Yee Says Death Threats Won't Deter His Gun Control Efforts

The local state senator's life was threatened recently, and homemade explosives and a loaded firearm were found in the suspect's home this week.

REDWOOD CITY, CA -- State Sen. Leland Yee said Thursday that a death threat against him that led to the arrest of a Santa Clara County man will not deter him from moving forward with gun control proposals in the Legislature.

At a news conference at the State Building in San Francisco Thursday morning, Yee said the incident "only further demonstrates the need to address this particular problem."

Yee joined other state senators last week to propose a package of bills aimed at reducing gun violence in California. One bill introduced by Yee would require assault weapons to have a 10-round limit and to only have fixed magazines that must be reloaded one-by-one from the top of the weapon.

The California Highway Patrol Thursday gave more information about Everett Basham, 45, the man arrested Tuesday on suspicion of making the threat against Yee.

Yee received the threat by e-mail about four weeks ago, and said the "very explicit threat on his life" had "deeply concerned him."

"The author of the e-mail specifically stated that if I did not cease our legislative efforts to stop gun violence, that he would assassinate me in or around the Capitol," Yee said. "He stated that he was a trained sniper, and his e-mail detailed certain weapons he possessed."

"This threat was unlike any other I had ever received," he continued. "It was not a racist rant on my ethnicity or culture, but instead it was very deliberate and specific. As a psychologist, I was deeply concerned by the calculating nature of the e-mail."

Investigators eventually tracked it to Basham and served a search warrant at his home in Santa Clara on Tuesday, according to Scott MacGregor, chief of the CHP's Protective Services Division.

Inside the home, located at 3131 Humboldt Ave., authorities found explosive materials and multiple firearms, MacGregor said.

Basham was arrested in Sunnyvale and remains in custody on suspicion of threatening a public official and various crimes related to the explosives and firearms, MacGregor said. No charges have been filed against him yet, a district attorney's office spokesman said this morning.

CHP officials have had to detonate some of the materials found at the home on Humboldt Avenue, and MacGregor said authorities remain at the scene today. He said the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force are among the federal agencies assisting in the investigation.

Yee issued a statement Thursday indicating he has no plans to curtail his legislative efforts toward attempting to curb gun violence.

"I want to make it crystal clear – these threats and any others will not deter me and my colleagues from addressing the critical issues surrounding gun violence," he said. "This case is very troubling, and only further demonstrates the need to address this epidemic."

Yee's latest push for additional gun control measures comes in the wake of the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. in December.

President Barack Obama is also pushing for new gun control laws on the federal level, including implementing universal background checks and banning military-style assault weapons.

Yee represents California's 8th state senate district, which includes San Francisco and most of San Mateo County, including Woodside.

- Bay City News Service contributed to this report


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Dick Fancy February 17, 2013 at 04:26 AM
Gun sales have been booming since Obama has been in office, and you can trace it back to the heated rhetoric being espoused by the right wing media machine. The efforts are aimed at making all gun owners more accountable so that guns are not transferred as easily between private parties, which fuels the underground trade. Put a stop to that and make 100% of gun sales require a background check, and it's suddenly much harder for criminals to get their hands on weapons. Why is that so hard to understand? Model it like car sales between private parties, which have a title transfer and process.
a w February 17, 2013 at 04:27 AM
Cops should not have any problem tracing your posts Einstein!
Dick Fancy February 17, 2013 at 04:30 AM
It's also arguable I think to say that people who feel the need to carry a concealed weapon are unstable at least to the degree of being overly paranoid while moving around in public. Yes, the USA is rated as one of the most dangerous places due to our love of guns, but that does not dictate that all citizens should carry them, as you pointed out it leads to more violence, not less. I would love to see a study that correlates concealed carry personalities with the person holding beliefs that the government is watching with stealth black helicopters and drones, et al.
Dick Fancy February 17, 2013 at 04:32 AM
The guy ain't too smart if he's sending threats via email either, which is pretty much 100% traceable unless you're an expert level hacker. Might as well have scheduled a meeting with Yee and delivered the threat in person.
a w February 17, 2013 at 04:35 AM
The escalation of emotions from the gun fetishist really makes me worried about their emotional balance and ability to safely own a weapon.Psych evals,insurance,testing seem like mild steps to improve our safety.Until our culture views guns as dangerous weapons instead of sexy toys and we limit their use as least as much as we do cars the collateral damage will increase.
a w February 17, 2013 at 04:37 AM
Thank you for the Dickens reference....: )
a w February 17, 2013 at 04:40 AM
And he possessed explosives??? Okay, things just escalated. I truly hope law enforcement can protect our politicians long enough so we can get some real gun management laws in place.
truthteller February 17, 2013 at 09:17 AM
Your comments are lost on these frothing libtards who rage about protecting the children while their dear leader murders untold hundreds of children around the world and even assassinated a US child himself.
ej canavan February 17, 2013 at 01:21 PM
Guns don't kill people, unreasonable people with guns do.
Portent February 17, 2013 at 02:11 PM
Maybe all people with guns are by definition 'unreasonable,' given that our culture has since its inception cultivated the use of violence -- and mocked the exercise of nonviolence -- as a means of dispute resolution and security. Though an enormous task, getting rid of private gun ownership should be viewed as similar to nuclear disarmament. There's always the rationalization that we can't unilaterally disarm while others pose a potential threat by being armed, but we need to start somewhere, even if incrementally, using confidence-building measures. The alternative is not only unreasonable -- but unthinkable.
Wonder Woman2 February 17, 2013 at 02:11 PM
Why yes David Sherburne......
Mary Halverson Wagner February 17, 2013 at 03:37 PM
It's growing increasingly difficult to believe most gun owners are NOT mentally unstable.
CW February 17, 2013 at 03:53 PM
I think people should have the right to own handguns, rifles and shotguns, pistols etc. but I also think that gun owners like automobile owners, need to have them registered, and that the owners need to have licenses. If it's good enough for drivers it ought to be good enough for gun owners. There is no logical reason for anyone other than the military to own assault style weapons and big magazines anymore than a citizen needs to drive a tank or carry bazookas. If you mistrust the government that much, you might be better off relocating someplace where you have more freedom to carry those weapons!!
jim parker February 20, 2013 at 03:06 AM
Why is it the leftists feel they have to legislate and enact laws for every facet of our lives. Is it because leftists are so stupid they need someone to tell them what to do and how to act? Why is it that we let these people tell the rest of us how to live while they slowly take our freedoms away from us. The progressive movement is very dangerous they are implementing a death to our constitution of a thousand cuts. The cuts are the legislations and laws that they constantly use to rewrite our constitution and now the 2nd amendment. I am very worried with where this groupe of 200 leftists are taking us as a nation. We need to tell them loudly enough is enough!
Portent February 20, 2013 at 03:34 AM
So you'd prefer to live in the classic 'state of nature' -- unregulated by societal norms or supervening authority? Well, fine, as long as you are not allowed any weapons. I wish you all the luck surviving because you will need it. It's not the 'progressive movement' that you seem to fear; au contraire, my hunch is that it's civilization that vexes and taunts you with nightmares. And, btw, any reasonable, informed interpretation of the 2nd Amendment makes absolutely clear that the Founders intended gun possession to be linked only to a standing militia, and not a general right to private possession once a standing army was assembled. Scalia and his cohort are constitutional illiterates, and politically biased legal charlatans on this score and many others. All law "tells you how to live." If you can't abide, find yourself a nice isolated island to live out your egocentric life.
Stacie Chan (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 02:43 AM
It is really unfortunate that I had to delete a comment because a poster made a highly inappropriate threat on someone's child. Let's please keep this civil.
No More Laws March 04, 2013 at 06:37 AM
Really? We already have some of the strictest gun laws in the Nation, yet the criminals are still committing crime. Why, because they are criminals. Do you even realize that the more laws we have, the less freedom we have? Oh, but if you can smoke your pot and be happy, then screw everyone else along with the Constitution.
No More Laws March 04, 2013 at 06:39 AM
So because you choose to live as a victim, the rest of the world should follow your lead? I do believe that the last several shooters were not gun owners and were liberals...so I guess that liberal thinkers are mentally unstable?
Mike March 04, 2013 at 06:59 AM
Personally I think there are only a few nuts out there, both from the right and left. As a whole, gun owners are responsible law abiding citizens. We will or tolerate the trampling of our second amendment rights but we fight with lawyers, not threats. In my experience on boards it is usually liberal trolls making rude comments and violent racist threats to try to make us out to be a bunch loonies.
BillMitchell March 04, 2013 at 07:22 AM
You people out there in Ca are really pathetic. It's hard to believe that you would deny the rights of the 99.999% of upstanding gun owners, just because of a few nuts who would find weapons ANYWAY even if you did have guns outlawed. Good luck trying to find someone to protect your candy asses when it hits the fan.
Mary Halverson Wagner March 04, 2013 at 11:58 AM
Please give specific examples of the rude comments and violent racist threats you've seen, along with their location, because I've never run across anything like that coming from Liberals, and it's bothersome. Were they made on rowdy sites like Politico or Newsbuster's, or one of the calmer ones like Huffington or Washington Post? I'd like to see what these people have said, and possibly give them a light verbal spanking. It won't get us anywhere if we ALL start acting like half-baked, bigoted, blithering Teabags!
caliDad March 04, 2013 at 06:54 PM
Anti gun people are emotional about guns, they ether blame them, fear them, hate them so the argument against them sounds stupid to people that are pro gun because they think logically about.guns and understand that there are good people out there and bad people, in the 70's people were blowing each other up, what did they have in all the movie people blowing crap up, same thing in.the 90's, they saw Uzi's in the movies and rap with the Mac 10's, now u have millions of people playing first person shooters and was shit like hurt locker and the only guns that look like the ones in.the movies are.the AR15's its stupid ass people not the gun
Portent March 04, 2013 at 08:24 PM
Hey, caliDad: So what exactly is irrational about fearing guns? Such fear is normal and sensible, as much so as anxiety and fear regarding violence in general. It strikes me that those who 'rationally' accept gun proliferation into nearly every dimension of our lives, especially willy-nilly into our public spaces, are the ones who are emotionally unbalanced. There is nothing psychologically abnormal with experiencing an emotional response to rampant gun possession. Trying to convince people that gun control advocates are illogical and emotional -- in contrast to gun lovers and fanatics who "think logicallly about guns' -- is a futile and absurd exercise. I agree that there are good people and bad people out there, which merely reflects the diversity and mystery of human nature. But more aptly, there are good people who, under conditions of emotional distress, can become bad people long enough to do something stupid such as misuse a gun on a family member, neighbor, stranger or even oneself, either intentionally or accidentally, often with tragic and irreversible consequences. The relevance of that reality to gun ownership and use is that human nature in any particular case eludes useful predictability. As for your catalogue of sources of visual stimulation of violence, your point logically should be that this violence saturation of peoples' brains inculcates a lack of empathy for others' well-being, quite apart from guns and their actual use.
caliDad March 05, 2013 at 12:36 AM
You basically proved my point , your emotional about it, your fear of an object without understanding that its the person and not the type of weapon we should be focusing on, if you want to argue guns that argument has been going on for 200+years, key is to think logically, all of this gun crap has us divided, here's a fact you anti gun people need to get used to, guns have been here, guns will aways be a part of our country as the sky is blu, because your emotional about the tool of murder, you can't see that's instead of focusing all of this stupid energy arguing about guns try to figure out how to stop this type of person...what the hell is home land security doing, 300000 employees and they can't stop all of this shit from happening , there are better options then forcing people to give up there rights or fight for them, if there was a law that said you can't look directly at the sun and you thought what the hell, i didn't look at the sun anyway, its bad fo your eyses, probably ups the cost of eye care some how, vote yes for yes for it, and other people want the right to look at the sun, as stupid as it is, are you going to keep arging for it and telling someone they don't have the right to look a t the sun , that's how natural the right to bear arms is
Mary Halverson Wagner March 05, 2013 at 01:57 AM
Full-blown insanity is nonpartisan.
Portent March 05, 2013 at 03:41 AM
The only thing more atrocious than your mangling of the English language is your obliteration of basic logic and the fundamentals of reasoning that even a 5th Grader could handle more competently. So gun control advocates are 'emotional,' but the gun nuts are not? Whew, it takes a while to catch my breath on that one! Speaking of unruly emotions and pure craziness, your statement that "there are better options then forcing people to give up there rights or fight for them" belies the fanatical rage simmering underneath that comment, i.e., an implicit defense of violent resistance to the government should laws be passed or the Constitution amended to prohibit (any kind of?) private gun ownership. It's a fair deduction that by 'fighting' for your gun 'rights' you don't mean nonviolently, in which case you would be committing treason and should be dealt with accordingly. Good luck to you and your comrades in arms in standing off the US armed forces. Finally, your attempt to analogize the right to do something dangerous and insane like looking at the sun with the right to bear arms may not be as feeble and inept as first appears: a desire to look at the sun is in fact as 'unnatural' as any supposed right to possess a gun. In any case, where do you find the origin of a natural right to bear arms? You must think such a right is found either in the state of nature, i.e. uncivilized society, or is a dispensation from god. Regardless, you clearly have more than a few screws loose.
caliDad March 05, 2013 at 04:29 AM
This is why I say your emotional, you spent the last message insulting me, and did I say kill for my rights, no i said fight for my rights, like we are doing with our letters to our congressman and our support for organizations that defend our rights, just because what we fight for is our right to bear arms doesn't mean we need to pick up arms, when you fought for the right to marry your gay lover did you get violent? your emotional, simple minded liberal dumb ass, and being a cop, I hope I'm late to your call because you think i will be there to.protect you with my gun, when you failed to take responsibility of your own safety
Portent March 05, 2013 at 05:02 AM
I can't believe you are so dumb that you would admit to being a cop. You are not only unbalanced but a professional disgrace to all those calling themselves police officers. As a cop, you are obligated to save my life from endangerment, whether you like me or not; if you can't do your duty, you don't deserve to be 'protecting' the public safety and welfare. Your obligation to protect the public is contingent neither on the race, class, ethnic background, or religion of the person at risk, nor on that individual's political or policy views. As a public servant, your charge is similar to a medical professional's duty to save a life, irrespective of that professional's personal feelings toward the victim or the policies of the institution for which she works (as in the case of the nurse who refused to administer CPR to a dying woman in the Bakersfield assisted living facility). For you to state openly that you hope you're 'late for my call' is the height of both incompetence and immorality. I hope you lose your badge soon. The public will be better off without your insane presence in selective 'law enforcement', jerk.
Charles March 09, 2013 at 05:11 PM
In 2011, SF Weekly writer Matt Smith penned an article which described a number of data points and allegations, including Sen. Yee’s being stopped twice in the Mission District’s hooker-row area by police for allegedly soliciting prostitutes, being caught shoplifting sun tan oil lotion while vacationing in Hawaii, accusations of his cooking the books at a non-profit where he was an administrator, being in the pocket of his campaign donors, and lying about where he lived to send his kids to a better school within San Francisco. In October of 2011, the website 8asians.com published a feature on Yee, [with the writer] stating, “I’ve only heard bad things from those who have had to deal with Yee in a variety of capacities, from a constituent who asked Yee to address an issue directly under his former professional expertise and current role as a legislator to sitting politicians.” Senator Yee has a long history of pandering to special interests and a palpable hostility towards American Constitutional principles. Prior to SB 249, his ban on so-called violent video games culminated in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association. The Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, found that Yee’s legislation violated the First Amendment rights of Americans.
Haywood Jablomie March 29, 2014 at 12:22 PM
Of course, now that Yee has been arresting for trafficking in firearms, his credibility is shot (pun intended). http://thenearlyfamousbulletinboard.yuku.com/topic/17232/California-Senates-Gun-Control-Advocate-Arrested-Firearms


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