Longtime Democrat politician Karen Bass, who’s running for Mayor of Los Angeles and currently a member of Congress, recently had two guns stolen from her home in a robbery. As we reported, even though there was cash and other valuables in the home, the only items taken were the two guns. Bass claims they were “safely stored,” and that they are “registered,” but hasn’t given any other details about the guns or the mode of storage.
Within five days (which is warp speed in LA), two suspects were arrested in the burglary. The two were apprehended in Van Nuys as they got into a vehicle that, according to surveillance video, was near Bass’s home at the time of the burglary. The arrest raised some questions, because with the guns being the only things stolen it’s odd that two men from Van Nuys, 20 miles north of Bass’s home, somehow just broke into that one home to specifically take guns and nothing else. Had there been a rash of break-ins in the neighborhood that seemed to be related, that would be a different story.
In addition, while Los Angeles jails are known to be a revolving door, one of the defendants in this case has a $500,000 bail amount and the other is being held on no bail – he was apparently on parole at the time he was arrested, but this reporter has been unable to find any convictions after searching in Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino, San Diego, Riverside, and Orange counties, and in the federal Department of Justice database. California makes it difficult to find criminal conviction records (gee, wonder why *that* is?), but it shouldn’t be that difficult to find a record of someone on probation/parole.
So, why is 24-yr-old Baltazar Rodriguez, who is charged w/breaking into @KarenBassLA's house, being held on NO BAIL? He's got $50k bail on the burglary charge, but a 2nd case with no bail. That's almost unheard of in LA. Case search on LA Courts website returns zero results. pic.twitter.com/oXAdGScU6p
— Jennifer Van Laar (@jenvanlaar) September 17, 2022
Given that ballots will be mailed to all California voters in about three weeks, it’s imperative that people in Los Angeles have all the information before casting a ballot. Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino, a former LAPD officer, thinks so too — he wrote a letter on September 19 demanding answers from LAPD Chief Michel Moore and LA City Attorney Mike Feuer.
After the introductory niceties, Buscaino wrote:
As a former police officer, I find the circumstances of the burglary very troubling and am deeply concerned by the lack of information being provided to the public. While we may never know the full details of what happened, what we do know about how Karen Bass’ guns were stored is troubling and deserves a full investigation and public airing. If nothing else, this is a teachable moment to the public about the City’s Safe Storage gun law that the City Council passed a few years ago. To this day, I still see billboards around LA reminding our residents to safely and securely store their guns.
Now that the suspects have been apprehended, I believe these questions can and should be publicly answered to ensure public accountability and transparency.
- Why were Karen Bass’ guns targeted? As I stated before, the odds of a thief only taking guns out of a supposedly secure safe storage container are extremely low, especially when cash and other items are visible.
- How were Karen Bass’ guns stored? Were they in a DOJ approved trigger lock or container? If so, how were the thieves able to penetrate those safety measures? Will you be investigating her for violations of the City’s safe storage laws?
- Who were the guns registered to and when? Why have the details about her firearms been withheld? Were the guns recovered from the suspects?
I would like a response to these questions to ensure the public can get a true picture of what occurred with our next potential Mayor and her ability to follow the laws of Los Angeles relating to safe and secure storage of guns.
Answers to these questions will be a good start, and Bass should be giving as many of them as possible herself. Her actions thus far have not engendered confidence in the level of transparency she would provide should she be elected mayor.
While Bass has been a big advocate of restrictive gun control laws both in Sacramento and in Washington, DC, she’s been around guns since the early 1970s, when she received training as a leader in the Venceremos Brigade, a pro-Cuban revolutionary group. Bass traveled to the island eight times during the ’70s with the group, and participated in training at Brigade campouts outside Los Angeles, prior to traveling to Cuba. (It was later revealed that the man training Bass was an undercover LA police officer who had infiltrated the group.)
Despite soaring violent crime rates in Los Angeles, Bass maintained that she felt “10 out of 10” safe in the city — until her guns were stolen. Now she feels “violated.”
Bass and Rick Caruso are participating in a televised debate Wednesday night, where this issue is sure to be a hot topic.