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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 29, 2009 at 4:30 PM

Post-busride shooting

Gun permit a license to shoot?

Am I missing something here? I’ve never been so compelled to write a letter after reading an article in the paper as I am today.

The April 26 issue of The Seattle Times described an incident that occurred at Third Avenue and Seneca Street in which a woman shot a man because, as far as I can tell, he offended her –she claimed the man spat at her, lunged at her and called her a vulgar name [“Man shot after quarrel on bus,” NWSunday]. Then the April 27 issue included a short article with the headline, “Police say woman had a gun permit” [“Around the Northwest,” NWMonday].

But it seemed like that article was only half finished. The reader is left to wonder: “So does that mean it would be OK for me to shoot anyone who offends me, as long as I have a permit?” or “Should I duck and cover every time I have even a small confrontation with someone in public?”

I’ve been incensed for years at the availability of, and permission to have, guns. When will this senseless “right” to bear arms ever be turned into “against the law,” as it should be? The majority of the time, the use of guns only causes heartache and misery for people who have lost family members and friends.

I can think of an entire family from Eastern Washington who was recently literally blown apart by the murder of the father of three and critical injury of the mother. And what about the father who murdered all five of his children?

— Peggy Stevens, Seattle

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