CAGV Celebrates 19 Years

On Sunday, April 6, 2014, CAGV is proud to celebrate its 19th Anniversary as the only gun control organization on the Central Coast. 

This year CAGV’s Annual Luncheon will feature keynote speaker, Lawrence Rosenthal, JD, who will address “The Constitutional Case For Gun Control.” After graduating from Harvard Law School, where he won the Fay Diploma and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, Professor Rosenthal clerked for Judge Prentice Marshall of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and Justice John Paul Stevens of the United States Supreme Court. Professor Rosenthal entered the practice of law as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, specializing in organized crime and public corruption prosecutions. Among other things, he brought the first racketeering case involving insider trading, and secured the longest sentence in the history of the district in an organized crime case (200 years). He subsequently joined the City of Chicago’s Department of Law, where he was Deputy Corporation Counsel for Counseling, Appeals, and Legal Policy. In that capacity, he argued three cases in the United States Supreme Court, and supervised a large volume of complex litigation as well as legislative policy matters. To his great embarrassment, Professor Rosenthal was named by Chicago Magazine as one of “Chicago’s 25 Toughest Lawyers.” Since then, he tries to be nicer. Professor Rosenthal joined Chapman University faculty in Orange, California in the fall of 2005 where he teaches Constitutional Argument, First Amendment Law, Civil Rights, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Local Government Law. He also continues to engage in litigation in the United States Supreme Court and other appellate courts, usually on a pro bono basis.

Professor Rosenthal has teamed up with UCLA Law School Professor Adam Winkler to write a chapter in the recently published book, “REDUCING GUN VIOLENCE IN AMERICA: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis” (Daniel W. Webster & Jon S. Vernick eds. 2013) that analyzes the efficacy of firearms regulation. In their study, “The Scope of Regulatory Authority Under the Second Amendment,” Rosenthal and Winkler analyze the emerging jurisprudential framework for assessing the validity of firearms regulation under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. This emerging framework, the authors contend, preserves substantial regulatory authority for federal, state, and local governments. The authors then assess the constitutionality of the leading proposals for regulatory reform that have emerged in the wake of the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

They conclude, “The second ammendment leaves Congress and the state and local governments significant regulatory power, at least when they do not compromise the core right recognized in Heller and regulate with substantial justification. … As one federal appellate tribunal put it: ‘This is serious business. We do not wish to be even minutely responsible for some unspeakably tragic act of mayhem because in the peace of our judicial chambers we miscalculated as to Second Amendment rights.’” (U.S. v. Masciandaro, 4th Cir. 2011) 


Professor Rosenthal says he is an optimist and that policy always follows the facts. To that end he believes the most significant action since Sandy Hook are the Presidential executive orders regarding the funding restrictions on the CDC and the NHI because data makes the case for gun violence prevention. This is similar to the recent successful attacks on the tobacco industry. The NRA knows this, which is why they worked through Congress to close down funding for the CDC regarding firearm statistics. Guns have been a disaster for the poor and disadvantaged and he is in favor of a well-regulated stop and frisk in order to make it risky to carry guns. Professor Rosenthal points to how long it takes historically to affect major change using the example of women’s rights and civil rights. Therefore, the effort to effectively change the culture of America regarding firearms has a long way to go, as does the continuing struggle for women’s rights and civil rights. And in major ways all three are connected.

Professor Rosenthal lives in Long Beach with his wife, Kate Sachnoff, who is a consultant with AdvoKate Consulting – a firm working with non-profits, foundations and local governments on consensus building and negotiation on policy issues and priorities. They have one daughter, Sasha.

Please welcome Professor Rosenthal to Santa Barbara and listen to an expert on the constitutional argument and reducing gun violence in America. Your support is critical to CAGV’s continued success. Your voice and your support are needed now more than ever. For reservations/information: 805.564.6803. 

Toni Wellen is the chair of the Santa Barbara Coalition Against Gun Violence. She lives in Carpinteria.