To the Editor
January 22, 2013
Don’t demonize the responsible
I was frustrated and felt disrespected as a citizen by the words used by the President this morning. I am a gun owner and I felt the President was demonizing me for owning firearms, and especially since I own and shoot semiautomatic firearms.
I am not an evil person. I have never broken the law, been arrested or done anything that involves the police. I haven’t even had a speeding ticket in years, but the President inferred I am a bad person, the enemy of America. I won’t forget that when it comes time to vote.
The shooting in Newtown was a horrific tragedy as are all shootings where an innocent life is lost or a person is hurt. Tying this one event to the gang- and drug-related shootings happening in Chicago, D.C., N.Y.C., or here in the Northwest, has no correlation.
In fact, FBI statistics show 400 people tragically died last year from semiautomatic rifles. Too many, I agree, but 600 plus die from baseball bats and hammers. My point is a firearm is a tool. What are the causes of this violence? I offer it’s gangs and drugs. Disarming the legal gun owners won’t stop acts of violence using firearms. If they can smuggle drugs and people into our country, do people not realize they can smuggle in guns?
I would ask our representatives to address the true causes of violence, which again right now is gang growth. Second, prosecute everyone to the full extent of the law for criminal use of a firearm. Third, quit disrespecting the legal citizens in this country if you ever expect to be elected again.
Are assault weapons needed?
The shootings at a Colorado movie theater (12 died and 58 were injured), at an Oregon mall (three were killed) and at a Connecticut elementary school (20 children died) all had something in common — assault rifles. Because of their ability to kill many people in a short amount of time, such weapons, and the sales of new ones, should be banned.
In the Federal Assault Weapon Ban of 1994-2004, many loopholes allowed manufactures to continue making and selling assault weapons that Congress intended to ban. There should be a new, improved assault weapon ban.
It should be stricter and more explicit. It should ban all weapons capable of holding more than 10 rounds and firing rapidly by pressing the trigger multiple times.
The sale, assembly and modifications of new assault weapons should be banned except for the military and law enforcement. People who have assault weapons would be allowed to surrender them to law enforcement and receive a federal tax credit at the fair market value of the weapon. They would be allowed to sell their weapon to another private party, if both parties submit documentation to the federal government, and the buyer passes a background check before taking possession.
The federal government should have the right to enter private property and inspect your assault weapon with 72 hours’ notice. This won’t violate the Second Amendment because citizens are still able to own assault weapons.
I agree with the NRA’s statement that, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” but we can’t lock up every mentally ill person. Why do you think these murderers chose assault weapons? It’s because they knew it would kill many people in a short amount of time. This is why I believe there should be a better and stricter new assault weapon ban.
Right to know
Passing bills to deny public right to information
Two bills making their way through the Washington State Legislature aim to take away the public’s right to transparent government and review of public decision-making.
If your city or the state ever made a decision you questioned, or if you joined a committee to have your City Council members or state officials hear your side of a controversy, then write your senator and representative immediately and stop House Bills 1128 and 1185.
Laws on our books protect citizen right to information. RCW 42.56.030 says, “The People, in delegating authority do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know.”
Yet, HB 1128 is titled “Limiting Public Records Requests.” HB 1185 creates a cost environment wherein those who ask to see “records belonging to them as the public” will be charged fees up to the salary of government employee. The public is already paying the salaries to maintain and retrieve public records for the public, so this is asking citizens to pay twice in order to make it too expensive to ask to see the materials upon which decisions are made.