I was very sad to read that the Washington State Republican Party was auctioning off an AR15 at their annual fundraiser this weekend. This is the same gun that was used at Sandy Hook and in other recent mass killings, which makes the inclusion of one in the fundraising auction a highly symbolic gesture, whether the organizers meant it that way or not. They claim that in doing this, they are not making a pro-gun statement, but merely a fundraising statement. This seems to be an extraordinarily arrogant, insensitive and uncaring attitude, at a time when all of us who have children are thinking once again about what happened in Newtown while the Senate prepares to debate some pretty mild new gun regulations. I haven't owned a gun for a long time and I'm not especially anti-guns as long as the guns are in the hands of responsible owners. However, an attitude like the one taken by the Washington Republican Party makes it very hard to remain tolerant and keep looking for common ground.