Updated on December 3 at 5:15 p.m. EST
In the wake of mass violence, some Americans look to tighten gun laws because that’s something tangible, if politically difficult, that they can do—whether or not those new rules would have prevented a specific incident.
As Californians file into voting booths next November, they might see a ballot initiative inspired at least in part by mass shootings like the one in San Bernardino this week, which 14 people were killed and 21 injured.
California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom announced the proposition in October at the San Francisco site of a 1993 shooting that claimed eight lives. And when he talked to The Los Angeles Times about his efforts, he referenced the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut, which claimed 26.
“Since Sandy Hook, I have sat back as a father and been mesmerized by the inability of the federal government to do anything substantively on gun safety,” Newsom said in a late-November interview.
In response, Newsom, a candidate for governor in 2018, seeks to tighten up his state’s existing gun laws. They’re already the toughest in the country: In 2013, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence—which helped write the new initiative—and the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence gave California the highest marks in the nation for gun control.