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Local officials reach out to victims and families of the Half Moon Bay shootings

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's follow up now with the president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors who we heard a moment ago. Democrat Dave Pine spoke with A Martínez.

DAVE PINE: We hear about mass shootings in this country almost every day. But we could never think that one would happen in our own backyard, particularly in such a close-knit and small community like Half Moon Bay.

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

What does your community need right now?

PINE: Well, right now, we're reaching out to the community with mental health services and trying to help the families as best we can and trying to make sense of this, what is absolutely a senseless act.

MARTÍNEZ: California, I know, has some of the toughest gun laws. What has been done on a local level in San Mateo County to attempt to prevent gun violence as best as possible?

PINE: We have a strong gun storage ordinance that requires people to keep weapons under lock. We are investing funds into going after, you know, people with red flag status, people who are felons and others who are not allowed to have guns and making sure that we get the guns out of their hands. And we've been very active in doing gun buybacks as well. So we really are trying to use every tool available to us to limit gun violence. And now we see this.

MARTÍNEZ: Yeah. So that's - I mean, that's what I was going to ask you, too. Considering everything you have done, to see this happen in your own community, where you've tried your best, I mean, is it deflating? Is it just heartbreaking? What are you feeling?

PINE: Well, it is heartbreaking. It is discouraging. But it's also a call out to the federal government to do more on the federal level. We simply have too many guns in this nation. We have more guns than people. And the research has shown that we're unique in the world in gun violence. And it's really attributable to the total number of guns that are available. So when people are in crisis, they often have access to a gun. So we have to make sure guns are better regulated.

MARTÍNEZ: If you could talk to the representatives that are in California, that are around the nation, that are hearing you right now, I mean, what would you tell them? What's your message to them today?

PINE: You know, we need common sense gun regulation in this country. And make sure people are licensed, that they're trained and that people who shouldn't have guns do not have access to them.

MARTÍNEZ: I mean, considering that the state of California has some of the more tougher gun laws on the record in the United States, to have two shootings like this within a few days of each other, I mean, that's - I mean, I know you're suffering in your county. But can you just - California, the state that supposedly is the leader in gun control, and this happens.

PINE: You know, we are the leader. And the statistics shows that the laws and legislation that we've passed at the state and local level have made a difference compared to other states in the country. So our efforts have helped, but it's not perfect. And there are certain things, particularly with the regulation of assault weapons, that are in the hands of the federal government that we need help from.

MARTÍNEZ: Is there anything, Dave, that you'd just like to tell your community, especially right now when they're suffering at the moment?

PINE: While we mourn the loss of these innocent people. You know, we look forward to a day when we don't have to be living in fear of gun violence in our community and in the country.

MARTÍNEZ: That's Dave Pine, president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. Dave, thank you very much.

PINE: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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