Politics, government and public life for Southern California

As Big Bear processes Dorner incident, area Congressman is cautious about new gun laws

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In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama called for a vote on new legislation designed to prevent gun violence. One of those listening from the House floor was Paul Cook, the newly-elected Congressman who represents Big Bear, where former L.A. police officer Christopher Dorner appears to have made his last stand.

Cook, a Republican, believes the shootout could make his constituents less inclined to support restrictions on guns.

Cook says his first thoughts Tuesday were for the families of the officers shot by Dorner. But the freshman lawmaker says this week’s brush with violence in the San Gabriel mountains doesn’t mean he or his constituents will embrace restrictions on gun ownership.

The immediate reaction of people in the Big Bear area, Cook says, will probably be less support for legislation that limits personal weapons, so "they can defend themselves against somebody that comes in there."

Cook says he wants to look “carefully” at any legislation aimed at reducing gun violence. But targeting guns alone is not enough; he says we've got to look at ourselves as a culture and “examine what we’re doing to produce people” like Dorner.

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