The frontrunner in California’s Governor’s race stopped in Isla Vista on his “Courage to Change” bus tour Wednesday morning.
It seemed like a typical campaign appearance when Gavin Newsom’s big blue bus pulled up to Caje Coffee in Isla Vista. But this stop was chosen on purpose. It focused on one of Newsom’s signature campaign issues– a discussion of gun violence and safety. It was held in the heart of the 2014 Isla Vista shooting rampage. Also, there was Bob Weiss, who is the father of Veronika Weiss– one of six people Elliot Rodger killed before taking his own life.
“I think it says a lot that a leading candidate for Governor came to Isla Vista,” said Weiss. “He came to a coffee shop two blocks away from where my daughter was shot to death and made a stand. That’s a big deal.”
“Bob and I connected over the gun safety campaign, and he reached out to us because he wanted to express support in a meaningful way,” said Newsom.
Veronika was just 19 when she was killed. Ever since Bob has been a gun control activist.
“The movement that I am a part of isn’t against people owning guns, it’s for gun safety,” said Weiss.
The two spoke in front of a packed coffee shop for an hour about Veronika, other shootings, and the NRA. Newsom says there’s more that needs to be done.
“We haven’t yet implemented the background checks on ammunition which we think is significant game changer in the gun safety debate not just in this State, but what it will mean for the rest of the country,” said Newsom. “We need to make sure we implement it effectively.”
Weiss says even if gun laws don’t change, his fight against it will live on.
“The only way to end this scourge on our country is to take our right to vote seriously and vote out the politicians who are in the pocket of the gun lobby,” said Weiss. “That is the only way we are going to end it is on election day.”
With the Primary less than a week away, Newsom got back on the road. The next stop for him is Burbank.