NEWARK (KPIX 5) — Warriors head coach Steve Kerr teamed with a Bay Area legislator on Monday to make a plea at an East Bay high school for tougher gun laws.
Kerr appeared at the Newark Memorial High School town hall meeting with Congressman Ro Khanna Monday afternoon.
Kerr offered a message to the young people in attendance: You are our only hope for change.
“What’s inspiring to me, is that — Ro mentioned this — I’m not going to be able to do it, Ro’s not going to be able to do it,” said Kerr. “The old guys can’t do it. It’s the young people. You guys are doing it. It’s the next generation. The youth.”
The town hall meeting on gun violence aimed to motivate, inspire and remind students that they have a power that they haven’t been old enough to use until now.
“Number one, you can scare the hell out of people by voting,” said Kerr. “You can scare the hell out of them, OK?”
Kerr, whose father was shot and killed by terrorists in Beirut in the 1980s, has long been vocal about gun control.
He was joined by Khanna, who had his own message for President Trump after the president changed his position on raising age limits for assault weapons and toughening background checks for gun purchasers.
“He’s backtracked and I don’t think this ought to partisan. I don’t think this ought to be political,” said Khanna. “The kids are saying, ‘Let’s get something done.'”
Activist Matt Deitsch graduated from Parkland High School two years ago. He said his brother and sister survived the deadly shooting, but lost several friends.
He says only one out of every five young person votes.
“If we can get two more people out of five — including me — to vote, then we can control every election,” said Deitsch. “And get leaders who care more about us and about public safety than they care about their wallet and their position.”
For some Newark High School students, it was a pivotal moment.
“I’m a huge Warriors fan and it’s amazing that he came here to share his opinion with us,” said senior Leon Lambruschini. “I’m happy he’s trying to get us to make a greater difference in the community.”
“And most importantly, I believe in democracy and I believe in all your collective generation’s ability to make this your number one issue and to change the way our country thinks about gun safety. Thank you very much,” said Kerr.
The town hall meeting happened ahead of a worldwide march to promote gun safety scheduled for March 24 that will happen in 600 cities with more than 3 million people already projected to attend.