Letter - Facts, psuedo facts and Initiative 594


I’m a progressive liberal, former lifetime member of the NRA. I have had a large gun collection and can put three rounds in the 10 ring of a B27 target at 25 yards with a Colt Government. I’ve assisted in teaching women’s self-defense courses and I have a lifelong love affair with firearms.

That said, I have been disenfranchised by the gun lobby because of its representations of falsehoods as facts and introduction of ridiculous arguments into the public discussion about gun ownership in America. A major concern by gun-control forces is the availability of any firearm to anyone who might use a gun irresponsibly, people including minors, criminals, mental patients, even foreigners.

A major contributing factor to irresponsible gun ownership is the gun show loophole, which allows anyone to come in off the street and purchase any weapon and amount of ammunition from a private seller’s table at a gun show without proof of identification, proof of American citizenship, or a background check of possible criminal convictions.

Make no mistake, I believe in free enterprise, but when free enterprise provides a means of harming law-abiding citizens through misuse or criminal use of a firearm it is no longer a question of free enterprise, it is a question of personal and civic responsibility.

Initiative 594 addresses this loophole by requiring that the sales of all firearms in the state of Washington receive the requisite background check to make it harder for criminals and their ilk to obtain firearms by adding a minor inconvenience to responsible gun ownership. After a lot of soul searching on my part, I find that Initiative 594 does not infringe on the Second Amendment and I support its passage in November.

As an aside, regarding the recent letters to the editor calling President Obama “our gun-ban president,” I am proud the Obama administration has enhanced and protected the rights of gun owners by signing the law overturning the ban on loaded firearms possession in national parks in 2010.

Enough of the mudslinging, name calling and pseudo facts.

Gary D’Agostino

Walla Walla


PearlY 1 year, 7 months ago

Mr. D'Agostino says: "A major contributing factor to irresponsible gun ownership is the gun show loophole. . . ."
But is that a fact, or is it a myth, or as you say, a pseudo fact?

Where is the factual evidence that "irresponsible gun ownership" stems from gun shows?
As I think back over the various high-profile shooting incidents of the last few years, I can't recall a single one where the firearm(s) used were acquired by the shooter at a gun show from a private seller. Can you point to any?
In fact, can you point to ANY shootings, high profile or otherwise, where the firearm was acquired by the shooter from a private seller at a gun show? Much less enough of such incidents to make gun shows a "major contributor" to irresponsible gun ownership?

I really doubt that you can.

(I emphasize "by the shooter from a private seller" because even at gun shows if you buy from a licensed dealer you must go through a background check, and even people who pass background checks sometimes illegally acquire guns for third parties or have them stolen, which is hardly the fault of the gun show.)

I also have to wonder at your description of a gun show as somewhere where absolutely anyone can buy firearms - minors included. At least in Washington the WAC gun shows do not allow minors to make purchases. For that matter, they don't allow non-members to make any private purchases or sales, or members to make them to people who have not passed an NICS records check. If you check out their website, you'll find their internal regulations are quite strict. https://washingtonarmscollectors.org/about-us/how-we-do-things/rules-of-the-road/


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