State lawmakers attended what was supposed to be a routine Capitol budget hearing last week assessing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s spending plans for next year. But when the time came for public comment, things took a dark turn.
“If you want to vaccinate everyone in California, you guys are not thinking,” one speaker, who did not identify herself, said. “And there’s one more note: 17 million guns were purchased in the United States ... what do you think they’re going to do with that?”
The following speaker, who also did not identify herself, made the message clear:
“Keep threatening us. Keep taking our s--- away. Keep telling us we can’t do anything about it and see how much longer we’re going to sit here and wait to give public comment,” she said. “We didn’t buy guns for nothing.”
We have strong security in the Capitol. I think the question we have to ask ourselves is that when it comes to speech, we want to allow people to express whatever opinions they want to express, but when they actually engage in actual threats, we have to take them seriously. You should be able to express your opinion, explain why, but the threats to people's lives? That should not be considered acceptable.