Court rejects Edmonds safe gun storage law, leaves intact fines for unauthorized possession

Edmonds City Councilmember Mike Nelson

In the latest round of legal actions over Edmonds’ safe gun storage law, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Anita Farris ruled on Friday that while the City of Edmonds cannot tell people how to store their guns, it can levy fines against gun owners whose firearms are possessed or used by unauthorized persons.

Proposed by then-City Council President Mike Nelson in July 2018, the measure was subsequently enacted by a 5-to-1 vote of the council with Councilmember Neil Tibbott on vacation and unavailable by phone.

The two-part measure first requires gun owners to lock up their guns when not in use; the second part mandates fines for gun owners whose firearms are possessed or used by unauthorized persons. Fines range from $1,000 for simple unauthorized possession to up to $10,000 if the gun is used in a crime or someone is hurt as a result of unauthorized access.

In August 2018 the National Rifle Association and Second Amendment Foundation joined with Edmonds residents Brett Bass, Curtis McCullough and Swan Seaberg to challenge the law in court. Their suit argued that the ordinance violates Washington State’s preemption statute, which grants exclusive authority for gun regulation in Washington to the State Legislature.

This was followed by a flurry of legal filings on both sides, with plaintiffs continuing to maintain that the Edmonds measure violates state law and should be struck down, and the City of Edmonds arguing to dismiss the suit on the basis that the plaintiffs “lacked standing,” a technical argument meaning that they would suffer no harm should the ordinance move forward and hence have no stake in the outcome and cannot file suit.

In March 2019 Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Anita Farris denied the city’s motion to dismiss, ruling that the plaintiffs do indeed have standing, thus allowing the suit to proceed.  In June 2019 the NRA and Second Amendment Foundation pulled out of the suit but continued to provide support to the remaining plaintiffs.

Judge Farris’s Friday ruling grants a partial victory to both sides. While she agreed with the plaintiffs that Edmonds safe storage violates the state’s preemption statute and granted a summary injunction enjoining the city from enforcing the storage section of the ordinance, she also ruled that the plaintiffs have no standing to challenge the section related to unauthorized access to firearms, leaving intact the fines that could be incurred by gun owners if a child, thief, or person under court order to not possess firearms gains access to their guns.

“We’re glad that the court rejected the challenge to the city’s unauthorized access provision, which will continue to provide Edmonds residents with strong incentives to securely store their firearms,” said Eric Tirschwell, litigation director for Everytown Law and co-counsel with the City of Edmonds. “However, we respectfully disagree with the court’s ruling on the enforcement of the city’s responsible storage ordinance, and we are discussing all legal options with city officials.”

The plaintiffs say that they would welcome an appeal.

“We expect an appeal, and quite frankly it will work in our favor,” said Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation. “We fully expect to win, and the higher up the chain it goes, the better precedent it will set for our work with other municipalities trying to do the same thing Edmonds did.

“The only reason the judge didn’t strike down the unauthorized possession provisions is that no one has been prosecuted under these yet and so no one has standing.” Gottlieb continued. “We’re honestly scratching our heads a bit, because if the main part of the law is taken down, the penalties will die along with it.  As soon as anyone is charged, they’ll have standing, and the court will knock it down.”

But in Edmonds supporters remain encouraged that the unauthorized possession provisions remain.

“The trial court kept the most important part of our law intact — gun owners will be held responsible when a child gets a hold of a firearm and causes injury,” said Mike Nelson, original sponsor of the ordinance. “This is a significant step in the right direction in preventing gun violence. I am committed to preventing gun violence from reaching our schools, our streets, and our homes.”

Nelson also noted that he is “very excited that Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal has followed our lead here in Edmonds and recently introduced the Safe Gun Storage Act in Congress.”

— By Larry Vogel 

73 Replies to “Court rejects Edmonds safe gun storage law, leaves intact fines for unauthorized possession”

  1. As a survivor of gun violence your headline was beyond inappropriate. Commonsense Gun laws are saving lives. Think of the 100 Americans lives that are taken by gun violence daily and do not use language that traumatizes.

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    1. Very sorry to hear about your tragedy. Edmonds defense in court was that the case should be dismissed because the no one in Edmonds had standing to challenge the law. Plainly said, the law you’re calling common sense had no net affect. Edmonds actually argued that the law was just token. A rifle safe costs a lot of money (see “something to lose doctrine”).

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    2. Wow, surprising statistic, thank you for sharing, Judy. I appreciate that you prompted me to do some research – and that I was able to find the statistic you posted! I also found that over 50% of those deaths occur in just 2% of the counties. That led me to check out how Washington stacks up.

      According to CDC statistics currently posted (for 2017), Washington rates rank 38th for firearm mortality and 34th in the nation for homicides. Interestingly, California, despite stricter gun laws, has a higher homicide rate.

      Unfortunately, there is still no educational component to the City’s ordinance. Yet, despite not being forced or coerced by a governing body, we have already been using Eddie Eagle curriculum and videos to teach our kids about gun safety, recognizing that we can take an active role toward prevention.

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  2. It’s time to recall Mike Nelson. He knew the safe storage law was in bad faith. Seattle told him so. He thought the court wouldn’t hear it on the grounds that no one would ever be fined and would never have standing. Edmonds’ defense argued that the case couldn’t be heard because no one is or would be fined. How effective is Mike’s law if it isn’t actually doing anything?

    Article I, §33 of the Washington Constitution says that a recall can only occur if the targeted public official has engaged in the “commission of some act or acts of malfeasance or misfeasance while in office, or who has violated his oath of office.” The Edmonds Safe Storage Law is legislative malpractice (misfeasance by definition), as proved Friday by the Superior Court (lest we forget DC v. Heller regarding storage). Mike was appointed and on the City Council when he was fined by the AG too. He can be recalled from the City Council, or from mayor should he trick us to that extent.

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  3. It is time to cancel the contract for the extremely overpaid Edmonds City Attorney.
    The application of Law, is not to see what laws a City can dream up and force onto a population, only to have the law struck down as illegal, if challenged in court. Edmonds can not even fix the sidewalks, yet the Edmonds City Council spends it’s (ooops- taxpayer) money to draft and pass illegal City Ordinances..
    Edmonds Citizens should demand that they will not tolerate the application of illegal agenda driven law, it is harmful to a City, and the citizens of the City. Edmonds knew this was illegal going in, but it got the City Council press, and makes them look good to political party heads on a National level.
    The City of Edmonds can pass all kinds of laws intruding into your life, passage does not denote that the law passed is Legal under State Law. The City may even know the law they are passing is illegal on it’s face (i.e. Edmonds BID, Edmonds Alliance, Ed! drafted with falsified public documents admitted too by the Edmonds City Attorney), and the only way the law is changed, or removed, is for a Citizen(s) to spend their own money to fight the City of Edmonds in court. Is that how America is supposed to work?

    If Citizens accept and allow this direct illegal manipulation of “the legal system”, and think it is rational and just, then their really is no limit to a City illegally trampling your Constitutional, or Civil Rights.

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  4. Any elected official who thinks saving lives from gun violence is worth the effort gets my vote every time. Mike Nelson did the right thing. Our state’s preemption law needs to go, and the NRA and Second Amendment Foundation know that it’s just a matter of time. They’re not even spending money buying legislators in Washington State anymore. The gun lobby represents only extremists, a small minority of gun owners, and an even smaller slice of Americans. Common sense will prevail.

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    1. Every politician thinks saving lives from gun violence is worth the effort. Mike Nelson doesn’t have a monopoly on that. Every politician wants to eliminate drug over-dose deaths, and some politicians feel like legalizing and decriminalizing drugs is how those objectives are met.

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  5. As a child in Seattle I could walk to public school and not think about any danger; it was a few blocks away. I walked to junior high and it was a good mile away, and it was probably good exercise. Today regardless of neighborhood, most parents are concerned about safety and having guns will not eliminate the issue of living in a safe environment.

    Around 10 + – years ago, the state legislature was addressing the right to carry guns/rifles etc in public sites, buildings and when the vote came up for that legislation (words matter) a group of `concerned’ gun/rifle owners came to the legislature and openly carried their weapons. They were allowed to enter the public sitting area, high above the legislature and displayed their weapons while the issue was addressed. There was no reform happening that day or the following weeks.

    In a country of freedom, those who respect the laws and understand civility are not the enemy, and yet our Federal government is unable to agree on protecting the innocent from those who on a bad day, or are deranged should not be able to carry a weapon. We should not ignore this fact. Yes people kill people, out of rage, or indifference or deliberate purpose and sometimes it is an `accident’. Treating the storage of guns as an inconvenience is simple laziness.

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    1. Roselee, “Storage” isnt argued as an inconvenience. Storage (see definitions in DC v Heller) means putting a gun in a place where it cannot readily be accessed or used. A gun with a trigger lock or even one completely disassembled is defined as “stored”. SCOTUS ruled it’s unconstitutional to force guns to be stored at all (even with just a trigger lock, let alone in a safe). “Staging” is putting a gun in a place that’s immediately accessible. A [potential] rape victim may stage a gun loaded in a dresser drawer. That gun is considered in use. There are staged guns everywhere, and the practice has it’s own risks that must constantly be revisited and reassessed. It is safe to walk to school.

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  6. Regardless of the issue, why shouldn’t our local government have the right to establish laws to protect its citizens?

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    1. Sure. Here are the leading causes of death in Washington. Heart Disease, Cancer, Strokes, COPD, Accidents, Alzheimers, Diabetes, Flu/Pneumonia, Suicide, and Liver Disease.

      Let’s assume that we can safely pass legislation that says you cannot eat Pork or fatty foods, or get Diabetes or be born with it, or lose your mind – sure, let’s have council start a committee to draft that legislation.

      This law was a political statement that wasted both time and resources of staff/counsel. Council can make political statements into actions by:

      1. Securing the right resources to target suicide prevention, accident prevention, and community awareness. See something, say something may sound stupid – but the best way to prevent issues is to educate the public on these issues, follow through on the actions, and have all community organizations make people aware of the challenges and actions that we all can take to prevent tragedy in whatever form.

      2. Start a dialogue and committee or task force on Public Safety. Passing unenforceable laws that have little or no legal standing does nothing but waste time and showboat. Save the showboating for the Rat Pack. I would be more than happy to join a local committee that focuses on health, public safety, education, and outreach. That might make a difference. Putting laws on the books does not really change a thing. Perhaps that was Nelson’s intent – awareness – but at what cost.

      Finally, our local government does have every right to establish laws for public safety. As long as they fit within the bounds of the Constitution of the State of Washington and the United States. Try passing a law that makes it illegal to use a ladder (a leading cause of accidental death) without a permit – and see what happens.

      You cannot fix everything through legislation.

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    2. They do, in this case, the City of Edmonds VIOLATED State Law. They were found guilty of the violation, thus, what they were proposing was partially nullified by Washington State.

      Want to change law, do it legally. Passing illegal Ordinances, when you know what was submitted to City Council was illegal, is a criminal act under the RCWs. Lawyers breaking the law, nothing worse.

      It’s easy, follow the law, do not make up law.

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      1. Brent, you’re right. The law was made knowing that it was illegal. It violated RCW, and worse the law has already been litigated by SCOTUS. DC v Heller said,

        “[…] an individual’s right to keep and bear arms, unconnected with service in a militia, for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home, and that the District of Columbia’s handgun ban and requirement that lawfully owned rifles and shotguns be kept “unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock” violated this guarantee.”

        Any member of the City Council that voted for this can be recalled on the grounds that the law was in bad faith. Even the City’s defense was centered around the law having no effect, thus it was argued no one had standing. How many lives are saved by a law that has no effect? Mike Nelson should step down or we should recall him.

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  7. It looks to me like the system is working just the way it is supposed to. Legislators make laws and the Judiciary determines if they are legal or not. If they are legal they can be enforced, if they aren’t legal they can’t. If you don’t like Nelson’s politics you don’t have to vote for him or anyone else you don’t like for that matter.

    What bothers me is that we seem to feel the need to pass laws to enforce common sense. Only a moron or irresponsible person keeps a loaded gun unlocked in plain sight where a child or a deranged adult can grab it and start blasting away. Don’t tell me this doesn’t happen either. The Marysville H.S. shooting happened this way as did the death of the child of a policeman in the same area.

    The real answer to this is not giving NRA nut job activists another platform to spout their 2nd Amendment dogma. If it is the law of the land that everyone has the right to keep and bear any arms they choose up to the limit of fully-automatic rifles (which it is), the answer is to put gun ownership and training classes into school curriculum beginning as soon as children are old enough to ask what a gun is. Make gun ownership, marksmanship and responsible handling of fire arms information a subject taught to all, so they at least have an opportunity to be responsible citizens as adults and understand what happens when guns aren’t handled and stored properly. You shouldn’t have to join the Army to get gun weapon training.

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    1. This is a great point. I do not like the “NRA Nut Jobs” comment – but the sympathies you share here are shared by the overwhelming majority of safe gun owners. I do not know one gun owner who desires their firearm to be used in a tragic accident, intentional event, or cause harm to anything other than the target that it was intended to kill in a legal way.

      I was taught from an early age that guns are intended for one purpose – they are a tool that is designed to kill. You kill to eat, you kill to protect. Sure, there are sporting related firearms, but essentially, the firearm is a tool with a purpose.

      Much like we require people to understand the dangers of electricity, automobiles, etc – we should require a concept of education, and the NRA “nut jobs” should be invited to discuss safety, prevention, and education. The local police force should (and probably does) provide safety training. Parents, grandparents, should provide that education.

      Where I am from, it was a part of life. You hunted. You fired guns. You knew what they were, and what they were for. You knew the consequences.

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    2. Nelson violated State Law, as did the City of Edmonds. So, after wasting taxpayer money on their personal agendas, Edmonds got smacked down by the Courts. They tried to get their 5 minutes of fame on the National Stage, and it failed. Good at political agenda, but in all reality they should maybe try to run the City.

      Third paragraph, FYI Clinton. Any person can apply for a “FFL”, and if the Federal Government accepts their application as a collector, or for running a business, they can possess fully-auto rifles, and machine-pistols. Totally legal. Also, fully auto M-16’s with very early production dates are legal without an FFL, these are extremely rare, very valuable, and not in the hands of your local criminal.

      Clinton, can not agree more, 100%, all people should be trained in firearms, it should be taught. Not only for the person who wants to know the operations of a gun, legality of usage, and how to be competent at hitting a target. But it is good for safety to have the skill set to be able to check any gun and unload a gun safely.

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    3. Citizens–FYI– Illegal acts by a City Attorney or a Council Person, are still illegal under State Law. They get no free pass.

      Presenting False & Misleading Documents to a City Council is a CRIMINAL OFFENSE.
      RCW 9A.76.175
      Making a false or misleading statement to a public servant.
      A person who knowingly makes a false or misleading material statement to a public servant is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. “Material statement” means a written or oral statement reasonably likely to be relied upon by a public servant in the discharge of his or her official powers or duties.
      [ 2001 c 308 § 2. Prior: 1995 c 285 § 32.]
      NOTES:
      Purpose—2001 c 308: “The purpose of this act is to respond to State v. Thomas, 103 Wn. App. 800, by reenacting, without changes, the law prohibiting materially false or misleading statements to public servants, enacted as sections 32 and 33, chapter 285, Laws of 1995.” [ 2001 c 308 § 1.]
      Effective date—2001 c 308: “This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [May 14, 2001].” [ 2001 c 308 § 4.]
      Effective date—1995 c 285: See RCW 48.30A.900.

      RCW 9A.04.110
      Definitions.
      In this title unless a different meaning plainly is required:
      (8) “Government” includes any branch, subdivision, or agency of the government of this state and any county, city, district, or other local governmental unit;
      (9) “Governmental function” includes any activity which a public servant is legally authorized or permitted to undertake on behalf of a government;
      (13) “Officer” and “public officer” means a person holding office under a city, county, or state government, or the federal government who performs a public function and in so doing is vested with the exercise of some sovereign power of government, and includes all assistants, deputies, clerks, and employees of any public officer and all persons lawfully exercising or assuming to exercise any of the powers or functions of a public officer;
      (14) “Omission” means a failure to act;
      (23) “Public servant” means any person other than a witness who presently occupies the position of or has been elected, appointed, or designated to become any officer or employee of government, including a legislator, judge, judicial officer, juror, and any person participating as an advisor, consultant, or otherwise in performing a governmental function;

      RCW 9A.80.010
      Official misconduct.
      (1) A public servant is guilty of official misconduct if, with intent to obtain a benefit or to deprive another person of a lawful right or privilege:
      (a) He or she intentionally commits an unauthorized act under color of law; or
      (b) He or she intentionally refrains from performing a duty imposed upon him or her by law.
      (2) Official misconduct is a gross misdemeanor.
      [ 2011 c 336 § 408; 1975-’76 2nd ex.s. c 38 § 17; 1975 1st ex.s. c 260 § 9A.80.010.]
      NOTES:
      Effective date—Severability—1975-’76 2nd ex.s. c 38: See notes following RCW 9A.08.020.

      Failure of duty by public officers: RCW 42.20.100.
      RCW 42.20.100
      Failure of duty by public officer a misdemeanor.
      Whenever any duty is enjoined by law upon any public officer or other person holding any public trust or employment, their wilful neglect to perform such duty, except where otherwise specially provided for, shall be a misdemeanor.
      [ 1909 c 249 § 16; RRS § 2268. Prior: Code 1881 § 889; 1854 p 90 § 82.]
      NOTES:

      Official misconduct by public servant: RCW 9A.80.010.

      RCW 42.20.040
      False report.
      Every public officer who shall knowingly make any false or misleading statement in any official report or statement, under circumstances not otherwise prohibited by law, shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
      [ 1909 c 249 § 98; RRS § 2350.]

      RCW 42.20.050
      Public officer making false certificate.
      Every public officer who, being authorized by law to make or give a certificate or other writing, shall knowingly make and deliver as true such a certificate or writing containing any statement which he or she knows to be false, in a case where the punishment thereof is not expressly prescribed by law, shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
      [ 2012 c 117 § 115; 1909 c 249 § 128; RRS § 2380.]

      RCW 42.20.080
      Other violations by officers.
      Every officer or other person mentioned in RCW 42.20.070, who shall willfully disobey any provision of law regulating his or her official conduct in cases other than those specified in said section, shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
      [ 2012 c 117 § 116; 1909 c 249 § 318; RRS § 2570.]

      Edmonds needs to fire the Edmonds City Attorney.
      Edmonds need to learn to follow State Law.

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  8. It is not clear why Mike Nelson and his supporters are willing to spend our money on this futile effort to dismantle our 2nd amendment rights. I have little doubt that no matter how high up the judicial chain they take this issue, they will still fail and will waste more taxpayer money.
    There are two sides to this issue. Nelson famously said that if one person could avoid being accidentally shot, it would be worth passing the law (paraphrased). However, it is also valid to understand that if one person or family is saved from being killed by a violent intruder because there was a gun that was readily available, it would be worth ditching his plan altogether. In addition, intruders wouldn’t have the advantage of knowing victims could likely not reach a weapon in time.
    However well intentioned, this is a law that could more harm than good.
    Gerald Bernstein, M.D.
    Edmonds

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    1. Just to clear up a misconception within your statement, this litigation is being covered pro bono by Everytown. I personally would not think it a waste of tax payer dollars, but it’s not being paid for by the city, regardless.

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      1. Incorrect.
        Mike Nelson is paid to do a job by the taxpayers of Edmonds.
        It is a criminal offense too submit to any City Council, regulations to be passed as an Ordinance, any document which contains misleading or falsified information. It is a Criminal Violation. They had full knowledge this was illegal going in, it was a political stunt— that’s all.
        This Ordinance was drafted by a City Council member while being paid. The scofflaw Edmonds City Attorney reviewed the documents, and illegally approved them, and City Council passed the illegal documents, and Dave Earling signed the illegal documents. Besides being struck down by the Courts, what they did is factually illegal under State Law. You can not propose illegal laws—

        The law firm Everytown, is paid by the Cities it represents, Edmonds pays into the fund.

        So, this did cost the Taxpayers of Edmonds lots of money, all for a personal political statement.

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    2. There is NO evidence to support the idea that defensive gun use saves lives. A person is more likely to be shot with their own gun. I worked for the parent company of 7-11 in the 80s, when these stores were considered magnets for crime because they were open until 11:00 PM. The company — based in Texas and VERY CONSERVATIVE — established a policy that employees who had guns in the store for “protection” would be fired. This policy was put in place because the available research overwhelmingly indicated that employees were more likely to be shot by their own guns than they were to be able to stop a robbery or protect themselves or customers in an armed robbery situation. We don’t have a lot of current research on defensive gun use because the gun lobby EXPRESSLY SUPPRESSED IT. I wonder why?

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      1. Sue, every police officer defensively carries a firearm. It saves lives. Cops have a relatively safe public service job on those grounds; trash collectors have a much more dangerous job. English police are seriously considering carrying firearms again, citing the proven deterrent effect firearms have in regards to protecting their officers and others from violence.

        The CDC did do a survey. The defensive use of firearms has been intuitive for as long as firearms have existed, so there really hasn’t been much of a reason to study it. https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulhsieh/2018/04/30/that-time-the-cdc-asked-about-defensive-gun-uses/#76d0137a299a

        I’ll take your statistic at face value for a moment; say a fire arm owner is as likely to accidentally shoot themselves as they are to use their gun against a robber. Take the guns away. Wouldn’t there be more robbers? Wouldn’t the unarmed person be less likely to shoot themselves accidentally, but now more likely to be shot on purpose by a robber? I’m not sure your statistic is true regardless. There are hundred of millions of guns in the US, 99.99% of them will never shoot someone on purpose or accidentally (maybe about 0.004% of guns are used for violence per year), yet the possibility of there being a gun in the house is a huge deterrent for those who’d break into a house at night.

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      2. I shot in competition with a lady who was an excellent shot.
        The following is intentionally vague, so it can not be assigned to a person, but a true story none the less.
        She was not required to carry her firearm at work, but one day a criminal on drugs came and got into her face, wanting his property back. She requested the paperwork, he did not have it, so she refused until the paperwork could be produced.
        He walked away about 20 feet, turned drew a weapon and pointed it at her, that was his last mistake.
        If not for her gun, she would be dead.
        So, 7-11 did not want the liability on a Corporate level for an unjustified shooting, but your statement of NO evidence, is 100% inaccurate.

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  9. Excellent work by the judge. I think it’s clear that Nelson pushed this through despite its illegality to gain political points.

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  10. From this site: https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/29785569
    Purpose of the study:
    “Right-to-carry (RTC) and stand your ground (SYG) laws are associated with increases in firearm homicide; permit-to-purchase (PTP) laws and those prohibiting individuals convicted of violent misdemeanors (VM) have been associated with decreases in firearm homicide. Evidence for the effect of comprehensive background checks (CBC) not tied to PTP is inconclusive.”
    Results of the study:
    “PTP laws were associated with a 14% reduction in firearm homicide in large, urban counties (IRR = 0.86, 95% CI 0.82-0.90). CBC-only, SYG, RTC, and VM laws were all associated with increases in firearm homicide.”
    1. We should not be passing laws that make gun deaths worse.
    2. We should not be passing laws that are not proven to decrease gun deaths.
    3. We should be passing laws that decrease gun deaths, homicides and suicides.
    4. We should be studying the effects of gun laws here and around the world and implementing those that work.

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    1. Association isn’t causation. Firearm-homicide is not a real metric. Japanese commit suicide (homicide) at rates that exceed ours and they don’t have guns. Japan doesn’t waste time trying to study non-gun-suicides because it’s obvious that the method of homicide isn’t the cause of homicide. There was a non-gun-suicide at the train tracks right here in Edmonds. The Left needs to explain why murder rates are going down for decades despite record firearm ownership. Non-gun suicides are an epidemic too.

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    2. How about “We Should Not Pass LAWS that VIOLATE existing laws or the constitution”?
      The US isn’t Europe. Different social, political, historical and real structure and people.

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  11. This is all basic civics. First, Mike Nelson alone can’t pass any city ordinance. A city council majority passed the legislation. Second, it isn’t the City Council’s job to absolutely determine whether or not an ordinance they passed is legal or constitutional before they passed it. That’s the job of the court which it did here.

    There will undoubtedly be appeals of the lower courts ruling on this and a higher court as far up as the Supreme Court will probably further rule on this as appeals are made thru the system. The whole law will probably be thrown out based on the Conservative Court’s interpretation of the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment up to this point in history. The Amendment was written at a time when a double barrel musket and a little known air rifle apparatus were the only repeating hand arms available. We now allow the ownership and often open carry of semi automatic hand and long guns capable of 30 or more rapid firing repeats. As pointed out above NRA activists and gun lovers recently showed up at the State Legislature openly carrying rapid fire long rifles to make their point.

    Without another amendment to the constitution and/or a huge change to a more liberal Supreme Court we will have to live or die with the laws as interpreted by the Supreme Court, period. Local law will not accomplish much in the way of any meaningful reform. The best thing we could do is teach all citizens responsible gun ownership and handling from an early age and hope for the best.

    The ultimate irony is the gun lovers and would be private militia advocates cling to the 2nd amendment to protect themselves and the rest of us against the “government deep state” when a potential Dictator (Right or Left extreme) won’t even use guns to control us. They will use the Computer to control us. Take over the internet, hit a few keys and you and I will no longer exist for all practical purposes. Your mortgage, bank account, investment accounts, job, home equity and Social Security can be wiped out in a nano second if the wrong persons take over. In effect the individual won’t exist, unless the powers that be want them to. Computers and the internet are the ultimate threat to our freedom, not guns.

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  12. The odds are much higher that our kids and grandkids will be shot at school than anyone bursting into our homes. While people yammer away about their Second Amendment rights, more children die.

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    1. The odds are much higher that our children will be hit by a car, fall from a ladder, drown, or other unintentional accident. While people yammer away about their freedom to own a car, ladder, swimming pool, electricity, more children die.

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  13. Every time someone mentions guns, the comments start on both sides. If only we had the same passion discussing fixing our roads or buildings.

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  14. Yes this seems to be a hot topic.
    Matt, I briefly looked to see if I could see statistics that murder rates are dropping and could not find anything more recent than 2017. You are right, murder rates had decreased since they peaked in the 90s but, according to ABC News Five Thirty Eight,
    “Just over half of murders were committed with a firearm in 1961 — the earliest year for which the FBI has data. By 1990, that share was nearly 65 percent. And for the next 24 years, the figure remained somewhere between 63 percent and 70 percent, even as the annual number of murders peaked nationally in the early 1990s. In 2015, the share of firearm murders rose above 70 percent for the first time, and in 2016, that figure rose again, to 73 percent, the highest rate of murders by firearm on record.”
    Since 2014, murder rates and percentage committed with firearms have been on the rise again. Perhaps the end of the assault weapons ban in 2004 has something to do with this and, I suspect, the increase in availability of firearms has also to do with the percentage of increasing homicides by firearm since 1961.

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    1. Mary Jo, out of all the ways someone could murder me, I’d personally prefer to be shot. A murder is a murder after I’m dead. Thank goodness society keeps getting less violent regardless.

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  15. I agree with Cliff and Darrol but reality is reality. There is a huge contingent of gun enthusiasts in our country and the law is on their side, good or bad. You get the people and laws you vote for in honest elections as long as you can keep them honest, which is now questionable in many parts of the country. I think. 2016 was not an honest election due to foreign interference. I fear we are headed for Strong man rule because the Right has accepted it as necessary to defeat Liberalism. Politics and religion will be our undoing unless we get lucky soon. Moderate Republicans have lost their voice and power which is tragic.

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    1. Clint – as a moderate – I agree that both sides have polarized a few key issues and the lemmings on both sides have fallen for it. Each side has a core group of roughly 33% that see things as black and white. The Left has their topics that cause strife and angst as well.

      Anymore, it is a machine. Nelson made a political statement to cater to a blue core and that was not the right thing to do in local politics.

      Sewers, sidewalks, schools, and smart growth are not liberal or conservative issues. We can, as a City, decide to make statements – but passing laws that distract from the core issues of local government do not advance preserving and promoting our City.

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  16. I totally understand the extremes of the right and the left, and either one totally winning out is going to end up NOT being a good thing for our future as a nation. Left and Right wing dictatorships always end up with the masses losing their freedom.

    Orwell had it right in “1984”, he was just a little ahead of his time. “Big Brother is watching you” is the machine I’m looking at as I write this. This machine will more and more intrude into our lives and the people who understand it, manipulate it, and control it will control you and I and the world. (Witness Bill Gates having so much money and power he can form his own foundation and give away millions to any cause he chooses. That’s power!)

    They will take us over without firing a shot. The truth will become what the controllers (be they Right wing zealots or Left wing zealots) say it is.

    Time to wake up folks. It’s happening now. The extreme Right is now in charge of all our laws involving gun ownership and use based on an antiquated line of words in a document written over 200 years ago and never updated. The extreme Right says all decisions about law in U.S. must be based on what the founding fathers were thinking at the time. They now control the Supreme Court which is supposed to be non-political. Guess what, it isn’t. Plan on more school shootings, public shootings and mobs with guns blasting anyone they think doesn’t agree with them.

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    1. “That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer’s cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.”
      ~George Orwell (being just a little ahead of his time)

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      1. Matt, the salient question here isn’t whether or not a free person should be allowed to own a gun. (I own a gun and know how to use it). The salient question is should a free person be allowed to own a fully automatic AK 47 with a belt of 100 rounds, hanging on his/her wall next to the bedroom of a high school drop out who spends most of the day playing video war games and wishing an attractive girl would like him? Since the SCOTUS says this is fine and legal, maybe a little mandatory education might be in order to mitigate some of the obvious negatives of this scenario. I’m not anti gun, I’m anti stupid. That gun hanging on the wall isn’t any more or less important than free speech, free press and honest elections. What we desperately need now are enforced laws and parameters for what artificial intelligence can and can’t be allowed to do in terms of manipulating our lives with or without us knowing it. Not holding my breath on seeing this anytime soon.

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        1. Idealistically everyone should have freedom to do what they want with no prior restraint, just like Free Speech. You are accountable for what you do, not what you could do. I work in aviation. I know people who privately own fighter jets, which could drop bombs or launch missiles with relatively little effort to equip them. A old friend of mine owned his own tank. I’m more afraid of pressure cookers. The kids playing war video games today are the least violent generation to have ever existed. Have some faith in humanity because you’re human.

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        2. Clint,

          Second sentence is funny, and sad, and unfortunately hits to the root of the problem. There needs to be massive attention focused on the negative impacts of kids killing all day on Video Games, parents with a total lack of parenting skills, kids on drugs, and the increase of mental health issues in the population, young and old. The sad truth is, I will make an assumption, you and I probably knew what it was like when we did something wrong as kids and dad would give a couple of hard wacks across the butt!! Hindsight, we are probably better people for it. Way too much coddling of kids today.

          We had guns in my family, my dad did, but it was made very clear, touch the guns, and there will be consequences, that was a line best not too approach. We were shown how to handle guns, take them apart, clean them, put them back together, check if they were loaded, and to have total respect for what you are holding in your hand. But, only one time did we ever get to shoot a 22 cal. up in the mountains.

          I have shot fully auto M-16’s, lots of fun, AR-15’s with 100 round drum feed, again lots of fun. Put a thousand rounds plus thru my Glock. Guns are fun if you are educated about guns.
          Gun education is also needed in schools and should be mandatory. Owners need to be responsible, that is also a given.

          Agree with your AI stand, also the cash-less society is just as scary, ultimately, people will wake up one day and say what the Hell happened.

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        3. Brent, kids who play violent video games are the least violent generation that ever exist. It’s been studied. Your generation had Frank Zappa, and he fought the same arguments regarding children [and young adults] listening to vulgar music.

          It’s been studied:
          https://www.forbes.com/sites/olliebarder/2019/02/15/new-study-shows-that-there-is-no-link-between-violent-video-games-and-aggression-in-teenagers/#41975f2f328e

          School Shootings are caused by these things in ranked order:
          #1 no dad in the house
          #2 a bad dad is in the house
          #3 anti-depressants combined with testosterone, and the education system’s increasing inability to talk to boys
          #4 the media’s willingness to glorify that type of suicide
          #5 everything else

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  17. The dialogue regarding guns is biased, as are all `opinions’, except in a court of law with `experts’ .
    Guns can be owned by practically anyone and gun registration and accountability are supposed to control the process. It is my bias that there continues to be access to automatic weapons that are not registered and not accounted for by licensing.
    We are fortunate to live in a country founded as a democracy with a Constitution and The Bill of Rights. Our interpretations of the Constitution are addressed/challenged in a courts which often leads to higher courts and the Supreme Court resolving the contention.
    We have two major political parties that are supposed to provide a vehicle for addressing the issues of our country with regard to providing education, health care, financing for infrastructure, safe-guarding the stability of our country,,etc.
    Guns have become a safe and continual propaganda subject for the `Right’ and the `Left’. Some things never change, but the two party system has eroded to the point that there is lack of intelligence in resolving some of the most critical issues we face as a country. It is a mess and it is time for the political arena to represent the people in the communities around this country! Demand representation and accountability and working for the greater good of the country. There is no free ride for anyone, and democracy demands that we realize the `politicking’ of issues, and apply common sense.

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    1. Understanding basic gun terminology.

      The above use of the words “automatic weapons”, I will surmise, was most likely used as a reference at the AR-15’s and all of it’s variants, the AK-47 which is much more devastating than an AR, the Russian SKS, and there is also a Chinese knockoff of the SKS.

      The AR-15 uses a 223 round, this gun was originally proto-typed in a .308 round, which was brought to the US Military as the .308 Stoner. Although the .308 is an extremely effective sniper round, the ammo was found to be far to heavy for troops to carry in sufficient quantities in combat situations, and would require close and continues supply lines. The Stoner was then re-engineered and introduced as the Military M-16 with a selector lever: (1) Safety, (2) “Semi”-Auto (one bullet each time you pull the trigger) and (3) Full-“Auto” (continuous firing until you release the trigger). The civilian version is generally only available in the “Semi-Auto” configuration known as the AR-15 which is also a 223 round. The Stoner .308 is also available in a civilian configuration, although you can take a very nice vacation for the price of the rifle.

      For clarity, the Civilian AR-15’s, AK-47’s and SKS’s are all “semi-automatic” (semi-auto’s) guns, not automatic if your use of the word “automatic” is too define, or be used is referencing too, or inferring a “machine-gun” style of operation.

      The following definitions may be informative.
      The usage of the term automatic may vary according to context. Gun specialists point out that the word automatic is sometimes misunderstood to mean fully automatic fire when used to refer to a self-loading, semi-automatic firearm not capable of fully automatic fire. In this case, automatic refers to the loading mechanism, not the firing capability. To avoid confusion, it is common to refer to such firearms as an “autoloader” in reference to its loading mechanism.

      The term “automatic pistol” almost exclusively refers to a semi-automatic (i.e. not fully automatic) pistol (fully automatic pistols are usually referred to as machine pistols). With handguns, the term “automatic” is commonly used to distinguish semi-automatic pistols from revolvers. The term “auto-loader” may also be used to describe a semi-automatic handgun. However, to avoid confusion, the term “automatic rifle” is generally, conventionally and best restricted to a rifle capable of fully automatic fire. Both uses of the term “automatic” can be found; the exact meaning must be determined from context.

      Hope this adds clarity. Usually the media does not apply accurate terminology when referencing firearms in their broadcasts, which adds greatly to the confusion.

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  18. I am a Democrat who grew up with–and liked–guns. My parents kept them on a high gun rack in plain sight. They they kept the ammunition and clips separate, where we kids could not find or reach them. They also taught us to NEVER play with a gun or point even a toy gun at another person. For much of my life–when it taught gun safety–I respected the NRA. Not any more. The NRA has promoted mindless hysteria and bullied lawmakers to write laws that do not reflect common-sense attitudes of the majority of voters. It’s time for Americans to stop over-reacting and come up with ways to protect our children, grandchildren and ourselves from people who should not have easy access to guns. Let’s support lawmakers who do not cave in to the NRA or to pressure from the extreme right or extreme left.

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  19. If you want to protect your rights — to own a gun or anything else — look first to your responsibilities. The truth is that a SIGNIFICANT number of children in this state live in homes where guns are unsecured. This, in spite of the gun lobby claiming that responsible gun owners have been trained — or just somehow know how to safely own and operate an item that exists solely for the sole of killing. Passing a law to mandate safe storage saves lives. The Constitution was meant by the framers to be a ‘living’ document. The evidence for that statement is that it has amendments, and has been interpreted over and over again by the judicial branch. If the Second Amendment is an important right for you, then I suggest you do your utmost to prove to your fellow community members that you are capable of responsible gun ownership. Yes, gun owners have something to prove because your right to own or carry or use a gun is NOT more important than the right of others not to be shot over a parking space. Get over yourselves, gun owners. Start “policing” your fellow gun enthusiasts. Then there will be no “slippery slope” where your rights are at risk. If responsible gun ownership prevails, gun violence will not be an issue in our communities and our elected officials will not see a need to pass legislation to protect public safety and health. But that’s not what’s happening right now, and we all know it. Don’t blame the guy who introduced the legislation. Take responsibility for your rights, or risk losing them.

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    1. I have an “assault” rifle staged, not in a safe. I am accepting donations for a gun safe. I’d like to see those who say they care, and legitimately believe there is a public safety concern, send some money over. Email me at mdrich2012@gmail.com and we can arrange a payment. Really, why not appropriate a new tax to buy everyone a safe, considering this is in the purview of the City? This is exactly like fixing holes in the sidewalk, right? How many safes could have been bought with the money Edmonds spent defending itself from this lawsuit?

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      1. Oh Matt, you are “on fire”!! Your thoughts are so far ahead of the anti NRA/gun know-it-all hysteria and ignorance. Thank God you live in Edmonds, you speak out for many, and you see truth where others are blind. That Nelson pushed his gun law knowing full well it would be overturned by the courts should cost him this election. And yes, we did pay for his false actions! If not for you Matt, truth would be covered up, you not only tell the truth but you site resources and backup. Thank you for your courage!

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    2. There seems to be a false sense of security engendered by the mere legislation of “safe” storage. California has stricter gun laws than Washington, and so not surprisingly, California had a lower rate of firearm mortality in 2017 than Washington. But, Californians weren’t safer – they experienced a higher homicide rate than us that same year. A lack of access to guns didn’t stop them.

      Perhaps we should fear for Scratch Distillery, American Brewing, Gallaghers, the Tacky Tiki, Maize & Barley, Brigid’s… (whew it’s a long list!) and most restaurants downtown who may be at risk with the next stroke of the Council’s pen. The truth is that a SIGNIFICANT number of homes and establishments in our city have alcoholic beverages available for consumption. Passing a law to prohibit alcohol saves lives. If you want to protect your right to drink alcohol, which exists solely for the purpose of getting you drunk, you need to prove you are responsible. Your right to drink does not superscede my right to sidewalks without public intoxication or roadways free of DUIs. To preserve your right to alcohol consumption, first prove that you are capable of consuming alcohol responsibly. Take responsibility for your rights, or risk losing them.

      :::posted at 5 o’clock somewhere. Cheers.

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  20. Here’s a way to make a real difference for those traumatized by gun violence: join the National Sing-In Against Gun Violence on Requiem and Remembrance Day, March 8, 2020.
    Through our collective songs we’ll pay tribute to all those who have been lost, and offer solace and support to the bereaved.
    Plenty of live and online ways to “add your voice” even if you can’t carry a tune.
    Sing4Change

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  21. It seems to me that whether or not the current generation is less violent than the previous generations is meaningless here. I grew up in the 50’s and I don’t recall very many mass shootings at schools or public places and it was just assumed that everyone had the right to own and use firearms as per our constitution. My mom declared my dad “insane” when he gave me a shot gun when I was 11 for hunting, but I managed not to do any mass killings with it and she forgave him.

    It also seems to me, that what we should do as a society is encourage scientific studies of all the people who have engaged in mass shootings, since mass shooting has become popular with a few members of the least violent generation ever, and try to come up with ways to spot and help these individuals before they destroy themselves and others. Just kind of seems like a common sense approach.

    It also seems to me that since virtually everyone has the right to own any weapon made, apparently up to and including a shoulder fired rocket launcher, we might want to put mandatory weapons knowledge and training into the public and private school systems. Of course this would involve spending tax money, so that idea is probably D.O.A.

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    1. Clinton, you’re qualifying your statements for me – you had gun and a dad. Not having a dad is the #1 cause for school shootings and just about any other problem we could associate with children. I listed the 5 causes for school shootings above. The statistics, as studied extensively, fatherlessness is the chief cause for violent behavior categorically (rape, murder, suicide, assault; not forgetting to mention high school drop-out, substance abuse, homelessness, psychological/behavioral disorder). Single moms raised most people in prison, especially those who committed violent crime.

      If we need extensive and mandatory weapons knowledge and training, then we should be forced to take extensive and mandatory training before we’re allowed to raise a child. If we are sticking to science and objective results, then we should force single moms to get married.

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  22. Matt, you are correct, there are so many “fatherless” homes. We should be putting our energy into changing that statistic/fact and trying to help change this destructive trend. But instead of recognizing this social fact, some want to take away/restrict our Second Amendment Rights, from law-abiding citizens. We understand your “cause and effect” comment and support your thoughts.

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  23. I have no problem with supporting anyone’s arguments or not here. I’m not interested in taking away anyone’s rights. The amendment says “the citizens rights to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The amendment was based on the perceived need by the founding fathers for a “well regulated militia.” Presumably this was so the people could fight off Indians, Foreign Invaders, Bad Guys, you name it. At the time the only “citizens” were white males who owned land. Indians, Black people, and women need not apply – they were either foes or property under common law of the time. What any one’s specific rights were in any area of the law was subject to the interpretation of the Supreme Court. True then and true now. So quit crying crocodile tears over your rights, they are intact and won’t be infringed, especially with the Right leaning Supreme Court we have today.

    Yes, I was lucky to have a good father and mother. Many people are not so lucky. Not sure how you propose to solve the problem of children growing up without a father but more power to you to try. All I know is if we keep going along as we are, more children are going to be killed at schools, more innocents will be killed at Malls and Churches and unsecured weapons will fall into the wrong hands and result in innocents getting killed. I haven’t and don’t plan to contribute to the problem personally. That’s pretty much the limit of what I can and can’t do.

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    1. Like you said, but said better, gun control is basically ensuring black people don’t have guns. That’s why gun control measures are mostly applied to black communities, even today. If it is particularly difficult for a POC to get an ID to vote (lets assume for a moment that Voter ID laws are designed to disenfranchise people by race), then it’s particularly difficult for a POC to get an ID, pay fees, wait on a list, go to the police for a permit, pass a background check, buy a safe, take a safety course, etc, etc. Gun control is racist, and democrats have always supported this type of racism. Native Americans always had guns; it was practically the first thing they traded for and they were proliferate owners of firearms. Woman were always allowed to have guns in America. Black people, specifically, have always been the victim of gun control.

      Fatherlessness is subsidized. Stopping the subsidies will affect fatherlessness rates.

      Not only can unsecured weapons potentially end up in the wrong hands, but the wrong hands can secure weapons. It seems like most of the wrong hands own their own safes. Safes aren’t even a remote panacea.

      This is really macabre, and I apologize, but you’re invoking the killing of children. As a parent I don’t want to even think about that. My best friend drowned right in front of me a couple years ago, and it’s a soft spot. Regardless I teach our kids to swim and, because it wouldn’t be healthy to live in constant fear for me and mine, I refuse to maintain a world view centered on fears. You’re making kids neurotic by focusing on school shootings. They could drown if they don’t relax in the pool. Imagine swim lessons where the instructor emphasized the prospect of drowning. In that context, third trimester abortions [as rare as we are told they are] seem to be about 5-6 times as likely as a child homicide. In the context of my prior ridiculous suggestion of making parents take an “extensive and mandatory” parenting class before being allowed to raise children, parents are the most likely to murder their children and the mom is disproportionately the killer.

      https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/187239.pdf <- some old data, but as useful as it is uncomfortable

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  24. Matt,
    As you said, “Association isn’t causation”. Single mothers are often single because they have been subjected to Intimate Partner Violence. Violence begets violence. Do not blame single mothers for the violence of their children, blame the person who abused that mother in front of their child and or abused that child. Putting a man in the house would not necessarily fix the problem. We should be providing support to single parents (male and female) with parenting education and high quality before and after school programs as well as improving mental health and substance abuse treatment.
    One study that proved that firearms in the home (even if locked up) increased the incidence of suicide in that home was done in King County and Shelby Tennessee, in 1992. It provided the impetus for the NRA to successfully lobby congress to stop funding studies on guns in 1996. The study showed that suicides were significantly higher in homes with guns and that if the guns were loaded and unlocked, suicides were even higher.
    “Ready availability of firearms is associated with an increased risk of suicide in the home. Owners of firearms should weigh their reasons for keeping a gun in the home against the possibility that it might someday be used in a suicide. (N Engl J Med 1992;327:467–72.)”
    Suicide is mostly an impulsive act. Survivors of jumps off of the Golden Gate Bridge all reported regretting it immediately after jumping. The problem with guns is, they are too effective… and when they are not effective at killing, the results can be devastating to the survivor.
    One more rambling thought: If I was a criminal and wanted a gun, I would not get it at a gun dealer. I would case out the home of a neighbor who has a bumper sticker that says, “Don’t like guns? Don’t buy one.” With the proliferation of guns in our society, crimes with stolen guns is rising. It behooves all gun owners to be responsible and at least lock up their unloaded guns.

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    1. Women are as likely to committ domestic violence as men. Men who grew up without a dad are the most likely to commit domestic violence. I dare say, out of all marriages in America, I think lesbian marriages have abnormally high rates of domestic violence.

      Because suicide is sometimes an impulse, I can imagine that access to a firearm may expedite that impulse. People who are suicidal won’t be slowed down by their own gun safe though. Teen boys are a special case. I dont think people are arguing against locking up guns as a means to limit access to others. It’s common sense. But youre making a blanket antigun argument under the auspices of suicide prevention. I think people with trampolines in their yard are inviting too much danger.

      Some people need guns that are staged, loaded and not locked up. Every case requires special and constant consideration. Mike Nelson doesnt know better.

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  25. Matt, thanks for using the term “Native Americans” which is the term I should have used. I apologize for using the white racist label “Indians.” Too many historically inaccurate Western movies as a kid I guess.

    Other than that I think your comments are pretty much a load of biased information. Native Americans always had guns because they frequently took them from men who were trying to exterminate them and bought them from traders who were just out for a fast buck. And yes they wanted guns because they were more efficient than arrows and spears for killing enemies and game they needed to eat. My point was that the Constitution as interpreted by the Courts of the times outlawed Native Americans from having guns.

    You also state that “women” in America were always “allowed” to have guns. My point was the Constitution as interpreted by the Courts of the times considered a woman the property of, first, her parents and then her husband when she married. There were very few women at the time that did not marry. The women of the time were not “allowed” to vote, own property, or use a gun unless whatever men in their lives approved of them using a gun, usually only in a situation of life and death. It was commonly thought that very few women could safely carry and use firearms, plus it was not very lady like to do so. Were there exceptions; of course, there always are. Anyway, it was a highly paternalistic society. Blacks were property and 4/5th.s of a person per the Constitution. It was not spelled out as far as I know, but it was assumed that Native Americans and Women were not “citizens” with citizen’s rights accorded them. Black emancipation was possible in the law of the time, but not common and an emancipated Black person had to always carry proof that he was a free man. If a Black man was caught carrying a firearm, he better for damn sure have proof he was a free man or he risked the real possibility of being lynched on the spot.

    Your bottom line can be whatever you want it to be. My bottom line is that all this philosophizing and claiming “my political party has it right and yours has it wrong, my political party isn’t corrupt and yours is”) is only leading us deeper and deeper into an abyss of discord and inaction to solve our very real problems. (Children being murdered where they go to learn how to be adults, is a pretty big problem I think). I think the dream of freedom is pretty much dead when the POTUS refers to the free press as fake news and the past two presidents have had to resort to proclamations to try to accomplish whatever they are trying to accomplish, because the legislative branch is pretty much in a deadlock of polarization and futile debating everything to death. When a single elected member of one political party can prevent an elected President from another political party from making his rightful appointment to the Supreme Court, we are no longer a free nation. We are a nation of sheep being led around by one political party.

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    1. Slave owners wanted slaves to be counted as 5/5ths. It’s not like Democrat slave owners would let slaves vote for which representative, they just wanted more representatives and for black-only gun control. There is a blanket romantisization of history in this thread.

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  26. Clint it was 3/5th and the framers used it as a compromise on census count for apportioning representation in Congress.

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  27. We will not solve all the problems that create single parent homes and abuse here. Yes, men experience domestic violence and women can be perpetrators but, women are by far receiving the most severe abuse. Statistics below. Men and women who experience domestic violence are more likely to perpetuate the cycle of violence. We need to stop that cycle as a society by treating mental illness and substance abuse, reducing bullying, providing emotional support in schools and providing support for those at risk, for victims and for single parent families, etc, etc. Obama put in a program for schools that was working but, lost funding with the current administration. This is not an easy task but, if we don’t start addressing it, it only becomes harder and harder to reverse course.

    Here are some better statistics for you from the National Coalition Against Domestic, Matt. Your comments about lesbian couples are off base.
     In the United States, an average of 20 people experience intimate partner physical violence every minute.
    This equates to more than 10 million abuse victims annually.1
     1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner
    contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, posttraumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, etc.
    This is commonly considered “domestic violence”.
    o 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate
    partner. This includes a range of behaviors and in some cases might not be considered “domestic
    violence”.
    o 1 in 7 women and 1 in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner.
    o 1 in 10 women have been raped by an intimate partner. Data is unavailable on male victims.
    o 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked. Stalking causes the target to fear she/he/they
    or someone close to her/him/them will be harmed or killed.
     On a typical day, domestic violence hotlines nationwide receive over 20,000 calls.
     An abuser’s access to a firearm increases the risk of intimate partner femicide by 400%.
     Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
     Intimate partner violence is most common against women between the ages of 18-24.
     19% of intimate partner violence involves a weapon.

    Red Flag laws do work to decrease suicides. If there is a suicidal person in a home, firearms should be removed from the home. That is not a blanket statement against guns. It is an approach to save lives until that suicidal person can be treated adequately. But, if you have a gun, it is your responsibility to understand the dangers and act to minimize those dangers to yourself, your family and others.

    I understand that some people are fearful in their own homes, a sad fact of life in our times. I have a niece who bought a gun and practices with it because a drunk stranger tried to knock down her door and the police never came despite multiple calls. I hope and believe that most places in Edmonds are safe enough that those types of fears are not warranted.
    I am signing off. Peace be with you all.

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  28. Thanks for the numeric correction Darrol. You are right about the census for greater representation being the reason for counting Black slaves as people at all. It wasn’t because they had any intent to treat them as true citizens. True citizenship was reserved only for white men owning land and a very very few non white land owners who were most likely still discouraged or outright banned from voting. Perhaps more to the point here, the right to keep and bear arms to maintain a well regulated militia was extended to white male land owners only, not every Tom, Dick and Henrietta who wanted to have one. We’re talking about the “right” not necessarily the reality, but the over all point is white males with land, ran the whole show and anyone else with a weapon was subject to being disarmed at will if the “citizens” so chose.

    Good points Mary Jo, and peace to you and all too.

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  29. Clint,
    Categorically incorrect. It is the absolute responsibility of the City Attroney to make sure that everything which is put in from of the Council, is LEGAL under State Law. Presenting False & Misleading Documents to a City Council is a CRIMINAL OFFENSE. Actually the City Attorney (esq. Scofflaw) should be fired…. The City council all of them, are guilty of a Criminal Act under State Law.

    I would be informative for citizens to bother to understand what having a Council which violates known law implies. they think they are above the law, and can do as they please, because they think they know best. If you commit a gross misdomeaner, tell the Judge to forget the charge, the City of Edmonds does not care about no stikin’ laws, so why should I. Give it a try if you are ever in that situation.
    “He is the LAW: RCW 9A.76.175 Making a false or misleading statement to a public servant. A person who knowingly makes a false or misleading material statement to a public servant is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. “Material statement” means a written or oral statement reasonably likely to be relied upon by a public servant in the discharge of his or her official powers or duties”.

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  30. Sounds like it’s time for you folks to form a posse and go do a citizen’s arrest on these lawless scoundrels especially that no good Nelson guy. I think that’s your civic duty, and you are just as guilty of high crimes as they are if you don’t get right on it. That old jail cell at the Carnegie Library building could be pressed back into service I’m sure.

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