April 23, 2013 at 7:29 AM
Public’s lack of trust in government is justified
Simply put, the public no longer trusts our government to keep its word [“Culture, mistrust killed gun control effort,” page one, April 21]. Trusting that no one will use the background-check list to round up weapons is really an act of faith. I, for one, do not share that faith.
For too long, the elected officials of this state have ignored the public will. Using the excuse of doing what is in the “best interest of the public” has eroded the confidence that they will not use lawyers and courts to later overturn unwanted initiatives, that they will not pass taxes and increase fees for expensive projects that the public has voted no on.
Any trust that our elected officials will be good stewards that will keep their words misplaced. Our own present Gov. Jay Inslee has changed his mind already on issues that he spoke so loudly on to get elected.
So, for those who say that Congress should pass background checks for honest citizens and trust that a list will not be used to round up the weapons someday: Forget about it.
Wayne J. Wolf, Federal Way
Citizens must take some responsibility to protect themselves
While I personally believe that background checks for firearms purchases are sensible in most circumstances, I don’t need the government or any one else to protect me from myself [“Even one life saved makes legislation worthwhile,” Northwest Voices, April 19].
I am an adult and completely able to make my own decisions regarding my safety and well-being. Anyone who abdicates these responsibilities to the government will get what they asked for and more, a reduction in personal freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution.
Government cannot protect every citizen from every danger present in a modern society. The responsibility rests with the citizens to be diligent and safety-conscious while pursuing their daily activities. Those who act outside of societal norms and become a danger to others should be punished to the full extent of the existing laws.
To expect that the government bureaucracy can or will effectively protect you from yourself is naiveté at best.
Todd Croteau, Mill Creek
March 26, 2013 at 6:12 AM
The wrong message for young athletes
I nearly fell out of my chair when I read Sideline Chatter on Wed. March 20th [“For $20, you have a real shot,” Sports], which related the news that an Illinois Little League is selling an AR-15 assault-style rifle as a fundraiser.
What on Earth does an assault rifle, which is all about killing people, have to do with Little League?
I could understand raffling off an autographed baseball. That would relate to Little League in a direct and fun way. Or how about an all expense paid trip to watch the Chicago Cubs play? That would surely inspire a great father/son or father/daughter trip!
But an assault rifle after what happened at Sandy Hook? What kind of message does that send young kids playing baseball? Is anyone paying attention? Are we so brain-dead that we cannot understand the idiocy of this?
Words cannot express my incredulity, my disappointment with human beings, my disgust with the gun nuts who are ruining this country by flooding it with ever more guns, guns and more guns.
–Richard P. Ryburn, Seattle
March 17, 2013 at 6:30 AM
The public wants regulation
I am, once again, deeply disappointed in our lawmakers not passing the gun bill that would have required universal background checks [“Bill to boost gun checks falls short in state House,” page one, March 13].
Opponents of this bill claim that universal background checks don’t work, although there is evidence to the contrary, or somehow these checks infringe on the rights of gun owners, buyers and sellers. What they are really saying here is that the gun buyers and sellers should be accountable to no one, while the rest of the population is potentially at risk. I ask, what about my right to feel safe as I go about my daily business?
What this comes down to is money. The National Rifle Association has tremendous political clout backed up by large amounts of money. Many lawmakers lack the backbone to do what is right for the people, and capitulate. These lawmakers are more concerned with retaining their position than they are with what the people want.
Just for the record, polls have shown that 80 percent of the people want universal background checks. Just who is out of step?
–Cynthia B. Samuel-Zulch, Clyde Hill
March 14, 2013 at 5:00 PM
Passing legislation requires more optimism
Since I cannot come up with a polite word for how I really feel, I will just say I am quite frustrated [“Bill to boost gun checks falls short in state House,” page one, March 13].To the Democrats who “conceded defeat,” if you step into a problem believing that to win “is a stretch goal for us,” then you are bound to not succeed.
You cannot expect to accomplish something if, as Rep. Jamie Pedersen says, “it turns out it was too much of a stretch.”
To the mostly Republicans who vote against background checks, what is the reason exactly? Most people want gun background checks for all, so what is the holdup?
Please do not tell me that the National Rifle Association is more important to you than the citizens of our state.
To the voters: Why do you vote for such people?
–Zenkosi Zulu, Seattle
Gun owner identification proposal
I proposed to the Legislature that once a person has passed a background check it would be embossed on to your driver’s license as “cleared for firearms,” which could be presented at the time of a sale. If one were convicted of any felonies, the license is surrendered and the clearance removed. No gun registration.
It would work. That’s probably why they never got back to me because they truly want to ban guns eventually.
–Howard Stoppelman, Kirkland
March 12, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Poll’s validity is questionable
Of course any story with a New York Times byline is suspect, its bias is widely recognized, especially concerning guns [“U.S. gun owners on decline — survey,” page one, March 10]. The gun-ownership survey is accredited to a biased source, as if all polls were created equal. They aren’t.
I do have to give the writer some credit. Way down in the story is the quote from the National Rifle Association spokesman citing evidence that this poll isn’t valid. I would add that gun owners tend to be busy and unwilling to answer poll questions about their guns. It’s hard to get valid “national poll numbers” if half the country won’t answer the questions.
But if there are folks who want to believe that gun control equals violence reduction, then by all means they should not own guns. If The Seattle Times ran a story about the statistics showing increased violence everywhere guns were banned, they wouldn’t read it. John Lott had proof ages ago using hard numbers, his books are still available for anyone who cares about a safe society.
The alternative is a belief that we are not personally responsible and we can’t trust our neighbors with guns, better to give the government all the guns. Oh, and all the criminals.
–Margaret Wiggins, Kirkland
February 26, 2013 at 4:01 PM
Legislators should understand what they propose
Kudos to Danny Westneat. He took on three Washington state Democratic senators and exposed them for the bumbling incompetents they are [“Dems keep shooting themselves in foot,” NWSunday, Feb. 24]. I suspect they will introduce other legislation they haven’t read in the future, but it is nice to see their chicanery exposed to the light of day. In their minds, any law that can confiscate a gun is a good law.
They remind me of John Kerry, who “voted for [funding the Iraq war] before [he] voted against it.” And Nancy Pelosi, who wanted to “pass [Obamacare] so you can find out what is in it.”
Lobbyists will continue to write “model legislation.” That’s their job. Elected representatives, however, do not have to go in lock-step. That’s their job. It’s likely the three state senators come from bulletproof constituencies (pun intended). They need have no fear of not being re-elected. That is, indeed, unfortunate.
However, thanks Danny. Maybe because of you state legislators will actually read a bill before they propose it. That would be a step in the right direction.
–Denny Andrews, Bellevue
August 26, 2009 at 4:00 PM
Civilized debates come without guns
David Sirota echoes ["First Amendment trumps Second Amendment," Opinion, syndicated columnist, Aug. 23] my personal alarm concerning the guns appearing at public meetings.
His Thomas Jefferson quote about watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants — that makes my blood run cold.
This madness has got to stop. There are means for civilized people to solve problems, and guns are not among them.
– Mary S. Mitchell, Seattle
Firearms demonstrators well within their rights
David Sirota, thank you for telling the truth.
And the truth is you and your elitist colleagues hide behind your First Amendment rights to attack our Second Amendment rights. Just remember, as Thomas Jefferson said, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
Law-abiding gun owners are fed up with elitists like you who think they are above all others and use their positions to spread fear and disinformation to attack our Second Amendment rights. In fact, the publishing of arrogant and ignorant statements such as yours are the reason these protesters are carrying firearms.
While I don’t necessarily agree with protesters carrying firearms at demonstrations, I understand why they are doing it, and I support their right to do so. It was journalists like you who fired the first shot by attacking our rights. It was politicians like Janet Napolitano, who as the head of the Department of Homeland Security disseminated an official report labeling supporters of the Second Amendment as “potential right-wing extremists/domestic terrorists.”
How many attacks do you think a person will tolerate before he or she starts fighting back? These people are making a statement that they are not going to take it any more. Instead of continuing your mindless attacks on our rights, why don’t you just start realizing there are people out there that do not have the same opinion as you, and their rights matter just as much as your rights.
I was both surprised and extremely pleased to see President Obama say these people are within their rights. He recognizes and understands why these people are making their statement in such a bold manner.
Obama is displaying a level head by not escalating this further. You, on the other hand, are trying to incite a riot.
– Neil Foster, Renton
Trending with readers