by Anneli Rufus
Thirty-two black-clad activists will stage a lie-in on the Quad at Oakland's Laney College at 11 a.m. on April 16 to mourn the 32 people killed by guns in America daily and to promote AB2235. The bill, created by Contra Costa-based Assemblymember Mark DeSaulnier, would require new handguns sold in California to incorporate biometric technology such as fingerprint or grip recognition that would render them inoperable by non-owners and by criminals who can't legally buy guns.
"That way, guns wouldn't pass so easily from hand to hand say, by a bunch of gang members or kids," says Griffin Dix, president of the Oakland/Alameda County Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, stagers of the lie-in. Dix's son Kenzo, a Berkeley High Shool freshman, was accidentally shot to death by a friend in 1994. The legislation applies only to new guns, not those already on the street. But "criminals like to use new guns," Dix says, "because they don't have a body on them' that is, they can't be traced to previous crimes." One-third of the guns confiscated by police are three years old or less, he says; half are less than five.
The lie-in, one of 72 nationwide, also marks the first anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre; 32 died there too.