Letters to the Editor

Supports stricter checks for gun ownership

We encourage your yes vote on I-594, which would require background checks for all gun sales in Washington state. The gun lobby tells us I-594 is about our right to own a gun. I believe it is about our right to own a gun responsibly. Now only gun sales at federally licensed stores require background checks. Anyone can purchase a gun at a gun show or online without a background check with no questions asked.

Washington would be the eighth state in the U.S. to adopt a law to close these loopholes. According to FBI data, 38 percent fewer women are shot to death by an intimate partner in states that require background checks. 4 percent of mass shooters possessed their guns illegally, prohibited under federal laws from having guns.

I think the Washington gun lobby claims that “gun free zones” (areas where gun carrying is restricted) enable mass violence rather than reduce it. Every Town for Gun Sense analysis indicates that the majority of mass shootings occur in private homes where guns are unrestricted. Less than one in six took place in a “gun free zone.” Only 11% of persons exhibited mental illness prior to the incident.

Some 57 percent of gun-violence victims in domestic-violence cases were current or former partners or family members of the shooter. Richard Martinez, whose son was killed in Santa Barbara, said it best, “We don’t have to live like this.”

Vote yes on 1-594.

Chuck and Gail Warren

Bellingham

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