'The Issue Is': The gun control debate makes a comeback

This week on "The Issue Is," the dark and the light of California politics.

First, days after a tragic mass shooting in Sacramento, Elex Michaelson is joined by Democratic State Senator Bob Hertzberg and Republican State Assembly Minority Leader James Gallagher to talk both sides of the gun debate.

Then, it’s the triumphant return of comedian and impressionist Matthew Friend. With only the assistance of a handful of wigs, Friend shows off more than a dozen of his impressions from a repertoire that includes more than 250 hilarious voices.


CONTEXT: In the aftermath of Sunday’s mass shooting in Sacramento, a renewed push for stricter gun control in California. State Senator Bob Hertzberg pushing for his previously introduced legislation, SB1327, which would make it easier to sue those who manufacture, transport, or sell illegal guns. It’s a bill modeled after the Texas abortion ban. While the bill has garnered the support of Governor Newsom and Democratic lawmakers in Sacramento, Republicans contend the bill does not address the core issues surrounding gun violence.

SENATOR HERTZBERG’S CENTRAL TAKE: "In the simplest terms, it adds a new tool to go after illegal guns - not your guns if you go deer hunting or if you want to protect your home or if you want to, you know, protect your business, you're entitled to have that, that's not the issue - it has to be an illegal gun. An illegal gun is three types: a assault weapon, it's a 50-caliber machine gun, or it's what's called a Ghost Gun... So what we did, in the simplest terms, was to take the guidance from the United States Supreme Court in the abortion case in Texas, and we said, OK, we're going to give that same private right of action, give a new tool, like an amber alert or the picture up in a post office or whatever it is, to see if we can get the community to come out - don't know if it'll work, but we'll try anything given this gun violence - and said we'll give you $10,000, plus attorneys fees, and you can get an injunction. You can go after someone there. You see manufacturing or transporting or selling these ghost guns or illegal assault weapons…"

ASSEMBLYMAN GALLAGHER’S CENTRAL TAKE: "The problem with the good senator's proposal there, and you kind of honed in on it, it doesn't get at the heart of the issue here. You know, what is the problem? Overwhelmingly, these incidents of gun violence, and they happen in every city, you know, the most recent was this terrible incident in Sacramento, but they happen in every city, in California, and it's the same M.O. It's un-rehabilitated felons, dangerous persons who are not supposed to have guns in the first place, who have modified or stolen weapons, and they're using them to victimize and kill people on our streets. And so we, as Republicans, say, let's address that issue, that exact issue that is the cause of this gun violence head on. And so we've proposed, what I think are very reasonable reforms, which is one, stop this early release program at the state prisons that's going on right now, that's releasing people with without any proven rehabilitation. Second, let's have penalties and enhancements for those who are using guns in the commission of a crime.... going and suing a manufacturer, let's say you succeed, that doesn't stop these guns from being in the hands of dangerous people on these streets…"



CONTEXT: This week, President Obama made his first visit back to the White House in five years. To react to the visit, comedian and impressionist Matthew Friend channels a number of well-known political figures, including:

Former President Donald Trump
Former President Barack Obama
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Texas Senator Ted Cruz
President Frank Underwood, as portrayed by Kevin Spacey in "House of Cards"

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CONTEXT: It was the slap heard round the world, Will Smith taking the stage at the Oscars and assaulting Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife. In the aftermath of the shocking moment, Smith has resigned from the Academy, and the Academy, in turn, has banned the newly-minted Oscar-winner from attending any Academy events, including the Oscars, for the next decade. Friend channels a host of Hollywood heavyweights to get their take on the whole ordeal:

Jeff Goldblum
Rami Malek
Howard Stern
Jennifer Coolidge
Andy Cohen

The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com

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