Chiefs’ political commentary

Stop the cycle of gun violence

On May 24, 2022, 21 people were killed by the hands of a gunman in Uvalde, Texas. This tragedy is not the first of its kind, and neither is this article. We have all been through this before, a tragedy caused by gun violence, coverage in the media and then people forget and move on, all while nothing substantial changes, and so the cycle continues. The U.S. is the only developed nation that has this problem, and yet we are still supposed to believe the bewildered politicians who claim this is just another random chance tragedy. The bottom line is that nothing will be done if basic regulations on gun ownership are implemented, and none of that will be possible if we as a society continue to let all of the lives lost go forgotten.

Coach of the Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr, surmised the frustration at inaction after the shooting in Uvalde at a press conference that afternoon. “I’m tired. I am so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I am so tired of the excuse, I am sorry, I am tired of the moments of silence. Enough.” The reality is that the news has become inundated with coverage of massacre after massacre. What is frightening is the fact that constant exposure to these tragedies without any justice can lead to desensitization. Yet we can not let ourselves be numbed by all of the horrible violence, but instead we must remain committed to combating domestic violence.

It is shameful that we continue to have politicians that profit off of donations from gun lobbyists like the National Rifle Association (NRA). Ultimately, the responsibility to make change and prevent change lies with the alt-right that is so adamant to even the most basic form of gun control.

Local politicians set dangerous precedent

Our city has been plummeting with disinformation intended to split our community at the seams. We have recently seen politicians benefit from this divisiveness and further perpetuate the cycle. As we have mentioned in our letter from the editors, we hold truth and integrity in very high regard at the Panther Prowler, and the fact of the matter is that we have not seen a good-faith effort by certain prospective politicians to uphold those values. Local politicians hold the responsibility to dedicate their service to better their community.

Perhaps the first to come to mind in terms of controversial local politicians would be a former city council member and Godspeak Chapel pastor Rob McCoy. McCoy resigned from the Thousand Oaks City Council in April 2020 due to frustrations with church services being categorized as “non-essential,” and thus an inability to comply with restrictions on indoor gatherings.
Therein lies one of the more problematic elements of McCoy’s political presence. As a vocal head of a church, McCoy must devote special attention to maintaining a separation between church and state. However, McCoy’s resignation in favor of his church proves that he is unable to maintain a secular leadership position and serve the best interests of all.

McCoy recently announced his intent to run for the city council seat he voluntarily resigned from. In the past few years, McCoy has disregarded the needs of his hometown and turned towards attracting brief glimpses of the limelight through his affiliation with various national right-wing groups like Turning Point USA. In 2019, he went to Virginia to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

It is evident where McCoy’s true ambitions and desires lie– his own brand and attempts to garner national attention, not within the Conejo Valley. The organizations he very loudly supports perpetuate hatred and far-right extremism. But, even beyond that, they are all far removed from the Conejo Valley, reiterating the fact that his intentions on the city council do not reflect the needs of the community.

It seems that each year there is more defined division in our community down partisan lines, and this election cycle only further emphasizes this point. Prospective politicians and leaders are taking advantage of these differences by appealing to specific ideological groups. Elected officials are responsible for advocating for what will benefit all members of the community, regardless of political affiliation.