Gun background checks would make a worthy initiative

The 2013 state Legislature had a chance to pass meaningful gun control legislation this session.

The public all but demanded it of them in the wake of the horrific massacre of young school children in Newtown, Conn.

But state lawmakers ducked the issue, unable to pass even a modest bill to expand background checks of potential gun buyers.

So gun-control advocates will shift to a 2014 initiative campaign focused on a requirement that background checks be performed for virtually all gun transfers.

In general, the initiative process in this state has been overused in recent years — think anti-tax crusader Tim Eyman. However, the gun-control advocacy group mounting the new campaign is on the right track with an initiative to the Legislature next year.

Then, if the politicians reject gun control yet again, the initiative will go to the general election ballot in November 2014.

The initiative campaign will be costly and time-consuming. It’s unfortunate the 2013 state legislators lacked the collective political courage to tackle gun control on their own.