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OAKLAND – In light of the student-led shooting of Santa Fe High School Friday morning, Warriors coach Steve Kerr condemned the actions of the shooter, while pushing for tighter gun laws.
“It never surprises me anymore,” Kerr told the Bay Area News Group Saturday afternoon. “This is apart of our culture now. We need to have laws in place in every state that your guns need to be locked up.”
On Friday morning, 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis opened fire at the Sante Fe, Tx, high school, killing 10 people and wounding 10 others. According to authorities, the teenager was armed with a shotgun and revolver, owned by his father. While Texas, which is an open carry state, is required by the FBI to administer background checks, there is no such law forbidding the concealing of weapons in a household.
“The fact that there is no law against that and ten people were killed and maybe those ten people wouldn’t be killed if the father didn’t lock up the guns,” Kerr said. “It’s pretty obvious, let’s make that a law. It’s not infringing on anybody’s Second Amendment rights.”
“We don’t hand the keys to a car when a kid gets to be 16,” Kerr added. “We make him go through driver’s [education]; we make him pass a test, we make him get a license, you keep a database on that person, you register the car. We need to do all the same things with guns and if we do that, we’ll save lives and anybody who’s going to argue with that, I would say, imagine if it was your kid, who doesn’t come back from a school shooting. Maybe you’ll agree that schools should have more safety laws in place.”
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In recent months, Kerr has thrust himself into the fight against gun violence. Two months ago, he spoke in a crowded town hall meeting at Newark Memorial High School, denouncing gun violence, while encouraging high school students to vote. Less than two weeks later, Kerr participated in the March for our Lives march in Oakland, which was organized by students from Stoneman Douglas High School, where a gunman killed seventeen students and wounded seventeen others in February.
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr takes part in a town hall meeting about gun violence at Newark Memorial High School on Monday, March 12, 2018, in Newark, Calif. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)
The issue also has a personal meaning to Kerr, whose father Malcolm Kerr, was assassinated in Beirut by Islamic terrorists in 1984 while serving as president of the University of Beirut. On Saturday, Kerr said that despite the recent acts in Texas, he remains optimistic a change in gun laws is on the horizon.
“It’s already in play,” Kerr said. “The tide shifted with the Dougless shooting because you were dealing with a bunch of kids who are old enough to put up a fight and to become of voting age. The only thing is going to change is when young people in this country decide to vote. And as we speak, young people are registering to vote all around the country. This is going get to a point where it’s not a partisan issue. It’s going to get to point to where if you want to hold a spot in public office, you’re going to be held accountable, regardless of your party affiliation.”
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