Hysteria about firearms isn’t helpful

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A recent U-B contained a letter on the subject of firearms that borders on the hysterical. This letter contains so much false information that I feel compelled to respond.

Part of the reason we can’t seem to enact any sensible gun legislation, both locally and nationally, is all the disinformation that’s disseminated by people like your letter writer.

  1. “Concealed carry permits (are) handed out like party favors.” Not so. Local law enforcement, which issues these permits, is required to do a thorough background check on anyone applying for a permit. Persons not eligible to own firearms are denied a permit. See Revised Code of Washington Section 7.31.070.

  2. “Stand your ground laws (sanction the) murder of unarmed people.” Not so. As one who has knowledge of this law (I’ve defended three shooters and been involved in scores of cases involving firearms as both prosecutor and defense counsel), all “stand your ground” means is that if you’re threatened by criminal activity you have no obligation to retreat. This law does not give you the right to shoot an unarmed assailant or intruder.

In Washington state, as in most other states, the right to employ deadly force is limited to situations where (1) you reasonably believe that the person slain intended to inflict death or great personal injury; (2) you reasonably believe that there is imminent danger of such harm being accomplished; and (3) you employ only such force and means as a reasonably prudent person would use under the same or similar conditions as they reasonably appeared to you.

  1. “Abusive husbands with court orders against them who threaten to kill their wives and children are not required to surrender their firearms.” Not so. As one who works in law enforcement, I can tell you that our courts have the plenary power to remove firearms from the control of anyone before the court on such matters and routinely exercise this power.

  2. “The NRA’S definition of law-abiding includes felons, domestic violence abusers and terrorists on the FBI’s watch list.” Not so. As a Life Member of the NRA I can attest that this is a gross canard. I realize that the letter was intended to be a satirical piece, but statements like this are offensive and only serve to make it more difficult to achieve sensible gun legislation.

Charles Phillips

Walla Walla

Comments

grammaphyllis 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Mr. Phillips: With your training and experience, your clarification of the law helps thoughtful people get a clear picture of why and when law abiding folks get to exercise their rights. Not only to carry, but also to lawfully use, guns to defend and protect. Clearly, your explanation counters the thoughtless "Rant" put forth by the original letter writer. You hit it perfectly. The original letter was hysterical.

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Igor 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks, Gramma Phyllis, for you kind and thoughtful words. I’m a grandparent too and there’s nothing I cherish more than my children and grandchildren.

There's a reason why the Left wants to ban firearms but it has nothing to do with public safety. Gun control has very little to do with protecting our citizenry but it has everything to do with control. As our founders clearly understood, the best defense against tyranny is an armed citizenry. Ergo the 2nd Amendment. Anyone who has studied the history of our country understands this. Sadly, few study history anymore.

History is replete with examples of tyrants that wreaked havoc on their neighbors and, in some cases, the rest of the world. They never would have succeeded had their citizenry been armed. Registration, as favored by the Left in this country, is always the first step to confiscation and the subsequent imposition of tyranny.

Reasonable restrictions on the right to purchase and own firearms might or might not have prevented the Sandy Hook shootings, the Aurora shootings, the Virginia Tech shootings and many other senseless massacres of like these. States should be required to share mental health records with the FBI, which maintains the NICS database. Interestingly, many of the states that have been refusing to cooperate are the Blue States, who are more concerned about nut job privacy than safety.

The law should come down hard on straw purchasers, but many go unprosecuted, even after the weapons they've purchased for the nut jobs and criminals are used to murder innocent people. And people that are negligent in securing their arms and ammunition, like Adam Lanza's mother, should also be taken to task. In her case, she paid the ultimate price for failing to keep her firearms out of the hands of her crazy son. Sadly, she was Adam’s first victim.

I also favor private background checks so long as the information for the check is not retained by government so that it might be used to build a registry of owners. But, of course, the solution of the Left, like always, is a "one-size-fits-all" approach. The hysterical Left and their draconian approach to firearms reminds me of the deodand system of the Middle Ages, where inanimate objects were tried, convicted and then punished (i.e., forfeited to the government) if they “caused” the death or injury of person.

It's not guns that kill or injure people. It's the nut jobs and criminals that should never have gotten hold of a firearm in the first place. Much could be done to protect our citizenry but the solution of the Left is no solution. The NRA has striven for years and years to advance sensible gun legislation to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and crazies but because of all the hysteria surrounding the issue nothing ever seems to get done. Sad, but that’s politics.

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