Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    BCC students call for gun control

    Vice President of Berkeley City College’s Muslim Student Association Laraeb Khan invites students on all levels of the campus’ atrium to join her in the basement to contact the Capitol about gun control on Tuesday, March 6. The prepared scripts advocated in favor of AB 1927, a bill introduced by Assemblymember Rob Bonta that would allow people to put their own names on the California Do Not Sell List. Photos by Sarah Carpenter

    Two clubs host phone bank to the Capitol to support a gun suicide prevention bill

    By Sarah Carpenter

    Two clubs engaged Berkeley City College (BCC) students on Tuesday, March 6 to call the Capitol in support of a gun suicide prevention bill, AB 1927.

    The Muslim Student Association(MSA) and the newly-formed Civic Engagement Club worked together to host a phone bank and letter-writing hour.

    Emara Shabir, president of the MSA, said she felt like she had to do something after hearing about the shooting in Parkland, Florida.

    In Parkland, Nikolas Cruz, 19, opened fire inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day, killing 14 students and three teachers.

    Since the shooting, the student survivors have been vocal in demands for common-sense gun laws, and their words have reached almost every major national news outlet.

    On March 13, the State of Florida issued a notice of intent to seek the death penalty for Cruz.

    Ahmed Ahmed (left) writes a letter to the California State Assembly as Mohamed Senussi dials the number of an assemblymember on the public safety committee at the BCC Phone Bank on Tuesday, March 6.

    Shabir watched videos of the Florida students speaking out and demanding better gun control legislation. “The best I can do is work on [this issue] locally,” Shabir said.

    She reached out to Roman Kaludi, president of the Civic Engagement Club, and the two clubs collaborated to host a phone bank in which students could write letters or call the California assembly members on the public safety committee.

    “Protests are a good way of showing our voice, but we have to channel our voice and our energy into action to bring about change,” Kaludi said.

    Civic Engagement member Kamila Kaminska-Palarczyk compiled the list of assembly members on the public safety committee and their office phone numbers.

    She drafted a letter in support of AB 1927, a bill proposed to the California State Legislature by Assemblymember Rob Bonta that would allow people to add their own names to the California Do Not Sell List.

    If passed, the bill will require the California Department of Justice to develop a secure online platform to allow residents to add their own name to the list.

    It will further require the department to ensure that the list’s data is uploaded to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

    Kira Spreenberg, left, and Alejandra Martin Sevilla draft letters to the California State Assembly during “college hour” at Berkeley City College on Tuesday, March 6.

    The internet-based platform must verify identities of those submitting names and protect those identities from unauthorized disclosure.

    The MSA and Civic Engagement provided pizza during what’s called “college hour” at BCC (12:15–1:15 p.m.) on March 6, along with information about AB 1927. Students were given the option to call assembly members or to write a letter to the California State Assembly.

    The clubs collected 30 letters within the hour.

    Laraeb Khan, vice president of MSA, said this day was important “because everyone’s life matters.”

    She said that no one wants to send their children to school without knowing if they’ll be safe.


    Sarah Carpenter is co-Editor-in-Chief of the Laney Tower. Email her at sarahisacarpenter(at)gmail.com.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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