustangs Station Avenue gets final approval Cotati Council reviews trash plan Baseball League receives donation from local motorcycle club Cotati Police Chief Parish swears in new officer Garber A Sunday afternoon with retired football players Injury collision closes Golf Course Dr. Giving Kids Smiles in Rohnert Park Neighborhood watch meeting scheduled New Executive Director at SSU A satisfied smile New interim superintendent Krispy Kreme Doughnuts comes to Rohnert Park  Cougars blow past Gauchos  Rohnert Park honors its Veterans and Servicemen CHP reminds all of increased crimes Cougars beat Bulldogs More than 276,000 Dreamers have renewed DACA White receives Matt Walsh Memorial RP and Sunday festivities SSU fraternity banned for five years Name correction: Grand Jury report on SoCo jail system New leadership delivers new start at school board meeting Cotati Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest Rancho crushes Analy CA Homemaker Association needs volunteers Active duty honorees at the RP Veterans Day program Santa now knows her secret CPI receives funding to offer counseling in schools Caltrans works toward decarbonizing California transportation The Rancho Cotati Rotary Club hosts Humanitarian Award dinner SSU and SCOE offer high school internship Illegal robocalls and spoofing Farmers’ Market party on the plaza RP’s new interim police chief Big changes to big project in Rohnert Park A possibility for Snyder Lane to have four lanes soon Rohnert Park road updates Sheriff’s Detectives arrest SR man after controlled delivery of ecstasy pills. Cotati comes out against CASA Llamadas ilegales y spoofing Music alive in Cotati Sept. is suicide prevention month Penngrove Community Church celebrates 120 years Cotati approves tree lighting City of Cotati has apartment housing parking problems Operators ordered to pay for false advertising violations Becerra urges Ca. businesses resources to help prevent human trafficking Possible change to parking rules Enroll in Transportation Security Administration Elder abuse rising in So Co U10 Cal Ripken champions say Aloha New start at school board meeting Students at University Elementary discussing the labyrinth Rohnert Park City Council Candidates NHTSA reminds motorists to drive sober this season Cotati’s code of conduct School board follows its policy Free school supplies RPDPS receives grant to fight alcohol-related crime R P Foundation gives grants to NOAH and Petaluma Bounty Summit State Bank annual report FEMA awards Sonoma Water grant RP moves to curb false alarms Doggone hot days are here! Warnings weren’t enough! ‘Stuff the van’ with school supplies Wake up to social crisis March for the blind highlights need for more accessible sidewalks Cougar to Bear — Simmons’ new pelt SRJC picks up local quarterback The Cougars defeat the Jaguars at homecoming New laws take effect Jan. 1 Boards approve plan to offset proposed groundwater fee Technology High School construction on schedule Groundwater sustainability fee adopted in Santa Rosa Plain Rohnert Park City Council all about safety Accordion Festival San Francisco Mime Troupe to perform in Cotati Kids and firefighters compete in RP RP local, Petri Alva, 14, a nationally recognized athlete SSU named one of the best universities Verity is hiring to work with survivors RP City Council, not business as usual A young child making a big difference Cotati’s first homicide in 24 years Veterans’ housing to open in 2020 RPPS encourages public to drive sober SweetPea celebrates 31 years Seawolves serve up a victory Students almost ready for kindergarten Would you make a great foster parent? Grand Jury recommends improvements for So. Co. Water City of Cotati switches to 100% renewable electricity I’m ready, bring ‘em on! Tech High School celebrates 20 years PG&E Wildfire Assistance Program accepting applications for aid Cardinals rout Cougars SSI and SSP recipients eligible for CalFresh benefits Five vehicle crash shuts down Golf Course Dr. Happenings at Cotati City Council Trades Intro Program (TIP) leads to career RP City Council: from safety to striping Girls explore STEM possibilities at Tinker Academy Spring Lake Water Bark kickoff How to help victims of wildfires Polynesia celebrated at annual Pacific Islander Festival Fire storm anniversary New fire station gets final direction Undercover operation identifies prostitution at local massage parlors Red flags fly at all fire stations during “Red Flag” warnings L J principal promises open door policy DUI driver arrested after collision on RP Exp Contact information needed from about 150,000 PG&E customers Plan approved for Station Ave. park Football in full swing, 3rd win Arrests and charges target Apple stores Cotati fills Planning Commission The long summer grinds Alert resident foiled attempted burglary of neighbor’s home All about the roads Third DUI driver arrested in RP in three days Santa Rosa doctor overprescribing Annie Rasmussen Celebration of Life School district set to begin new year Wrong way bicyclist rides into path of SMART train City, county reach agreement with Homeless Advocates Our words are not enough: Educators call for action First day of school and new friends Revisiting those who lost it all: October wildfire victims still on the road to recovery Rohnert Park residents awarded law degrees School Year 2019-2020 for free and reduced-price meals Cattle drive comes to SR Man dies in custody Home-based learning on the rise SMART celebrates a year of service RP Public Safety report card Joint Legislative Wine Committee to meet at SSU Ca. Dept. of Justice announces ammunition regulations Fatal bicycle vs. vehicle collision RPPS investigating sexual assault A slow and painful wait for a downtown Penngrove native set for amazing voyage Cotati votes opposition to oil leases DMV offices will close for half day Social Security – Care and Beware Urban growth boundary benefits RP Council looks at serious close-to-home issues SC neighborhood sues illegal pot grower Reckless vehicle ends in DUI arrest Do you know the relationship between low impact development and water quality? So. Co. Behavioral Health and Health Services in the county jail Cotati City Council of Aug. 13 Water Conservation Car washes and water waste Equifax provides $600 million in consumer restitution Cotati sees its first homicide in 24 years New Column Penngrove grassfire destroys buildings Cotati Accordion Festival still a hit after 28 years RP residents provide input in police chief search Forum hosted by WLV for RP City Council candidates Stray sways the crowd Showing off rope tricks Sonoma County Fair reviews safety protocols Supply giveaways lend a hand to families Police officers inspect inside of car Lowerys help with campaign Yes on Measure W will keep fire stations open Skating during Cotati Kids Day parade Watenpaugh returns to lead CRPUSD Join CASA of So. Co.’s commitment to helping victims of child abuse RP to host community forum for public safety director search Emergency Alert System Test Sept. 10 & 12 Spreckels and Alchemia connects community Vehicle crashes into house Call to action in Ca. Passenger killed fleeing crash It wasn’t an easy fight but Rancho wins again RP Safety Dept. climbs in remembrance of 9/11/18 Suicide leading cause of death in youths Impersonating pharmacists Pesticide residue consumed by infants and children Back to school for Rohnert Park and Cotati Another tough break for roller derby PG&E to conduct inspections by helicopter in Sonoma County Correction to the July 26 issue RP waits to make update to emergency alert system Cougars slay Dragons Deputy saves overdosing man using department-issued Narcan SR theft suspect caught after lengthy chase Third pedestrian struck by SMART train Enjoying ribs Rohnert Park’s Black Blear Diner gets sued Penngrove wastewater pipeline overflows Little ones with big Polynesian dancing spirit Sidewalk repair gets big break from City of RP RP Health Center celebrates anniversary Imitating major leaguers Rohnert Park waiting for approval for canine program

Gun violence in the U.S. and globally

By: Irene Hilsendager
August 16, 2019

With all of the violence the last two weeks resulting in mass killings of 29 in a 15-hour span, something has to be done. Do we need to take lessons from European countries?

Did we forget the mass shootings in Las Vegas, Orlando, Newtown and Dayton? These horrific events have come to define the United States as violent. 

In 2017 there were 14,000-gun murders and more than 24,000-gun suicides. The United States gun violence is really on another planet. 

The United States has nine times per 100 killings than Canada, 38 times more than Germany and 70 times more than England. The politicians now say that it is all due to mental health and violent video games and why is it always angry young white men? Can America actually learn from these tragedies?

Everybody argues about the Second Amendment to the Constitution. What does it really mean? No one is sure what the first clause of the amendment really means and in 1970 when the new leadership of the NRA came on so now it is that everybody has the right to bear arms.

The Second Amendment provides the United States citizens the right to bear arms. Ratified in Dec. of 1791, the amendment says, “having just used guns and other arms to ward off the English, the amendment was originally created to give citizens the opportunity to fight against a tyrannical federal government.” Going out to do a mass killing is not a right and doesn’t say anything in the Second Amendment about mass killings.

Only three countries in the world currently have a constitutional right to own a gun: The United States, Mexico and Guatemala. The US is the only country with a right to keep and bear arms with no constitutional restrictions.

Americans own nearly half of all the civilian-owned guns in the world and on a per capita basis, the United States has far more guns than any other nation.

Justice Warren Berger said the Second Amendment did not confirm the right to bear arms. It was for states to organize and to bear arms and the right to have a gun was to do your duty for the state.

It is pretty clear that the last ten years we have had a broken political system and the political system will stand in the way to get better gun laws. There are many angry people just because the younger people want to have gun laws changed.

The lesser populated states such as Arizona, Utah and Oklahoma have the same number of senators as Ca. The rural interests are over represented and the gun control will face an uphill battle.

The POTUS has said we must reform our mental health laws. And the shooters were mentally ill. How does he know when the majority of the shooters were killed? It is the NRA that is lobbying in the White House and little people will never win against the NRA. Everyone is searching for a solution, but nothing is being done. In 2017 100,000 people were killed with 63 active shooters had never ever been diagnosed with a mental illness. We again assume by defining them as insane. They may be different but being angry and narcissitic is not a mental illness.

Gun deaths are not all due to mental health problems. Over 14,000 homicides and 23,000 suicides are due to guns as guns are more effective than ropes, pills or knives. There is a 90 percent success with firearms.

Many other countries such as India and China if they do cause mayhem, it is usually with a knife and not a gun. Doctors in the United States literally fear when patients from mass shootings enter the emergency room as most doctors are not trained for mass destruction. In 1996 in Australia a mass shooting occurred with 35 people shot dead. A 20-year-old walked into a cafe, pulled a gun out of his bag and started shooting. A mom and her two children flagged down a car for help and in the car was the gunman. He killed mom and her two children. Mass shootings have shocked Australia. Politicians were very conservative in Australia, but they did agree on a ban on automatics, semi-automatics, installed registrations and changed laws like no other country ever has seen. Over 600,000 guns were then eliminated and the suicide and gun killing fell 65 percent. 

Now there is finger pointer to violent video games. No, it does not lead to more violence. Japan is obsessed with video gaming. There is no other country more ardent about video games than Japan and they play more violent games than the U.S.  However, Japan has stricter gun laws. No person in Japan shall possess a firearm. It is almost an obstacle course to own a gun in Japan.

If an American citizen living in Japan wants to legally own a gun, he must listen to twenty hours of lectures, take a long shooting test, have a  full psych exam, go five times through a police interrogation, have to show a map of their home where the gun will be stored and must renew the license regularly. It usually takes one year to get approved.

Japan has fewer guns than any country. There gun rate is low and had nine-gun murders in the time that the United States had 600 times that of Japan. 

Even Japanese mobsters do not carry guns. To them guns are like nuclear weapons. Gun infractions are very high and to fire a gun will deem a prison sentence. They have many guns like the US but less in fractures.

Switzerland has shooting festivals to test for marksmanship. Switzerland is a gun lover paradise. There is a gun to every 28 people. Why is Switzerland armed to the teeth? All able-bodied men must serve 245 days in the militia. The militia can have shells at the shooting’s competitions and contests and some start training at the age of 12. But guns are allowed in the homes, but no shells are being taken home. Gun homicides rates are lower than the United States, actually 21 percent less. Many countries have stricter gun laws than America and must pass back ground checks and every gun purchased have to be registered with the government. These lessons from all over the world should be put into place as guns are an epidemic in the United States. 

One commonality is the lack of facts and is there a link between guns and violence? Most serious gun massacre are then decided if the shooter is mentally stable. And why are there so many shootings in the United states and especially among young white men. 

The Second Amendment was put into effect to keep kids and people safe in the streets. The sad part of it is we know how to do it, but nothing gets done.

The Red Flag law in Ca., enacted in 2014, is a law official or immediate family member can ask a judge to issue a Gun Violence Restraining Order if a gun owner is feared to be a danger to himself or others.

Will we wake up another morning, turn on the television and hear of another 50 or more  killed because some angry white young man wants to be in the center of attention.