Supports state gun control law

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 5, 2013 

Cats stray; bullets do not.

Let's be perfectly clear about this: Alyssa Smith was not killed by a "stray" bullet as June 18 and 19 headlines suggest. She was killed by the man who aimed the gun and pulled the trigger. Even if it was not intentionally aimed at Ms. Smith, the bullet did not stray from the path chosen by the shooter and dictated by the laws of physics.

"Stray bullets" are horrifyingly common in the U.S., with one study reporting 370 killed or injured during a one year period in 2008 and 2009. Each incident seems random, but together they are a completely predictable consequence of rampant gun use. We should not have to wear body armor in our own back yards . Everyone wishes that all gun owners could be responsible with their guns. Wishing will not make it so, however: all practical solutions to gun deaths involve gun control.

At least two of the shooters involved in this death were felons, legally prohibited from owning guns. Mandatory background checks at gun shows might have prevented the purchase of the gun that killed Ms. Smith. The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility is sponsoring a ballot initiative and gathering signatures to close the gun show background check loophole in Washington. Please support their efforts.

David Flanagan

Bellingham

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