With Maine and Monterey Park connections, councilman copes with mass shooting trauma – San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Monterey Park Mayor Henry Legislation, second from proper, joins others in prayer exterior Monterey Park Metropolis Corridor in Monterey Park on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, for the victims of the Star Dance Studio mass taking pictures. (Picture by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Henry Low, former Monterey Park mayor and present metropolis councilman, was within the midst of celebrating when one other place he known as residence fell sufferer to a different occasion of mindless violence.
Legislation spent 4 years — from 1993 to 1997 — in Maine whereas attending Colby School, simply an hour exterior of Lewiston, the place on Wednesday, October 25, a gunman went on a rampage, killing 18 folks and wounding 13. Others.
Studying the information whereas visiting Taiwan to have fun Delight, Lu stated he felt the identical wave of despair that hit him final January, when 11 folks had been killed on the Star Ballroom Dance Studio on Garvey Avenue amid the town’s Lunar New Yr celebration.
“After I acquired the textual content message concerning the taking pictures, I used to be out that night for Lunar New Yr’s Eve, and it introduced up the identical emotions,” he stated. “I am shocked that this occurred in a spot I do know, the place folks typically go away their doorways open, as a result of there has at all times been a way of group and security.”
Now — as of Thursday morning — the realm was on lockdown and in the course of a large manhunt to arrest the person suspected within the taking pictures, who was thought of armed and harmful.
The manhunt itself echoed the response in Monterey Park, the place authorities had been deployed in January for a manhunt that ended the day after the taking pictures when the gunman killed himself inside a truck miles away in Torrance.
Legislation stated he typically visited Lewiston on weekends along with his faculty mates. Waterville, the place Colby School is positioned, is about half the scale of Lewiston, so college students would go to the bigger metropolis to buy, eat and socialize. Legislation stated one in every of his fondest recollections was driving by the plush inexperienced state, passing by small cities and stopping in Lewiston for ice cream.
“She’s at all times so stunning and lovely,” Lu stated. I’ve at all times understood why it is a widespread vacationer spot as nicely. I imply folks go there in the summertime as a result of it is a phenomenal place.
He stated this second is full circle in some ways.
“I used to be attending Colby when I discovered my very first internship in a legislative workplace,” he stated. “In some ways, Colby is credited with the particular person I’m in the present day and this profession I’ve chosen.”
“I am shocked that this occurred in a spot I do know.” -Henry Legislation, Monterey Park Metropolis Council Member
Legislation, who was able of management when a gunman killed 11 members of the Monterey Park group, is aware of all too nicely the ramifications of the harm the shooter precipitated. He stated he instantly contacted metropolis officers to supply supportive phrases and help in the event that they requested it.
“It makes me really feel sick to my abdomen,” he stated. “I’ve since been texting gun violence prevention advocates and we’re all offended and unhappy.”
Over the previous yr, Monterey Park has made a aware effort to push for gun security laws at each stage.
In August, the Metropolis Council unanimously permitted an ordinance banning retail gun gross sales inside a 1,000-foot zone round “delicate receptors” akin to colleges and residences.
On high of the native misery that Legislation is aware of Lewiston’s management is grappling with, he added that ache, concern and confusion will unfold as a whole nation mourns one other mass taking pictures — 565 thus far in accordance with a stay depend by The Gun Violence Archive.
The taking pictures in Maine’s second-largest metropolis was the thirty sixth mass killing in the US this yr, in accordance with a database maintained by The Related Press and USA At the moment in partnership with Northeastern College. Not less than 190 folks died in these killings, that are outlined as incidents through which 4 or extra individuals are killed inside a 24-hour interval, not together with the killer — the identical definition utilized by the FBI.
Earlier than Lewiston, Monterey Park was the deadliest mass taking pictures of the yr, and arguably the deadliest ever in Los Angeles County.
Monterey Park has supported different gun reform payments, together with Senate Invoice 14: Age 21 Act, Senate Invoice 25: Assault Weapons Ban of 2023 and California Senate Invoice 2, which prohibits anybody from carrying A hid firearm or carrying a loaded firearm in public.
Nevertheless, whereas California responded to curb related carnage, motion was slower on the federal stage. Following the information in Maine, President Joe Biden and leaders domestically and throughout the nation are as soon as once more calling for robust gun reform.
“I’m saddened by final night’s mass taking pictures in Maine, which now surpasses the tragedy that occurred in January in my hometown of Monterey Park, California, because the deadliest assault in America this yr,” stated Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena. “. Within the present state of affairs. “This can be a membership I’d not want membership on anybody. My coronary heart goes out to the survivors, the households of the victims and the whole group, who I do know are actually struggling unimaginable loss and going through a protracted street to restoration.
“The brand new Speaker of the Home has a possibility to unite Congress and assist put an finish to gun violence in America. I sincerely hope he’ll seize this chance to save lots of future communities from the insufferable trauma of gun violence,” Chu added.