Topic: background checks
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May 7, 2013 at 7:34 AM
Obama acts hypocriticallyPresident Obama must not know the meaning of irony or hypocrisy. He said recently while in Mexico that the United States was partially responsible for the amount of gun crime down there [“Obama: Security relationship with Mexico to evolve,” seattletimes.com, May 2]. This may be true, but certainly to a lesser extent than is often touted by those on the left who don’t believe in FBI statistics that show otherwise.
But for him to say what he did — knowing full well that his own program known as Operation Fast and Furious illegally funneled a couple thousand assault weapons to the drug cartel killers across the border, one of which resulted in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent and countless Mexican nationals — must be the new norm in hypocrisy.
Scott Stoppelman, La Conner
March 20, 2013 at 4:00 PM
Jared Nieuwenhuis’ defense of the video-game industry contained many useful reminders [“Don’t blame gun violence on the video-game industry,” Opinion, March 18].
Not all video games, for example, are violent. And games are now being explored as tools for supporting learning, problem-solving or civic engagement.
The main problem is his statement that “There is no scientific proof that links video games and violent acts among people.” This is the same smoke screen used by cigarette-harm deniers historically and climate-change deniers currently. The problem is that science doesn’t “prove” things — as Nieuwenhuis presumably knows.
But we needn’t look too long or hard if it’s scientific evidence that we’re looking for. A 2010 meta-study in Psychological Bulletin by Anderson et al., for example, indicates that violent video-game playing increases aggressive thinking and decreases “prosocial” behavior. Moreover, heavy players are more likely than other people to believe that people in the real world are aggressive and are more likely to favor violent “solutions” to problems they face.
People are affected by school, family, peers and, presumably, everything else. We should be completely astounded if exposure to violent video games was uniquely unable to influence. What to do about this issue is unknown. But we gain nothing through willful ignorance.
– Douglas Schuler, 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
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