Fresno councilman’s tweet about guns draws wave of backlash, including Patricia Arquette

Fresno City Councilmember Garry Bredefeld, who is no stranger to getting attention online, is once again getting backlash after tweeting his opinion on gun control following recent mass shootings.

One of those who responded negatively to his tweet was “True Romance” star Patricia Arquette.

Bredefeld said people are too quick to blame guns for mass killings, which appear to have become frequent nationwide.

The tweet has been commented on more than 10,000 times by other Twitter users as of Friday.

“The problem isn’t lack of gun laws,” he tweeted. “It’s breakdown of the family, devaluing of life (e.g. killing the unborn), removal of God and prayer from schools, no respect for authority, weakening criminal laws & consequences, destruction of traditional values/morals.”

He posted the tweet on Monday following a deadly weekend that saw at least 29 people killed and 53 injured in 24 hours after shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

The tweet received responses from some supporters but mostly from critics, including Arquette.

“No. (I)t’s rapid assault weapons In anyone and everyone’s hands,” she wrote on her verified account. “It’s how easy you have all made it to take your anger and kill scores of people.”

Reached by phone Friday, Bredefeld said the problem begins with how people are raised and followed by what he sees as a lack of punishment. He pointed to propositions 47 and 57 as well as Assembly Bill 109 — laws that reduced sentences for certain convictions.

“I think it’s a very common sense point of view,” he said on Friday. “Where there’s evil and hate in the world, this can occur.”

He said the solution to preventing mass shootings is to identify those who might carry out such attacks before they happen, noting many of those shooters post plans to carry out violence on social media or say something to their friends.

The councilmember also grabbed attention in February for tweets about toxic masculinity.

*This story has been corrected from an earlier version.

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Reporter Thaddeus Miller has covered cities in the central San Joaquin Valley since 2010, writing about everything from breaking news to government and police accountability. A native of Fresno, he joined The Fresno Bee in 2019 after time in Merced and Los Banos.