Letters to the Editor

Leadership needed on I-594


In 2008, the Supreme Court decision District of Columbia v Heller recognized the individual’s right to own a handgun. Justice Antonin Scalia also signaled that gun policy balancing gun ownership rights with public safety was reasonable.

That is the goal of Washington State Initiative 594 – to require background checks for all gun sales.

Every year, 625 persons become corpses in Washington, many because an indefensible public policy allows felons to buy guns.

The NRA leadership sees I-594 as a threat, but they would oppose banning shoulder fired nuclear guns. However, 74 percent of NRA members say yes to background checks.

NRA members know that in 1903 Congress passed the Militia Act, creating “a well regulated militia” we know as The National Guard. It fulfilled the requirement of the 2nd Amendment. NRA members tend to be well educated and know the unspoken rationale underpinning the 2nd Amendment. It enabled early Americans to put down slave rebellions and Indian terror.

The NRA leadership would have you believe that background checks are the beginning of the slide down the “slippery slope” to registration and confiscation of America’s 270 million guns. That is not only unutterable nonsense but also a cognitive illusion of validity.

What to do? Sens. Steve Litzow, Rodney Tom and Andy Hill are critically important lawmakers. Tell them to pass legislation requiring background checks on all gun purchases. If they do, I-594 may not be necessary.

C. F. Baumgartner, Mercer Island

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