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LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

County No Longer Requires Appointments For COVID Vaccine

Cover image for podcast episode

PHOTO BY ROLAND LIZARONDO

Above: Richard Harmon from Ocean Beach getting vaccinated for COVID-19 at San Diego State's Viejas Arena, March 23, 2021.

To make the COVID-19 vaccine available to more people and to encourage people to get vaccinated, San Diego County is offering walk-up, no-appointment-needed vaccinations at some of its county-run sites. Plus, San Diego prosecutors want to remove about 350 people who have turned their lives from the gang injunction list that San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria called “outdated” and longer serves “their alleged purpose.” Also, California will lose a congressional seat for the first time in the state’s history and many are now wondering what this means for their voice in Washington. In addition, San Diego police are sounding the alarm on what they say is the rise in ghost guns, homemade, unserialized firearms that are almost impossible to trace. A decade after Don’t Ask Don’t Tell ended, one of Naval Avaition’s few openly gay pilots says that wasn’t enough to save his career. And, video footage played a key role in both the Rodney King and George Floyd trials, but the outcomes were vastly different. What changed? Finally, a new album by Silent, a Mexicali-based band, tackles the toxicity of hate with a powerful goth-punk beauty.

Speaker 1: 00:00 Some County vaccination sites are now walk in, no appointment needed,

Speaker 2: 00:05 But there's sort of a catch. There's a limited number of daily shots that are available.

Speaker 1: 00:09 I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Jade Heinemann. This is KPBS mid-day edition.

Speaker 3: 00:24 San Diego

Speaker 1: 00:25 Eliminates the use of gang injunctions.

Speaker 3: 00:28 There are certainly racist motives behind these gang injunctions.

Speaker 1: 00:34 How the state citizens redistricting committee creates new congressional districts and we'll hear new music from the Mexicali band silent that's ahead. On midday

Speaker 3: 00:45 Addition

Speaker 1: 01:00 People who've been struggling with the web to get a vaccination appointment. Now have a new option. You can just walk up to a site and get in line. San Diego County is now offering walk up no appointment vaccinations at some County vaccination sites. This does not yet apply to private health care sponsored vaccination sites. That news coupled with the fact that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is being administered again in San Diego, gives a boost to the county's overall vaccination picture. And joining me is KPBS health reporter, Matt Hoffman. Hey Maureen. Great to be here. So, uh, refreshing over and over again for that elusive vaccine appointment. Can now be a thing of the past. Are the County vaccination walk up appointments as simple as they sound?

Speaker 2: 01:48 Yes. Um, and County officials are describing it as people can now show up at a County hosted clinic and get vaccinated without an appointment, but there's sort of a catch, there's a limited number of daily shots that are available for people without appointments. And it's only limited to they if they described it as County hosted sites. Um, and so we're not talking about even County sponsored sites, which include like some of those super stations, you know, Del Mar Superstation, uh, the superstitions that sharp has in Lamesa, um, down in there in the South Bay, Chula Vista, uh, those are not on the list. Uh, we're talking about 20 of these like sort of smaller pods of some people might be familiar with like the Linda Vista vaccination site, um, at the university of San Diego of the Martin Luther King community center in national city up in Oceanside, the North coastal LivWell center. Um, and then some of these mobile vaccination pods also keep in mind too, if you are going to go to one of these sites, um, some of them are only on specific days, like Tuesday through Thursday or Tuesday and Wednesday. So make sure you check before you go and show up

Speaker 1: 02:42 And people can still get appointments at all County sites if they want to. Right,

Speaker 2: 02:47 Right. Correct. Yeah. There, they are still offering appointments. This is just sort of like an added bonus. Um, but keep in mind, there is a limited number of doses. Okay.

Speaker 1: 02:55 What about lines and wait times for people who just show up, do we have any idea what those will be?

Speaker 2: 03:01 We don't have any idea what those will be. I mean, it sort of vary by sites and sort of vary by, you know, what the demand is, which we know has been incredibly high. Um, just recently they hosted a one day vaccination event, um, over at Southwestern college that I was at. Um, and they were having to turn people away. Um, they had about 400 doses there. Um, and they said that that was encouraging. It it's good that the demand for vaccines is still high. What's interesting is when we're going to see that plateau, right. Once supply is going to overtake demand, which, you know, some are estimating that could be, you know, really, really soon in a week. It could be four weeks. We just really don't know

Speaker 1: 03:33 It's talking about supply. Oh, let's talk about the end of this. Pause on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. What does that add to our vaccine supply? Yes,

Speaker 2: 03:44 It's sort of described as a useful tool in the toolkit here in San Diego, you know, using it, uh, to vaccinate a lot of vulnerable populations. You know, people who are unsheltered, uh, people who are out there living on the streets, um, but also, you know, areas that are hard to reach. And actually, uh, just today talking with Cal fire, San Diego, um, they have that operation collaboration where they go to rural areas, you know, Borrego Springs, uh, out there and Fallbrook different places. Um, starting tomorrow, they are going to start a re administering that J and J um, they were using some Madonna and Pfizer doses, uh, during the J and J pause, but that meant that they had to go back to these rural areas again, you know, in three or four weeks now they can just do one and done. Um, so definitely a lot of organizations looking forward to getting the, the versatility back that the J and J vaccine offers.

Speaker 1: 04:26 Are there any groups of people who are being advised, maybe not to get the Johnson and Johnson vaccine,

Speaker 2: 04:33 Not specifically federal regulators, they did put like a notice on like when you, when you go to get a vaccine, a COVID-19 vaccination, they give you some papers that you're supposed to read. There is a notice on there, uh, with, with some more information about, you know, sort of this, these rare blood clotting, um, you know, just a few cases were reported out of, you know, more than 8 million of vaccinations. Um, but you know, health officials are encouraging people. If they do have questions to consult, you know, directly with their provider about, you know, what shot may be best for them.

Speaker 1: 05:00 And is San Diego's case rate of new and COVID infections continuing to fall.

Speaker 2: 05:06 If we, if we look like, you know, uh, like what it was in October of last year, you know, around 3%, and now, you know, the 14 day rolling average of cases, testing positive about 1.7%, it is continuing to fall. Um, if you just look at like the last month, the daily number of cases reported can kind of fluctuate, you know, from 400 to 100 to 200 to 300, um, and County officials, County health officials have said that that isn't as concerning now, especially with the amount of people who are being vaccinated now, you know, 50% of San Diego who are eligible and

Speaker 1: 05:35 What's the county's vaccination goal. Yes.

Speaker 2: 05:37 So the County has a goal of getting 75% of County residents, 16 and over that's a little over 2 million people vaccinated. It used to be 70%, the state up the end of the 75% of the County followed suit. Um, and the County says that they're about 70% of the way to that goal in terms of first doses, about halfway there for people who are fully vaccinated, uh, interesting number we're approaching a million County residents that are fully vaccinated. Um, and in total, not to throw too many numbers out there at you, but, um, you know, 2.8 million doses have been delivered just in San Diego County alone.

Speaker 1: 06:12 I've been speaking with KPBS health reporter, Matt Hoffman, Matt. Thank you. Thanks Maureen

Speaker 2: 06:24 Corner

Speaker 1: 06:24 Orders restricting the actions of people identified as gang members are known as gang injunctions, and they've been used by prosecutors in San Diego for years, but San Diego County da summer Stephan announced Tuesday. Her office is moving to eliminate gang injunctions, criminal justice reform advocates have urged the end of gang injunction saying they target black and Brown young men and stigmatize. Those who may have left the gang years ago, Stephan says after consulting with law enforcement, she believes the injunctions do not play a significant role in maintaining public safety. And joining us is Genevieve Jones, right? She's a member of San Diego's commission on gang prevention and intervention. Genevieve. Welcome back.

Speaker 4: 07:11 Thank you for having me. Why

Speaker 1: 07:13 Do you think San Diego needed to get rid of gang injunctions?

Speaker 4: 07:16 Well, you hit on the aspects of the injunctions that are completely unfair in your initial introduction. Um, I think that we have to use stronger language more than just outdated. I think that these gang injunctions target certain communities. There are certainly racist motives behind these gang injunctions and the neighborhoods that are subject to them. There are 22 active gang injunctions throughout our County and six in the city of San Diego. All of the injunctions are in communities where the predominant community members are black and Brown. And what we see with these injunctions is that people are prohibited from doing innocent things like wearing certain jerseys, certain colors and even numbers. And more importantly, they're restricted from being with family. And these injunctions have been on the books since the nineties, no expiration dates. So people have been subject to these injunctions for years and years, some of whom have never committed crimes, but have very innocent actions being curtailed and being a part of injunctions that outwardly tell the public that they're gang members when many are not. And we've seen the devastating effects relate to employment implications.

Speaker 1: 08:44 You touched on the subject that I wanted to speak more about it that these gang injunctions have been seen as another symptom of systematic racism in law. Can you explain why that is?

Speaker 4: 08:57 Absolutely. Again, these injunctions are not a part of any communities where there would be so-called white gangs in the County of San Diego. There is no quote unquote white gang who is included in the Cal gang database, which tracks gangs. And so all of gang documentation, primarily targets black and Brown people, members of the AAPI community. We know that there are gangs in our region that are not black Brown or Asian, and yet they're not being treated the same way. So it is as well with injunctions. When injunctions came on the scene, they were in neighborhoods in Vista and Oceanside and in Southeastern San Diego. And so you can see where certain community members are being targeted. I remember being a young attorney before I was ever a public defender, and my first cases were dealing with these injunctions because my neighborhood was subject to an injunction.

Speaker 4: 10:04 And in fact, my neighborhood was subject to the very first gang injunction in the city of San Diego. And that was back in 1998. What we see with these injections is that certain community members are prohibited from coming back to the neighborhoods where they grew up, they're prohibited from visiting their own kids, which was actually a subject matter of a case that I defended where a father was violated for visiting his toddler daughter. And this was said to be in violation of a gang injunction and the city attorney of San Diego actually brought charges against him. And so these are the things that we see with these gang injunctions and just some of the effects, but they're absolutely detrimental. And the effects of the injunctions also serve to do things that red lining had done back when red lining was in effect defacto. And also does your

Speaker 1: 10:59 Now, yesterday on Twitter, you talked about feeling like your work on getting rid of gang injunctions was not recognized with this announcement that officials were taking credit for this reform. Can you say more on that?

Speaker 4: 11:13 Absolutely. A lot of times we hear members of law enforcement, specifically law enforcement, other elected officials and city officials all over talk about fostering community trust. I felt that this was a betrayal of the community because for years, community members like members of the gang commission on which I sit community organizations like pillars of the community, and also the coalition on police, accountability and transparency have been working, trying to get an elimination of all gang injunctions. And we've been met with the same opposition from the officials who are now touting that this is their victory. And without giving a nod to the community, it's very hard to say that you want to foster community trust when you completely erase the work of the community. Also, I believe it's a slap in the face of the community to release these press releases and have these press conferences in the manner in which they did yesterday. Not only not acknowledging community work over several years, but completely disregarding the work and not owning up to the fact that they were completely opposed to the efforts and were personal hurdles to the elimination of gang injunctions. This could have been done years ago. This should have been done years ago. And those same officials that we see touting the elimination of gang injections are the very same people who worked against that very effort. And I think is disingenuous well to officially

Speaker 1: 12:55 Who have praised the decision, our mayor, Todd, Gloria, and council woman, Monica Montgomery step, and they, of course, mayor Gloria has put forward the idea of, of more police reforms and more prosecutorial reforms. What do you think should be next on the list of those San Diego police reform?

Speaker 4: 13:13 I believe that we need a complete ban on pretextual traffic stops where an officer can stop a driver for a minor or traffic violation and is able to investigate a separate and completely unrelated suspected criminal offense. Pretextual stops allow police officers very wide discretion in whom they choose to stop and what reasons they use to justify the traffic stop as well. We need a ban on consent searches, consent searches are searches that do not necessitate an officer having probable cause, which is the legal standard for officers to engage in a search of a person or a person's property with consent searches. And officer simply needs to ask whether they can do a search. And what we see with consent searches are that a lot of community members do not feel that they're able to say no. And so we really have coerced consent searches, but this a ban on consent searches would also cut down on racial profiling. Our law enforcement agencies across the County have got to stop being first responders as it relates to substance abuse issues, issues that relate to mental health. And also homelessness. We have got to reimagine public safety and policing on a grander scale. I am happy for the small steps, but we've got to take bigger ones in order to dismantle the system that preys on black indigenous and people

Speaker 5: 14:52 Of color.

Speaker 1: 14:52 Well, I want to thank you so much. I've been speaking with Genevieve Jones, right? A member of San Diego commission on gang prevention and intervention, Genevieve as always. Thank you so much. Thank you very much.

Speaker 5: 15:15 [inaudible]

Speaker 1: 15:17 This is KPBS mid day edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Jade Heinemann video and police abuse played key roles, both in the Derek Shovin trial and in the one involving four Los Angeles police officers and Rodney King nearly three decades ago, but the outcomes were vastly different PolitiFact, California reporter Chris Nichols spoke with anchor Mike Haggerty about the two cases in this week's. Can you handle the truth segment,

Speaker 5: 15:46 Chris, remind us what the officers were accused of doing to Rodney King.

Speaker 6: 15:51 Well, CHP officers pulled over King who was black for speeding on a Los Angeles freeway back in 1991. And King tried to elude officers, but eventually stopped near an apartment complex from there for Los Angeles police department officers, three white one Latino took charge of the traffic stop and they were captured on video kicking and beating King dozens of times after he was on the ground. The video sparked outrage across the country, but in the trial the next year, the officers were acquitted of almost all charges, including felony assault. And by contrast this week, Minneapolis police officer Derek Shovan was convicted on all counts, including second degree murder in the death of George Floyd.

Speaker 5: 16:40 We saw a great sense of relief among many community members after the Shovan verdict, but that wasn't the case after the trial involving Rodney King.

Speaker 6: 16:49 That's right after the acquittals in 1992, there were five days of rioting in Los Angeles and more than 50 deaths that included 10 people shot and killed by LAPD officers and national guardsmen, more than 2000 were injured. There was widespread destruction in South Los Angeles where residents set fires and destroyed grocery and liquor stores. And other shops

Speaker 5: 17:15 You spoke with Sacramento state criminal justice, professor Shelby Moffitt about the Shovan case and the case from 1992. What did he have to say about

Speaker 6: 17:24 Moffitt is a professor who also spent 20 years as a police officer in Sacramento. Here's what he told me about. The two trials,

Speaker 5: 17:33 The outcome of the Rodney King trial had a lot to do with the outcome of this trial. And let's say, if you had had this trial Derrick children's trial in 1992, you might've had a similar outcome because people were not ready to make change. Then

Speaker 6: 17:50 In both trials, Moffitt said defense attorneys tried to put the victims on trial to assassinate their character.

Speaker 5: 17:58 They said very similar things that Rodney King was in his trial, that he was a black man, that he was big, that if he got up, we were scared of him. And these are the tropes that have been used for several hundred years. One of the differences in the trials was the makeup of the juries. Tell us about that.

Speaker 6: 18:16 We know the jury in the Shovan trial was more diverse. Six were white, four black, and to identify as multiracial in 1992, the trial was moved to Simi Valley, a nearly all white city, almost 30 miles from where the beating of Rodney King took place. The court decided it might not receive a fair trial in Los Angeles due to all the publicity that jury ended up with no black people and only two people of color.

Speaker 5: 18:47 Finally, Chris, there were eventually federal charges brought against the officers for violating King's civil rights. What happened with those

Speaker 6: 18:55 Two officers were convicted on those charges and sentenced to two and a half years in prison. The other two were acquitted and nine years ago, King not long after releasing a memoir, tragically drowned in his own backyard pool. He was 47 years old.

Speaker 7: 19:17 Radio's PolitiFact, California reporter Chris Nichols. Speaking with anchor Mike Haggerty, California will lose a congressional seat for the first time in the state's history. And many are now wondering how districts are formed in the first place and what this means for their voice in Washington. While it's up to 14 people who sit on the California citizens, redistricting commission, they're responsible for drawing district lines. Joining us to break down this process is a member of that commission, Patricia Sanai, Patricia. Welcome.

Speaker 8: 19:58 Thank you so much for having me today.

Speaker 7: 20:00 So first off, can you tell us how this recent loss of a congressional seat fits into the redistricting process?

Speaker 8: 20:06 Sure. The information that we received was from the census, the national census released the numbers for the whole country as well as States. And we have a limited number of congressional seats, 435 congressional seats. And it's based on a population formula. And so California did increase in population, but not as fast as population rate was not as large as other States. And therefore we have 52 seats out of the potential 435, which is one less than before, but we're still the largest delegation in the country.

Speaker 7: 20:44 And how does census data, uh, or involve efforts to redistrict exams?

Speaker 8: 20:50 It is one of the most important information pieces of information that we use in addition to the input from the community. So we need three pieces of data to really draw out the formats that we will be drawing. We drive the congressional districts, the state Senate districts, the state assembly districts and the board of equalizations. And so the reapportionment numbers that came in is the first piece, and that helps us with the congressional districts. And then we will receive in late summer the data more at the neighborhood level, the community level. And the third piece of data we need is hearing for our communities, what communities want to be kept together and why it's important for them to be kept together. As we're looking at districts,

Speaker 7: 21:33 Why is redistricting necessary?

Speaker 8: 21:36 You know, think about your own neighborhood and how much has changed. And, um, then take that to the County level and the state level, the national level. Now people move, they come into the state, they leave the state and as those changes happen, priorities change. And also we need to remember that we are a growing state, so older people pass away and then we have new birth. So there's a lot of changes that take place. And the census allows us to really get a snapshot at a point in time, every 10 years of where people are.

Speaker 7: 22:09 Tell us more about redistricting in general. I mean, why is it important and what issues does it particularly aim to address?

Speaker 8: 22:17 I'm really proud to be a California because we have an independent redistricting commission, which means that we've taken the politics out of redistricting. And most States still to this day, it's really the legislature that draws the lines, meaning they get to choose who they're going to represent our process. Our redistricting process is focused on hearing from the community as well as the census data. And we really want to take into account, um, the voters, right facts to make sure that those communities who've been underrepresented in the past have equal opportunity to elect the representatives that they want. Redistricting is important because who you vote for, represents your issues and represents you. And it's also an allocation of budgets. The one thing I really appreciate about our redistricting efforts is that it's an open process. We will be having public meetings. As I said earlier, the legislature is in involved. This is about 14 individual citizens of California working together, you know, open door in the public. Nothing's done behind closed doors and everybody gets a say, and

Speaker 7: 23:29 You mentioned in other States, the, the issue of congressional districts and how they're drawn is a source of much debate as the drawing of, of these lines is oftentimes greatly politically motivated and designed to tilt the balance of political power in a given region to one political party.

Speaker 1: 23:46 What steps does the California commission take

Speaker 8: 23:48 To avoid that? Well, first we start with the independent redistricting commission. So the 14 individuals who are on the commission, my colleagues, uh, were selected from a poll of 20,000 Californians who applied. Yeah. It's constantly looking at creating a diverse pool of people that reflect the political realities of California, as well as professional geographic ethnic. We were vetted as this, as I explained, the redistricting process is done in public it's open sessions. Everything is zoom these days, including our meetings. And so people can watch us. And we do set public comments during our business meetings. And now we're moving into the phase where we're really asking the community to submit their communities of interests, meaning their community maps. We have a tool online on our website, which is we draw the lines C a.org, and that tool can walk you through how to define your community, how to tell us why it's important to stay together as well as draw.

Speaker 8: 24:56 It. It's a very simple tool, but people can also call in. They can attend one of our public input meetings that we'll be having this summer. And then in the fall, when we start our drawing of the lines, those will be open to the public as well at the public considered in. Listen to us, go through all the communities of interest. We receive the data and we'll hear us kind of really work through some of the hard questions we'll need to be addressing. And finally, when we post final maps, there'll be draft maps and then final maps. The community. Once again, gets to look at them and have a say,

Speaker 1: 25:33 Right? I've been speaking with Patricia Sanai, commissioner of the California citizens, redistricting commission, Patricia, thank you so much for joining.

Speaker 8: 25:41 Well, thank you for having us.

Speaker 1: 25:49 Okay. After don't ask, don't tell ended one of Naval aviation's few openly gay pilots is on his way out. The Marine substantiated his claims of harassment. After an incident following a West coast Marine Corps ball KPBS, military reporter, Steve Walsh tells us why it wasn't enough to save his career.

Speaker 9: 26:10 Most of his six years in the Navy Lieutenant Adam Radomski says he felt supported as an openly gay pilot. He can tell you when that changed

Speaker 8: 26:18 In November of 2019, Adamski

Speaker 9: 26:21 Is a helicopter pilot for a Navy search and rescue squadron. Adamski was invited to a West coast Marine Corps, birthday ball at a local casino. He came back to the hotel room where the Marines had been holding an African.

Speaker 8: 26:35 When I walked into the door, I knew something wasn't right, because, um, the TV in that suite had been moved like on the pivot, um, to face the doorway. And I felt my dress whites draped over and around the, uh, the TV. And there was hardcore gay porn, plain.

Speaker 9: 26:56 It didn't feel like a harmless prank. It felt like something else. Some of the other Marines in the squadron wanted to find those responsible, but a Dom ski says he was getting ready for his first deployment as a pilot. He wanted to shrug it off and let the matter go. But word had

Speaker 8: 27:13 And received numerous calls from people that are in the closet, in that squadron. Um, both men and women and, and openly, uh, gay service members, um, tell me that they are upset and that they don't think the climate is, uh, a good climate and that, and that squadron. And they, they, they think I should report it.

Speaker 9: 27:35 The don't ask don't tell policy ended a decade ago, allowing LGBT service members to serve openly, but a study in the journal of sexuality research and social policy found 59% of service members still didn't feel comfortable coming out to their peers. Sasha Booker is a former Marine and an attorney with the civil rights organization, Lambda legal. She says changing the law. Didn't change the culture.

Speaker 8: 28:01 One thing to have going out, don't tell removes. It's another thing to have a culture where people can feel safe being who they are and not have to worry about. Um, you know, being discriminated against or harassed

Speaker 9: 28:12 18 months after a dump ski reported the incident. He still hasn't received final word on his case. His version of events has been substantiated by the squadron commander in charge of the three Marines, found culpable. Initially the squadron commander even offered to pull their pilot's wings for the incident, a Dom ski thought that was too severe.

Speaker 8: 28:33 Um, I want an in-person apology and, uh, from, from all three of them, uh, I want, I want a meeting to which they're there and I can talk to them.

Speaker 9: 28:44 One it's something on their permanent record. The incident continued to eat it a dump scheme. He was in a serious relationship with an air force pilot who was talking about coming out of the closet. They broke up after he saw Dom skis experience.

Speaker 8: 28:58 I lost a lot and I'm not unhappy. I'm no longer feel like I am, um, an effective leader and officer a pilot. Um, and, uh, I don't feel a part of the military anymore.

Speaker 9: 29:14 [inaudible] has been called into the headquarters for Naval air command more than once to address his decision, to speak publicly about his case major Alex limbs spokesman for the third Marine aircraft wing says the Marines initially acted quickly on his complaint.

Speaker 8: 29:28 Service member, Marine sailor in our units are treated with in a culture of doing any respect. We, we want to prohibit, uh, any type of activity that where these individuals would

Speaker 10: 29:42 Be harassed.

Speaker 9: 29:42 Adamski stopped logging flight hours as his case dragged on last spring, he had a road accident that made it even tougher to qualify to fly. He was given an option as a Navy officer to retire. Tomsky took it in the next couple of months. His six year career as a Navy pilot will come to an end, but not his quest for some kind of recognition that what happened to him wasn't right. Most people back then,

Speaker 10: 30:09 Because of all this hassle and I, and I won't, and I'm not someone that will back down easily.

Speaker 9: 30:16 At this point, he says he has nothing left to lose Steve Walsh, KPBS news. This story was produced by the American Homefront project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans funding comes from the corporation for public broadcasting

Speaker 7: 30:43 Are still trying to make sense of last week's deadly shooting that killed one and injured four in San Diego's Gaslamp district. As more details emerge. Police have said that the weapon used in the incident was a ghost gun, a homemade untraceable firearm. Recently San Diego police, chief David Nesline said San Diego County had seen a 169% rise in ghost guns over the past year and increase many in law enforcement say connects to an increase in violent crime. Joining us to discuss the issue is KPBS freelance reporter Alexandra rainbow, Alexandra. Welcome.

Speaker 10: 31:21 Thank you. Thank you for having me today. So

Speaker 7: 31:23 What can you tell us about ghost guns? Where are they coming from and what kind of problems are they presenting for law enforcement?

Speaker 10: 31:29 So it goes kinda as essentially a firearm that's sold in parts they're sold and advertised as these DIY kits that can be put together at home. These kids are 80% complete and you have to assemble the final 20%. Um, a key selling point is like you mentioned that they are not serialized, so they can't be traced back to the buyer or the manufacturer. Um, a traditional firearm requires a serial number. They also require a background check. So what's happening with the rise of these guns? Um, law enforcement is basically, they're going to these crime scenes and they're finding ghost guns, and they're not able to trace them back to the buyer or the manufacturer. So it, it is presenting a problem. And so basically criminals are getting their hands on these guns and they're able to fly in a sense under the, under the radar with them and

Speaker 7: 32:21 Story you point to loopholes and firearm legislation in completely different States as a key factor in the rise of these ghost guns. What can you tell us about that?

Speaker 10: 32:30 Yeah. So under federal law and individual building a firearm like these ghost guns for personal use, they're not required to market with a serial number. However, when it comes to different States like California, we have stricter gun laws. Um, in California, if you do have a ghost gun, you buy it 80% complete, but once you build it, once it's a hundred percent complete, you are required to register your gun with the department of justice. They will give you a unique serial number for your firearm. But most States in the us, they don't have the same regulations. Of course, as California, it's only a handful of States. As we mention

Speaker 7: 33:09 Gender earlier, chief Nez light said, they've seen a 169% increase in ghost guns across the County. Um, can you break that number down for us? I mean, are these guns that have actually been seized by SDPD and how many guns does that? 169% actually represent? I mean, how many ghost guns are we actually talking about?

Speaker 10: 33:30 Yeah, so that's a huge increase, right? 169%. And it's really in the year of 2020. So it'd be go back to 2019 SDPD seized, 78 ghost guns, and 2020, they seize 210 guns, which is where they saw that 169% increase. And so far this year, they actually took out some data. And just these four months they've seized 111 guns. So chief Ms. Light says that basically with the numbers, they're starting to see already this year, they're on track to see another increase of ghost guns in San Diego County. And, okay,

Speaker 7: 34:06 Interesting part of this story is that of the 700 ghost guns that were retrieved up in Los Angeles last year, all of them were made from parts built by one single company in Nevada. Tell us more about this. I mean, how is this going? Unregulated?

Speaker 10: 34:21 Yeah. So last year, um, the Los Angeles police department recovered 700 ghost guns. All of them were made with parts built by a company in Dayton, Nevada called Calimar 80, according to a city attorney, Mike Feuer polymer 80 is one of the nation's largest sellers of these ghost guns. And in LA last year, over 40% of guns recovered were actually ghost guns. So LA starting to see a huge rise in ghost guns as well. And they're saying that the majority of these guns are coming from Nevada. Basically this company polymer 80, which is in Nevada, they're able to sell guns to California residents. And in Nevada, they don't have that law where you have to register your gun with the DOJ, but in California, you do. Um, but what's happening is people are buying these ghost guns and they're not registering their guns. Once they assemble them a hundred percent complete, they're not registering them with the DOJ.

Speaker 7: 35:15 Biden is expected to make a number of executive orders, limiting the sale and availability of ghost guns. What are the arguments from gun rights advocates?

Speaker 10: 35:24 So one of the executive orders that, um, Biden has presented is regulating these ghost guns. He wants these kids to be treated as a firearm, and he wants to require these parts to have serial numbers. Um, and of course there has already been pushed back from gun rights advocates. I mean, for them it's they feel like it's an infringement on their second amendment, right? And any sort of gun control that is trying to be pushed out there. They're not in favor of as they believe that more needs to be done to prevent criminals from getting their hands on firearms. So I spoke to the executive director of San Diego County gun owners, Michael shorts. And what he told me is he thinks more needs to be done, to stop criminals from getting their hands on these ghost guns versus making these what he calls parts or metal parts illegal. And he referenced back to our laws here in California. We do have stricter gun laws yet. We still have people getting their hands on ghost guns, criminals getting their hands on ghost guns. So he doesn't think more regulations are going to help stop these guns from getting into the hands of criminals.

Speaker 11: 36:34 Speaking with KPBS, freelance reporter, Alexandra Wrangell,

Speaker 10: 36:39 Alexandra. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Speaker 11: 36:53 This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Heinemann Mexicali based post-punk band. Silent wrote a new album inspired by the propagation of hate. They saw starting with rhetoric about the U S Mexico wall. The album is called modern hate and a KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dickson Evans brings us the story. Mexicali based post-punk band silence. Latest album begins with the end, the hypnotic opening track called N the driving sizzling base only has a few seconds to set the dark mood before the guitar kicks in. It's somewhere between a surf rock glissando and a metal

Speaker 10: 37:55 [inaudible].

Speaker 11: 37:56 Then vocalist John sing takes over his voice is Chris clean and sharp edged, but still somehow

Speaker 10: 38:26 [inaudible]

Speaker 11: 38:27 Modern hate is the sophomore release from silent just released on San Diego labels, three, one G it packs punch that's as haunting and brooding as it is spitting and incensed. The album title is part homage part twist the David Bowie's 1983 Anthem modern love inspiration. First struck on tour. When Trump announced he was building the wall, here's the lead singer for a silent young sing.

Speaker 12: 38:54 I remember when I was, when I wrote handsome the wall, we were on the road in the van and we really listened to NPR in the statement, came on the radio and we were listening to what he said. And I remember roto or our bass player was driving. So like, this is crazy. It's like, it's about the wall, man.

Speaker 3: 39:38 [inaudible]

Speaker 11: 39:38 Everyone in the van was enraged and switch the radio to music, but sing couldn't let go. He climbed to the backseat, open his laptop and began to write hands on the wall.

Speaker 3: 40:00 [inaudible]

Speaker 11: 40:00 The track is dark and angry, rooted in the experience of living on the other side of that wall and watching an ancient sort of hate bubbled to the surface. And you

Speaker 3: 40:21 [inaudible],

Speaker 11: 40:22 He was prompted not just by the wall or toxicity in American immigration politics, but by other places he saw hate

Speaker 12: 40:29 All type of hate is happening everywhere, right?

Speaker 11: 40:33 The Las Vegas mass shooting that would happen shortly after he began writing the album, drug cartel violence in Mexico, racism and white supremacy, or even toxic relationships.

Speaker 3: 40:56 [inaudible]

Speaker 11: 40:57 One song, a new slave sprang from the difficulties of recovering from an abusive, toxic relationship. The track is highly personal to sing. After an 11 year partnership dissolved, he realized he needed to heal before moving on to someone else or he'd risk looking for the next thing to make him feel that same way.

Speaker 3: 41:33 [inaudible]

Speaker 11: 41:38 That pandemic slowed things down and caused a temporary closure for the bar. Singh owns small bar in Mexicali, like most small business owners. He struggled financially trying to keep the business afloat while closed, and didn't have us government relief checks or funding to fall back on. On top of this was the psychological struggle that came from the loss of music, whether it rehearsing and writing with a band or touring and performing

Speaker 3: 42:15 [inaudible].

Speaker 11: 42:15 There are sound hints that acts like savages, Nick cave editors, or even Depeche mode that silent can't quite be pinned down to comparisons. Singh's voice is emotive and insistent. And despite the darkness and anger in the lyrics, the overall Sonic effect takes on a more tragic beauty later in the album. Death is not an option, adds a more classic punk energy

Speaker 3: 42:52 [inaudible]

Speaker 11: 42:54 While the witness draws on the timelessness and the atrics of darkness.

Speaker 3: 43:12 [inaudible]

Speaker 12: 43:13 You have to be more like, like more brutal and a little bit more aggressive, but at the same time, try like to sound more mature. And my singing tried to improve my singing of, of the, this record, like in guitars, more melodic and would try the process to be more like, I don't know, like more fine or more like elegant, but we're not losing the strength or the pump, you know,

Speaker 11: 43:40 Despite all the fury, there's a lot of humanity and a little hope in the common grief. The sound is never too much or never relentless spotlighted by the albums closer

Speaker 3: 44:00 [inaudible]

Speaker 11: 44:01 In the final minute, the music cuts out completely lost sings, voice hangs over the silence. It's almost coral with a tremulous vibrato, but also kind of fearful

Speaker 3: 44:31 [inaudible]

Speaker 1: 44:38 That's KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dickson Evans modern hate the new album by the Mexicali based band. Silent is out now.

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KPBS Midday Edition

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily talk show hosted by Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon, keeping San Diegans in the know on everything from politics to the arts.