From a news briefing yesterday by deputy White House spokesman Barry J. Toiv:

Q: Barry, the argument you seem to be making is, the mere act of a violent crime involving a gun is proof, by definition, that we need tougher gun laws. And I'm trying to understand the logic of that. I mean, unless you can say, "Here's a gun law that would work to stop a crime like this." . . . Why does this violence [in Los Angeles] prove we need more gun laws?

Mr. Toiv: Look, I think that the American people are tired of seeing the kinds of crimes that we have seen, where children are at risk . . . and they know that we can do better, that we can reduce the chances of these kinds of events occurring by having sensible gun legislation that reduces the possibility of guns getting into the wrong hands, where they are used for the wrong purposes.

Q: But, Barry, in California, you have some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and it didn't stop him here.

A: Well . . . I'm not suggesting that gun laws are going to prevent all crime. They're not. But gun laws can reduce the chances of incidents involving guns. And if we keep them sensible, then they're appropriate to do, and we think that the Congress ought to take that action.

Q: What is it about this incident, though, that makes it an appropriate time to call for new legislation from Congress?

A: I think . . . this incident, like other incidents, are instances of gun violence that remind us of the need for sensible gun legislation.