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Everett Herald: Background Checks Save Lives

June 17, 2015

The Everett Herald editorial board states it in the clearest terms possible – “Background checks save lives:

It’s satisfying and reassuring when the facts confirm common sense.

When 59 percent of Washington state voters passed Initiative 594 last fall, most voted for the initiative with the conviction that it made sense, common sense, to make it more difficult for felons and others barred from owning firearms to get their hands on a gun by requiring background checks for all sales. I-594 closed what had been called the gun-show loophole, requiring background checks for those purchasing firearms not only at gun shops, but any sale, most notably those between private individuals.

What voters didn’t have to back up their convictions at the time was much in the way of data that showed how effective such a law could be. We’re starting to see that data now.

Read the full editorial here.

CHERYL STUMBO AND WALT STAWICKI: ON THE 3RD ANNIVERSARY OF THE CAFE RACER SHOOTING, A CALL FOR “EXTREME RISK PROTECTION ORDERS”

May 30, 2015

On today’s third anniversary of the tragedy at Cafe Racer, Cheryl Stumbo and Walt Stawicki – father of Racer shooter Ian Stawicki – came together to remember the tragedy and call for action to pass Extreme Risk Protection Orders:

“Three years ago, tragedy struck at Seattle’s Café Racer, shining a spotlight on the difficult interrelationship between easy access to firearms and the ravages of mental illness. Unfortunately, the Café Racer shooting was neither the first nor last time family members of a shooter have shared the pain and anxiety of trying to seek help for a loved one whom they feared would slip into violence without treatment—and without a tool to keep guns out of their hands.

Extreme Risk Protection Orders can address this potentially tragic problem by enabling family members, as well as law enforcement officials, to obtain a protection order to temporarily remove access to firearms when an individual is threatening to commit terrible harm. Those are people like Naveed Haq, who shot Cheryl in a politically-motivated attack on the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle in 2006, and Walt’s son, Ian Stawicki, who killed himself and five others at Cafe Racer three years ago today. Both Naveed and Ian showed signs of distress and of their intentions, just like over half of all mass shooters over the last 20 years.

The tragedies that ruptured our lives—the attack on Cafe Racer three years ago and on the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle in 2006—led us to become advocates for strengthening Washington’s gun laws. We’ve pursued different paths in the years since we became survivors. But we both support Extreme Risk Protection Orders because those shootings might never have occurred if family members had this path to intervene. Unfortunately, the Extreme Risk Protection Orders bill stalled in Olympia this year due to political pressure from an old foe—the National Rifle Association and their legislative allies.”

Read their full editorial at The Stranger.

THE COLUMBIAN: IN OUR VIEW: SOLUTION SEEKS PROBLEM

May 21, 2015

The Columbian responded to the dismissal of the gun lobby’s lawsuit against Initiative 594 by calling the effort a “solution when there is no problem”:

“During the election debate over I-594 and ever since the initiative was passed, opponents have done their best to scuttle it. They held a rally in front of the state Capitol in which they handed guns back and forth — defiantly hoping to be arrested; nobody was. Now they have put themselves in the curious position of arguing that a law they abhor should be more stringently enforced — even though the law poses no threat to law-abiding gun owners. Even those with ordinary intelligence can see the canard in their reasoning.

I-594 is not a panacea, but it is a perfectly reasonable attempt to make it more difficult for felons to obtain guns while not infringing upon the rights of law-abiding citizens. It simply closed a loophole that allowed felons to purchase weapons at gun shows, even if they could not do so at a gun store. Opponents thus far have presented nothing other than hypotheticals to discredit the law, and in the process, they have come up with a solution where there is no problem.”

Read the full editorial here.

EVERETT HERALD: I-594’S FOES FAIL TO SHOW HARM

May 21, 2015

The Everett Herald urged the gun lobby to back off Initiative 594 after its lawsuit against the measure was dismissed:

“But the intent of the law should be clear enough — even to those of us with ordinary intelligence — that it wouldn’t take but the slightest exercise of logic to see that neither FedEx workers nor unmarried couples need fear arrest or prosecution.

Perhaps the best example that most gun owners aren’t likely to risk arrest was a demonstration staged on the Capitol grounds in Olympia shortly after the law’s passage where protestors handed their firearms back and forth in full view of law enforcement. Public protests are not a specific exemption, yet no arrests were made.”

Read the full Everett Herald editorial here.

SPOKESMAN REVIEW: I-594 OPPONENTS CAN’T FIND AMMO TO FIGHT IT

May 19, 2015

On May 10th, the Spokesman Review editorialized on why the gun lobby’s empty warnings against Initiative 594 “lost their oomph”:

“The problem for I-594 opponents is that the law doesn’t go as far as the imaginative ‘what-ifs’ posed during their failed campaign to defeat the initiative.

According to an Associated Press report, ‘They questioned whether background checks would be required for a FedEx worker who transported a gun sold in Washington, whether an unmarried couple living together would be allowed to share a gun, or whether an airline worker would need a background check before handling luggage containing a firearm.’

So far, all these hypotheticals have remained hypothetical.

But that’s an inconvenient truth when trying to get a law tossed that does many things opponents don’t like, such as requiring a background check on private sales. The law is clear on that, so opponents went hunting for examples of confusion in other areas of the law.”

Read the entire editorial here.

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Top five contributors: Nicolas Hanauer, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, Connie Ballmer, William Gates III, Melinda Gates