State Senator Scott Wiener introduced a bill that would allow teens to get vaccinated without parental consent; which led to an anti-vaxxer saying “expect a visit from me and my rifle,” which led to that fellow now being on trial on eight felony counts.
Some say Senator Scott Wiener is the most productive legislator in the California state Senate. I don’t know if that’s true, but I would say he’s the most frequently death-threatened legislator in the California state Senate. According to a Wednesday afternoon article in the SF Standard, an attorney for Wiener indicates that the senator ”gets anywhere from 20 to 30 threats a month.”
That Wednesday afternoon article in the SF Standard is in regards to the beginning of a trial for a San Ramon man who allegedly lodged death threats toward Wiener. The threats were in regards to Wiener's proposed Teens Choose Vaccines Act, which, in its original form, would have allowed teens age 12 and up to get the COVID-19 vaccination without parental consent. (Ironically, Wiener pulled that bill on the first day of the trial, not because of the threats, but because he didn’t have enough votes to get it out of Assembly.)
We’re close but a couple votes short on our teen vaccine bill (SB 866) on the Assembly floor. We’re thus moving the bill to inactive.— Senator Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) August 31, 2022
The anti-vaxxer harassment campaign worked this time, at the expense of teen health. We lost this round but aren’t going anywhere.
My statement: pic.twitter.com/lITSEujXPJ
The man on trial here is 51-year-old San Ramon resident Erik Triana. The trouble started back in January, when two days after Wiener introduced the bill, Triana allegedly left an anonymous message on Wiener's website saying, ““Vax my kids without my permission and expect a visit from me and my rifle.”
So there you have the felony charge of threatening a state official. But there are also felony charges of possession of an assault weapon, as the SF Standard reports that “police found a loaded AR-15 in Triana’s car and nine loaded magazines as well as two ghost guns in his home.”
“The defendant’s conduct went far beyond a call for action or a political protest,” Contra Costa County assistant district attorney Stephanie Kang said at the trial.
Sadly, this is too easy to believe. The responses I got to a story we wrote about @Scott_Wiener's bill in January and one teen leading the charge to help others get vaccinated even if their parents disapproved were highly disturbing. https://t.co/mDUSoqpCA5— Sydney Johnson (@sydneyfjohnson) August 31, 2022
For his part, Triana’s attorney Ian McGrater “Erik Triana is not who the prosecution would have you believe he is,” and argued, “Is he a man who has violent intentions? Or is he someone who made a mistake and posted a comment on the internet?”
The SF Standard adds that Triana’s “ex-wife, oldest daughter and retired Alameda County sheriff deputy father plan to testify on his behalf.” The trial resumes Tuesday.
Image: @Scott_Wiener via Twitter