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Women And Guns

Cover image for podcast episode

ROLAND LIZARONDO

A pistol lies on the counter at San Diego Guns, June 16, 2020.

More women are buying guns than ever before. KPBS spoke with a local organization dedicated to educating women about firearms. Meanwhile, a new housing development in Rancho Peñasquitos is raising concerns about increased traffic and potential wildfire risks. Plus, a full fact check on Governor Newsom’s recent comments about the state’s covid-19 health policies.

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Monday, June 21st

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More and More Women Are Buying Guns

More on that next, but first... let’s do the headlines….

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Firefighters in the East County are battling a 515-acre vegetation fire in Canebreak Canyon that started up on sunday. It’s been dubbed the Overland Fire. As of last night it’s at 25% containment. The fire is located near a small desert town east of Mount Laguna and south of Borrego springs. Cal Fire San Diego says no structures have been threatened.

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California now offers digital vaccine cards for vaccinated people as a virtual backup of the physical card. It's also designed to help businesses verify vaccination status. The digital card comes with a q-r code that businesses will be able scan, however, the technology to scan that code isn’t out yet. The state says it will be ready in the coming weeks. To get your digital card, go to my vaccine record dot C D P H dot CA dot gov.

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San Diego has to start over on its redevelopment of the Pechanga Arena in the Midway District. Former Mayor Kevin Faulconer had picked a developer to turn the arena into a new entertainment district. But state officials say the bidding process violated state law, and that the city should have offered the property to affordable housing developers first.

Laura Nunn is with the San Diego Housing Federation.

“In an environment where the city lacks an abundance of financial resources to develop affordable housing, this is a resource and an asset that the city has. The revenue is not there from the city, but the land is there. and that's the opportunity here.”

If no affordable housing developer can afford the land, any future development will still have to set aside a portion of homes for low-income households.

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From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.

Stay with me for more of the local news you need.

More and more women are buying and shooting guns.

KPBS reporter Alexandra Rangel recently spent time with a group that is working with women who are arming themselves for protection.

“Not me sd is our initiative to stop domestic violence
and sexual assault.”
It’s women mentoring women through the male dominated
world of firearms.
Wendy Huffen, Not Me SD Director
“Today we have 10, ladies who are learning how to shoot, it's a variety of levels. Some have never touched a gun before.”
San Diego County Gun Owners launched the initiative Not Me SD, two years ago. It’s a program focused on helping women protect themselves and their loved ones. Each person who goes through the training is paired with a female mentor who teaches them everything from learning how to shoot a gun, to gun safety, as well as the steps it takes to apply for a conceal carry Weapons permit.
Wendy Huffen, Not Me SD Director
“What we’re doing is leveraging our expertise as gun owners to be able to help increase women's ability to stop domestic violence and sexual assault.” Wendy HAW-FIN, the der-rect-or of Not Me SD, says the program stemmed from her own experience.
Wendy Huffen, Not Me SD Director
“I didn't know where to start or what to do.” “There are just so many questions to ask, even
figuring out what to ask is complicated.”
HAW-FINsays the program sparked even more interest during the pandemic.
Wendy Huffen, Not Me SD Director
“We definitely saw a huge increase during the pandemic, women who were on the fence of ownership, realized they needed to take their safety into their own hands.”
Following a global pandemic and political unrest, 2020 saw the biggest increase in gun sales.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates 8.4 million people bought a firearm for the first time last year. And nearly half of those buyers were women. Huffen says it’s women from all walks of life that are wanting to learn about gun ownership.
Wendy Huffen, Not Me SD Director
“Young women in their early 20’s, we have older women who are in their 80’s who are living alone and really need to be able to protect themselves.” In just two years, Not Me SD has helped 320 women become gun owners. And that number is expected to grow. The program is so popular that spots to participate get filled... up to six months in advance.
Janine Abdallah, Not Me SD Participant
“Just being a woman, and these days feeling like I need that extra source of protection.”
Janine Abdallah has been wanting to buy a gun for a while.. After hearing about NOT Me SD she decided it was time to learn more about firearms.
Janine Abdallah, Not Me SD Participant
“More women should take more steps to protect themselves and be at least comfortable being
around firearms and I don't think nowadays enough women are.” Melissa Morris, a firearm instructor and mentor for the program says it’s all about arming women with knowledge and empowerment.
Melissa Morris, Not Me SD Instructor
“I see their fear diminish, they’re confidence increase, and their skill level improve.”
Morris says it’s not uncommon for women to be nervous about gun ownership, especially when they’re coming out of a domestic violence relationship. Deputy District Attorney and president of the Domestic Violence Council, Claudia Grasso says there was a 3-percent increase in domestic violence cases last year.
That’s more than 17 thousand 600 cases reported to law enforcement in just one year.
Claudia Grasso, Domestic Violence Council President
“We fear that as we open up more and more we are going to get those victims that are going to report those cases that happened during the shutdown but they were not able to report and were in essence trapped in the home. Although Self defense isn’t one of the main focal points
of the Domestic Violence Council, they do provide resources to help victims overcome their trauma. Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-7233 “Leap to success is one. That is empowerment classes, not necessarily self defense but empowerment to say this is what I want.” Grasso also encourages victims to have a safety plan. Tips like carrying a cellphone and having a safety word in case you need help. Alexandra Rangel, KPBS News.

And that was KPBS’ Alexandra Rangel.

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The San Diego City Council recently approved a high-density housing project in Rancho Peñasquitos. It’s part of the city’s plan to solve the housing crisis. But some residents say the project would add traffic congestion to a fire prone-area.

KPBS’s Alexander Nguyen (Wynn) has more.

The development is known as The Junipers. It will add 536-units to Rancho Peñasquitos. It is next to two existing projects … the nearly complete 601-unit Pacific Village and the 331-unit Millennium PQ. In total, it would add more than 3-thousand cars to the area.
Kate Glenn is the Rancho Peñasquitos Town Council president. She’s worried the added traffic congestion would affect wildfire evacuations making it harder for residents to leave quickly.
“It's just an incomplete option for future growth.
Peñasquitos Councilmember Marni von Wilpert says her concerns were eased after the city’s fire department says the project will improve fire evacuation. Still, she lobbied for an emergency evacuation route on Andorra Way.
CG: Marni von Wilpert / San Diego City Council District 5
“I required that to be completed, first, to the satisfaction of our city engineer before anyone can move into the project.” Residents say they are not against development. They just want it done the right way. AN/KPBS News

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Coming up.... Governor Gavin Newsom says his strict health measures during the pandemic helped the state economy better than Florida or Texas. We have a full fact check on that next, just after the break.

Governor Gavin Newsom said last week that California’s strict health measures during the pandemic helped the state fare better economically than Florida and Texas last year.

CapRadio’s PolitiFact California reporter Chris Nichols fact-checked the governor’s claim in this week’s Can You Handle The Truth segment. He spoke with CapRadio anchor Randol White.

ANCHOR: Chris, the governor has been focused on California’s economic reopening this week. But he also decided to look back at last year’s economy. Tell us about the context of his statement.
CHRIS: Hey Randol. Newsom was speaking at an event touting the state’s travel and tourism industries. Of course, those sectors were hit hard by the pandemic and by the governor’s strict stay-at-home orders.
But the governor says California’s economy actually did better than the economies in states with fewer health restrictions -- and he credits his strict measures as the reason why.
Newsom Sound Bite: “California’s economy outperformed other states because of (its) health policies. Florida actually had [a] worse economic outcome over the course of the last year than the state of California. So did Texas. The economy in the state of California did not contract as much as those states. And we had better health outcomes.”
ANCHOR: Okay, there's a lot there. First off, let’s get a fact check on the claim that California’s economy did better than Florida and Texas last year. Is that true?
CHRIS: That is technically correct … if you measure it in terms of California’s GDP, or gross domestic product. That’s the total value of goods and services. It declined last year. But it declined at a slightly slower pace than in Florida and Texas.
ANCHOR: Chris, you spoke with UCLA economist Jerry Nicklesburg about California’s economy. How does he explain the state’s GDP doing better than places with fewer restrictions.
CHRIS: Nicklesburg says it comes down to which California sectors have the greatest economic impact. He says the restaurants, bars and tourism sites that shut down last year, even though they led to job losses, aren't the driving force of California’s economy.
Jerry Sound Bite: “Those sectors tend to be low-income sectors. The real growth sectors of the last decade are sectors such as technology, aerospace and the like. And they didn’t shut down.” (:14)
ANCHOR: In the governor’s statement, Newsom also says his strict health measures are the reason why California performed better economically. Does that part hold up?
CHRIS: No, not as much. Economists say there certainly were benefits from the health measures. You do need to be healthy to be able to work and be productive.
But economist Jeff Michael from the University of the Pacific in Stockton says Newsom goes too far when he says California’s economy was stronger because of its health policies.
01Jeff: “I think because is too strong a word. And it’s certainly too early to determine that. I think California was better positioned to weather the pandemic with its strength in the technology sector and business services.” (:13)
Randol, there’s one more economic measurement that goes against California.
It had a much higher unemployment rate at the end of last year, about 9 percent. Florida’s was 6 percent and Texas was at 7 percent.
Also, given how the pandemic hit lower-income residents the hardest in California, Texas and Florida, Michael, the Stockton economist, says government leaders really shouldn’t be bragging about any economic statistics from last year.

That was CapRadio’s PolitiFact California reporter Chris Nichols speaking with anchor Randol White. Full versions of all fact checks are at CapRadio-Dot-Org-Slash-PolitiFact.

That’s it for the podcast today. Be sure to catch KPBS Midday Edition At Noon on KPBS radio, or check out the Midday podcast. You can also watch KPBS Evening Edition at 5 O’clock on KPBS Television, and as always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

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San Diego News Now

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.