Highlights from The Talk of Santa Clarita’s Interview with Rep. KnightMai Nguyen Do September 3, 2018 2 Comments
Two weeks ago, Stephen Daniels of The Talk of Santa Clarita interviewed Representative Steve Knight (R-Calif.). We’ve put together some highlights from the interview to help our readers get to know the Congressman currently representing the 25th Congressional District.
Stephen Daniels: What’s up with the debates situation?
Rep. Knight: We’ve been very clear on debates. We will debate. We are okay with that. I think when Bryan Caforio ran last time, we had seven debates. That’s a lot. I bet you’re not going to find many congressional districts that have seven debates. We have agreed that the chambers can have debates and we’ve talked to other groups that have reached out to us. I think the big one right now is the Lancaster Chamber because it does fall on Rosh Hashanah. We have talked to the Lancaster Chamber. We’ve given them dates. Because I am in session in September, it’s a little bit difficult. So we’re working with them, but we’re — we’re working with debates. That’s fine.
Stephen Daniels: Some people have expressed concern because it is on Rosh Hashanah. It is in the middle of the day, and I believe it is $25 to even attend the thing.
Rep. Knight: We’re good with debates being free. We’re good with the chambers doing a free event. If the chambers want to do an event at night and make it free, we’re absolutely okay with that. But you might want to talk to the chambers before you start throwing that out there. We’re good. We’re not there to charge people. We’re not there to do any of that.
Stephen Daniels: I’m curious as to why you were unwilling to do one this time around.
Rep. Knight: Well, we’ve got a lot of debates and I think that people are going to see the difference in the debates. They are. There’s going to be plenty of debates, plenty of times when people can come in and see.
Stephen Daniels: There are a lot of people now that would say, that you’re not as accessible as you’ve been in the past, in the past three years. What is your response to that?
Rep. Knight: Well I guess those people have never seen my Facebook page, don’t get my Knight Vision, don’t see what we do on a daily basis. When I’m home, we meet with groups. We meet with different organizations all day. And so, the people that say that are either trying to say that to say, “Oh, there’s a problem with Knight,” but the accessibility, if anything, is going up in the last year. We have met with groups including just a couple weeks ago, we met with ACLU, which is the second or third time we’ve met with them this year. And we are trying to reach out to more groups. We’re trying to bring in more folks, but if you look at my Facebook page, if you look at Knight Vision, and say that we’re not accessible, then that means that person who says I’m not accessible never goes to anything.
Stephen Daniels: You haven’t had a town hall in 18 months. The last one, to my knowledge, was the one here in Valencia.
Rep. Knight: In those 18 months, I’ve bet we’ve had 19 tele-town halls. Now, a tele-town hall, we reach out to about 14,000 people. In my last tele-town hall, we had 1300 people that stayed on the line for the whole complete hour. 1300. The tele-town halls we have seen are very effective. We go right from the top,
from the top question, even if the top question is something that is very difficult to answer, we go right from the top and go down. If you were at my town halls, they were difficult, and we had at least a third of the people come up to me afterward and say, “You know what? Don’t do these, ’cause I didn’t get anything
out of it. There was so much screaming and yelling, that I didn’t get what I wanted to hear” — which is: what’s going on in the 25th? What’s going on in Congress? How can I ask you a question and get a real answer? So it’s not that we’re against town halls, because I love town halls. I think that they’re very
effective as long as we know when we go in, we’re going to have some discourse and we’re going to have some agreement and we’re going to get some information out and back and forth, and we’re trying to figure that out, but the tele-town halls had been so successful that we’ve put so much effort into that and quite honestly, we’ve had so many people reach out to us and say, “Thank you for the tele-town halls, keep ’em up.”
3D Printed Guns
Stephen Daniels: The situation with the 3D printed guns, what is your opinion on that?
Rep. Knight: That’s going to be interesting we go back, I think, uh, we’re
going to talk about this quite a bit. Um, I honestly have been doing a lot of reading on 3D guns. I don’t know that much about them. I certainly would not own one. I don’t advocate to go get a 3D gun. I don’t think they’re safe, I don’t think that they’re…
Stephen Daniels: I mean the issue is that anybody can print them in their homes if they have the printer.
Rep. Knight: If they had the ability to print them, they can. And I think the issue right now, is first amendment. It’s not a second amendment issue, it’s a first amendment issue, whether those plans can be on the internet or not. And I think that that’s, that’s, going to be the issue that’s going to be a court decision and we’ve already seen that going through the courts, even this month.
Stephen Daniels: But what about public safety? You could argue the first amendment on yelling “fire” in a crowded theater house if those guns become available if the plans are available on the internet. I mean, there’s even plans for a 3D AR-15.
Rep. Knight: Right. Remember, there’s a section — and I’m probably going to get this wrong — but there’s already law that states there must be enough metal in the gun to be seen by the 3D machines. I mean, not the 3D machines, the
uh, machines as you go through the TSA. So you have to have that. And I believe that that should be part of a firearm, that you’ve got to be able to find out if they’ve got a gun or not.
Stephen Daniels: Well, so you do … Let’s get it on the record here. Do you support the idea of 3D guns being available? The blueprints being available?
Rep. Knight: I’m going to let the courts go through this. I’ve said all along, I don’t like the 3D guns. Uh, I don’t think they’re safe and if they, if they’re just all plastic, they don’t fit law, as it’s stated today.
Separation of Families
Stephen Daniels: How do you feel about the Trump administration policy with the zero tolerance for undocumented immigrants?
Rep. Knight: I think we’ve been very clear on that. We’ve written a bill — we’d like it to be heard in the House of Representatives — about separation of families. We do not believe in catch and release. We do believe in rule of law, but we also believe that there’s got to be a humane way of treating families at the border.
Stephen Daniels: It’s HR 6173, is that… am I reading that right?
Rep. Knight: Correct.
Stephen Daniels: Okay. Okay. Now, correct me if I’m wrong. My understanding of this bill is that it does keep the families together.
Rep. Knight: Yes.
Stephen Daniels: It does intern them to … all together, correct? Indefinitely, until they can —
Rep. Knight: Well, remember, you’re still going to have to have adjudication process with the person that comes over the border, and so there is going to have to be that process there, but we’re going to keep the families together during that process.
Stephen Daniels: That is still indefinite internment, though, correct?
Rep. Knight: Well, I don’t know if it’s indefinite internment, we’ve seen the
adjudication between three and five days.
Stephen Daniels: Congressman, when it takes up to two years, sometimes to run a court date for someone that is requiring amnesty, or requesting amnesty;
that seems to me, practically indefinite internment.
Rep. Knight: Well, well, then I guess I would ask you a question. What would we do?
Mai Nguyen Do is a Vietnamese American poet and researcher. She is a lifelong Santa Clarita resident and a College of the Canyons graduate. She is also the author of Ghosts Still Walking (2016) and Battlefield Blooming (2019). Find her on Twitter @DoNguyenMai.