Salud Carbajal grew up in the shadow of gun violence.
“When I was a young boy about 12 years old my sister took her life with a revolver,” U.S. Rep. Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, told the News-Press. “The trauma of that experience and the loss of my sister has stayed with me for the rest of my life.
“I grew up in Oxnard, where I lived in an area where gun violence was pretty pervasive and the challenge to loss of life stayed with me as well,” Rep. Carbajal said.
During a recent interview with the News-Press, the congressman discussed the red flag law, which was recently signed into law as part of a larger gun control legislation package.
“The bottom line is that it will save lives by preventing mass shottings, reducing daily gun violence throughout the country and reducing suicides,” Rep. Carbajal said. “For the 19 states and Washington, D.C., this will bolster laws by providing more training for law enforcement officials and creating an awareness of these laws. At the end of the day this will bolster states that have these laws and it will bolster support.
“Grant programs incentivize laws by providing funding for training and creating awareness on these laws,” he said. “We basically have another tool to reduce gun violence in communities. It adds to the mosaic of tools increasing the safety of communities.
“When somebody is posting on social media that they are going to go shoot up a school that is enough to get a judge to assess that behavior, it is enough to report it to authorities,” Rep. Carbajal said.
“The grants (for states) are for funding training programs and developing protocols,” he said about the legislation that he sponsored. “The grants will fund putting in place structures and protocols for reporting someone who has been observed to have erratic behavior. Some behaviors are more subtle and don’t immediately warrant notifying authorities, however observed repeatedly over time thesen erratic behaviors should be reported.”
Rep. Carbajal said the red flag legislation is “in keeping with the overwhelming sentiment of the American people who say they are in favor of gun safety laws…These are effective laws, and I am happy we are taking a major step forward. While not perfect I think it is going to save a lot of lives.”
In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision, Rep. Carbajal also spoke to the effort to codify Roe v. Wade through the Women’s Health Protection Act. It passed in the House but has so far failed to overcome a filibuster in the Senate.
If passed by Congress and signed into law, the act would override state laws and would ensure that women would have access to reproductive healthcare, including abortions.
“The Women’s Health Protection Act would establish the federal statutory right for health care providers to provide abortion care, and the federal statutory right for patients to receive it, free from unnecessary state bans and restrictions intended to impede or block this access,” according to Rep. Carbajal’s office.
This bill would ensure that patients can access abortion care and health care providers can provide it without burdensome restrictions that single out abortion care as compared with other medical procedures with similar risk, according to a news release.
As noted previously, the filibuster remains an obstacle to passing the act. The Senate requires a minimum of 60 votes to pass major legislation. Ending the filibuster would lower this threshold to a vote of 51.
Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona while both in favor of codifying Roe, are staunchly opposed to dropping the filibuster
“I would say that I certainly understand the reluctance to not do away with the filibuster,” Rep. Carbajal said. “But I think that it is outdated, especially for women’s and civil rights (and voters’ rights). I think we need to consider doing away with filibusters, especially for civil rights.
“I think this is in keeping with decades of precedent by the Supreme Court that has protected those rights for women,” Rep. Carbajal said. “Certainly the Supreme Court has demonstrated on this and other issues that they are out of step with the American people. This conservative court is out of step with the American people…
“The Supreme Court on gun safety laws is out of step. They are making decisions that are politically charged and out of step with the American people.
“There is no doubt that the Supreme Court’s recent decision on abortion is going to be on the ballot in November,” Rep. Carbajal said, referring to issues that will dominate the midterms. (Rep. Carbajal is running against Republican candidate Brad Allen, a semi-retired pediatric heart surgeon with a home in Summerland.)
Currently no Republicans have signed the Women’s Health Protection Act in its current form.
However, Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, have introduced an amendment to the bill in the Senate that they say would bring the bill into a place where they could vote for it, according to a statement from Sen. Collins’ office.