Friday, September 26, 2014

A "Testy Exchange"

The Tri-City Herald (9/24/14) used the incident of a man brandishing a gun in a dispute over a parking space to highlight plans for expanded parking at the Kadlec Regional Medical Center. The photo accompanying the article was captioned, “Limited parking near Kadlec leads to testy exchange.”

“Testy exchange?” Have we become so inured to gun violence in America that brandishing a gun in a dispute over a parking space is labeled “testy?” Have we lost our collective mind? Or have we just lost heart over the seeming inability to do anything about America’s gun violence?

In the same week we read about the “testy exchange” in a hospital parking lot, we read about a Florida man who shot his daughter and six grandchildren to death, then killed himself. We read about a “weapons enthusiast” in Pennsylvania who shot to death a Pennsylvania police officer and wounded another in an ambush.

As of the writing of this piece, other “testy exchanges” since January 1, 2014, have resulted in 8,972 gun deaths and 16,293 injuries.

It’s time we overcame the pernicious influence of the NRA and the gun industry and did something about America’s gun violence, at least here in Washington. Pass I-594.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I-591 vs I-594

With no good reason for passing Initiative-591, and defeating Initiative-594, the gun lobby resorts to the well-worn but widely accepted NRA shibboleths; registry and confiscation.

Let’s get somethings straight. Despite the inflammatory rhetoric incorporated in Philip Watson’s 8/31/14 argument for passing I-591, the much needed Initiative-594 would not create or enable a gun registry, nor enable future confiscation of lawfully owned firearms. Firearms cannot be seized without due process, and I-594 does not change that. Law enforcement is not now permitted to “enter your home and search your bedroom...without a warrant or court order,” nor would they be so authorized under I-594, no matter what the object of the search. There is no sensible reason for not passing I-594, and no good reason to pass I-591, which would prohibit Washingtonians from determining their own future.
I-594 is straight-forward. “All firearms sales or transfers are subject to background checks unless specifically exempted by federal or state law.” This requirement applies to all sales or transfers in whole or in part in Washington, including sales and transfers at gun shows and online. There are numerous exemptions that serve to protect Second Amendment rights, including the fact that gifts between family members are exempt from the background check.

I-594 is a step forward in protecting us from gun violence by criminals and the mentally ill. I-591 is a leap backward.

Vote "YES" on I-594. Vote "No" on I-591.