From the fifth district of California since 1999, Congressman Mike Thompson came to Sonoma State in order to speak on prevalent issues regarding not only our community but our country as a whole. Thompson is Chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force and identifies as a Blue Dog Democrat. He is also a veteran and has received a Purple Heart for his services.
SSU political science professor David McCuan served as interviewer. This sparked my interest as I felt more inclined to attend as a student and I was not alone. Many students, faculty, and local community members attended the event put on by the SSU Emeritus & Retired Faculty & Staff Association, filling the space.
McCuan, serving as the interviewer, asked questions about student debt, Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (DACA), the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the #MeToo movement, gun violence, mass shootings, and more.
Although all prevalent issues, it seemed as though from the audience’s responses the main topic of focus was that of gun violence issues and mass shootings. Thompson explains that “I am a believer in the second amendment, and as far as repealing the second amendment, that's just not going to happen. So any effort down that path is going to be a real distraction in getting some good meaningful laws passed that will save lives.”
“Through the work we do [House Gun Violence Prevention Task force] we came to the conclusion that the most important thing we can do to prevent gun violence is expand background checks,” said Thompson.
Thompson explained that California is in fact one of the strictest when it comes to background checks, it was evident to me that while we are on the way to making a change there is still a long way to go.
It was reassuring to see how many people attended and the interest this event attracted. With politics being a very sticky subject now a days, the only way we are going to make headway is by openly hearing people out and discussing it.