Vote For Our Lives Rally at UC Irvine
I finally got out to a rally, which was the Vote For Our Lives rally at UC Irvine. The real March for Our Lives group from the Parkland high school were there and spoke. Unfortunately, my hearing was so poor that I could not catch the names when the speakers were introduced.
I took some photos with my iPhone, but from the middle of the room, so they are pretty poor. I am a little shakey, so the photos from my telephoto camera were worse.
The theme of the rally was of course gun control. Banning semiautomatic rifles did not come up, but closing loopholes to give universal background checks was the key, which is backed by 97% of Americans.
It started with a jazzy choir.
There was a stirring talk by David Hogg which was greatly applauded. He is one of the Parkland speakers. Emma Gonzalez also spoke briefly.
Then Sage sang his song about the shooting. Then there was a difficult-to-watch film about the shooting, with a Rube Goldberg set of objects, ending with banners of the NRA being torn down, about arming teachers, and a machine printing out “thoughts and prayers”.
Comedienne Chelsea Handler also spoke.
Three students running for their city councils were introduced.
The Democratic candidate for our 74th State Assembly district, Cottie Petrie-Norris spoke about gun control. Here is her photo:
I was impressed that Democrat Harley Rouda came to UC Irvine from the coastal CA 48th Congressional District, and spoke for gun control, also. He is challenging 30 year Republican incumbent Dana Rohrabacher, which looks like a very close race. Here is his photo:
Democratic challenger Gil Cisneros of the California 39th Fullerton Congressional district spoke about a personal family tragedy from guns, and also backed gun control. Photo below:
None of the semi-infinite number of mailers that I get or political TV ads mention gun control, making its discussion verboten.
Yet half of the ads list safety as a major issue. Irvine has often been called the safest city in the US. I think safety is now a code word for not allowing houses or parks to be used to house the homeless. A conference I went to at the Beckman had a talk by a UCI Professor, that showed that treating a homeless person in the criminal justice system costs us $100,000 a year, while housing them only cost us $40,000 a year. The solution is really for all of the local cities to come together with a plan for a facility, rather than to just kick the homeless out of each city separately.
Almost none of the ads or mailers list sustainability or climate threats as an issue in Irvine. One of the candidates who does is my Physics and Astronomy colleague and friend Prof. Kev Abazajian, who is running for Irvine City Council. He was there handing out information, but did not get to speak. I got a photo with him. Traffic is a main issue in Irvine, and it is going to take a technical ace to help solve it, so he is much needed on the City Council. Solving traffic is also the main way to save on greenhouse gas emissions. Kev is the young Professor on the right of the photo:
I had covered the March for Our Lives in Laguna Beach with photos of the participants with their signs on my Flickr account.