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September 27, 2013 at 7:32 AM
Follow the money
I am very weary of the articles on guns and gun violence because no one talks about the key issue: the dollars that companies in the United States earn by selling weapons and ammunition. [“Obama pushes gun control at Navy Yard memorial,” News, September 23.]
President Obama asked recently why other countries such as Canada and Australia were able to stop gun violence by simply passing a law.
Why, because those countries do not, by and large, sell weapons and ammunition to other countries.
The dollars that are earned from domestic and overseas sales of weapons and ammunition are at the core of the issue of gun violence that all of us wish to understand and stop.
Gail Hongladarom, Seattle
September 25, 2013 at 6:36 PM
Take a stand
Howard Schultz needs to take a stand one way or the other. [“Starbucks’ gun policy: Please don’t bring them,” page one, Sept. 19.]
You can’t please everyone. Schultz needs to decide: Are guns in or out at his stores?
Starbucks is a gathering place for many families and friends, many with children. Would he rather let a child be scared in his store by the sight of guns? Is he worried he might take too much heat from those who wants guns?
Angie Clevenger, Seattle
September 11, 2013 at 6:23 PM
Second Amendment is outdated
Initiative 594 has made me think about the Second Amendment, the National Rifle Association (NRA), which may be unmatched in fervor, focus and funding. [“Some signature-gatherers play both sides of gun campaign,” NW Thursday, Aug. 15.]
Why did the Second Amendment come into existence?
The Constitution sought first to deal with a debt crisis resulting from the Revolution. The Continental Congress borrowed a lot of money to pay for the war. There was no standing army. Washington won the war, but he had to depend on armed civilian militias and borrowed money.
The Continental Congress denied Washington’s pleas for an army. Sam Adams believed that a permanent standing army was “forever dangerous to civil liberties.”
Many founders agreed with Adams, and they penned the Second Amendment into the Constitution, ensuring that citizens, not a permanent standing army, would bear arms.
Today, the U.S. has the largest army ever assembled. It also has a militia — the National Guard. The Second Amendment is now as anachronistic as those laws that permitted slavery. Both are national embarrassments.
The Second Amendment has succeeded in making the worship of guns a form of idolatry. Guns are not gods. They are tools designed to turn animals into carcasses and human beings in corpses, and it is time to become more selective about who we allow to buy them.
C.F. Baumgartner, Mercer Island
August 28, 2013 at 6:38 PM
The letter to the editor from Ian King is silly. [“Northwest Voices: Cutlery ban?” Opinion, Aug. 26.]
Cutlery is only dangerous at very close range, while guns can be used from a distance. Drive-by shootings and bank robberies use guns. I have not heard of a drive-by cutlery robbery.
King does not seem to appreciate the serious situation that Mayor Mike McGinn is addressing.
Michael Clarke, Redmond
August 27, 2013 at 7:05 PM
The power of the purse
I congratulate Mayor Mike McGinn for the idea of gun-free business in Seattle. [“Business ‘gun free’ program launches,” page one, Aug. 19.]
I personally will limit my shopping to those businesses to the greatest degree possible.
Fortunately, most of us know the difference between voluntary compliance and a ban on guns. The power of the purse will be a determining factor.
If I am out hunting or target practicing, a gun is appropriate, but just to show how tough I am by carrying one around so I can lay it out on the table or in my waistband is inviting trouble.
Vicki Decker, Bothell
August 21, 2013 at 4:12 PM
Silly and self-serving
In these very pages, I read with horror the news accounts of people being stabbed, in some instances fatally. Oh, what can we do, what can we do? [“Business ‘gun free’ program launches,” page one, Aug. 19.]
I call upon all restaurants, pubs and other establishments serving non-finger-food to join a voluntary ban of all cutlery. Knives are of course obvious weapons, but merely removing edged implements is not enough. Forks can be pretty nasty, and it is not uncommon to have two or more forks at each place setting. I leave it to your imagination just how brutal one can be with a spoon, especially the dauntingly large soup spoon. Call the new program, “Fingers-Only Zone.”
Does this sound silly? No sillier than the mayor’s politically self-serving bombast about a voluntary gun ban.
I do not find it surprising that he did not let the City Council in on the joke, as hopefully at least one member would have tried to stop him from humiliating our city yet again.
Do we really have to wait until November for a new Mayor?
Ian King, Seattle
August 21, 2013 at 7:26 AM
Mayor should be out
Mayor Mike McGinn wants to make Seattle a gun-free zone. [“Business ‘gun free’ program launches,” page one, Aug. 19.]
Instead, Seattle should be a McGinn-free zone.
Mike Smyth, Bellevue
More unintended consequences from Mayor Mike McGinn.
“Gun-free zones” are intended to prevent crime. Instead, they encourage crime by disarming law-abiding citizens. They do nothing to stop criminals who, by definition, don’t care about the law.
Criminals are happy to know there won’t be any armed citizens to stand in their way.
Similarly, when Mayor McGinn caused gridlock all around the city by replacing car lanes with bike lanes, he probably exacerbated climate change by causing drivers to sit in traffic, emitting carbon dioxide.
It’s hard to imagine that enough commuters got out of their cars and onto their bicycles to offset the gridlock’s effect on emissions.
The man needs to do some critical thinking before implementing any more feel-good, counterproductive “solutions.”
Maggie Willson, Seattle
Where will it stop?
Now that Mayor Mike McGinn is providing stickers for business owners establishing gun-free business locations, will he be willing provide us with lawn signs saying that there are no guns in the residence?
Bob Burnside, Edmonds
August 20, 2013 at 11:34 AM
Learn about mental illness, de-escalation
It seems nothing short of a miracle that the Metro driver who recently suffered an armed assault survived, let alone with relatively minimal physical injury. [“Metro driver recalls terror, riders who rushed to help,” page one, Aug. 14.]
It is fortunate that this occurred in an area with a high concentration of law-enforcement personnel, who were able to respond quickly.
I am a fellow Metro transit driver, and dealing directly with persons affected by mental illness is just one part of our job. However, situational de-escalation training provided by Metro Transit is modest — I received far more training in a previous tech-support job.
The gunman in this incident was obviously a person with long-standing, deep-seated issues with mental health and substance abuse. As mental-health services at all levels of our governments are stretched to the breaking point, and as King County is not likely to spring for additional training in these budget-challenged times, I would like to propose we, as both a transit workforce and as a community, move forward at a grass-roots level.
There is a national movement afoot called Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). MHFA is designed to provide an informed method for dealing constructively with individuals in a heightened state of distress.
A small tool may be better than no tool. Even with the fastest possible police response time, the seconds that transpire before police can arrive can be a few seconds too long.
Ann Ziegler, Metro Transit operator, Seattle
Guns are too easy to get
The recent article on the Seattle Police Department’s investigation of the bus shooting states that “among the unanswered questions is how Duckworth obtained the revolver used to shoot Dupuis. A felon with a history of drug offenses and mental-health issues, he was not allowed to carry a firearm.” [“Around the Northwest: Long probe seen in bus shooting,” NW Friday, Aug. 16.]
For anyone who was on the street during the city gun buyback this January, the answer to “how” is an easy one. I was at the buyback to get rid of one of my grandfather’s old guns, and as I walked the three blocks from my car to the collection point, I was approached by no less than five individuals offering to buy my gun.
I was stunned to learn that it would have been entirely legal for me to have sold my gun to one of these guys.
[Editor’s note: According to the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives: “A person may sell a firearm to an unlicensed resident of his State, if he does not know or have reasonable cause to believe the person is prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms under Federal law.”]
The lesson here is that buying guns in this state can be quite simple and free of paperwork and background checks, no matter what the state of your mental health is, or your criminal history.
If you want to stop this sort of ridiculous and dangerous market, sign and support Initiative 594 to the state Legislature. Supported by the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, the initiative would require background checks for all gun sales.
Matt Huston, Seattle
August 14, 2013 at 7:06 AM
Second Amendment woes
The attack on a Metro Transit bus driver brings gun laws to mind. [“Panic on buses, cops kill gunman,” page one, Aug. 13.]
The prevailing interpretation of the Second Amendment would dictate that the most appropriate solution, bearing in mind the words of the president of the National Rifle Association, “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” would be to arm everyone else on the bus.
Those who choose not to bear arms should have the option of being provided with (or providing their own) bulletproof vest.
Or consider alternate transportation.
Or stay at home.
These are small prices to pay for the freedom of living in America, land of the free and the armed.
Mike Moore, Kent
July 26, 2013 at 4:46 PM
Gun saved Zimmerman’s life
I disagree with William Fite’s conclusion that no one would have died if George Zimmerman had not been armed. [“Northwest Voices: Martin vs. Zimmerman,” Opinion, July 25.]
The physical evidence presented at George Zimmerman’s trial indicated that Trayvon Martin sucker-punched Zimmerman, then beat his head against the cement sidewalk.
If Zimmerman had not been armed, there is a good chance he would have died from blunt-force trauma to the head. You don’t need a gun to kill someone, and in this case, being armed arguably saved George Zimmerman’s life.
Gerald Cline, Kent
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