We need courage in the Legislature. I am seeing cowardice.
The Enhanced Assault Weapon Background Check bill, pending in the Legislature, applies the same standards to the purchase of an AR-15 as the state currently does to a handgun.
The recent shootings in Parkland, Florida, serve to underscore the need to keep assault weapons from teenagers and dangerous persons. One day earlier in Everett, we were spared a school shooting by an observant and courageous grandmother.
In the mass killing in Sutherland Springs, Texas, we learned that some known bad guys can slip through the national instant background check system and be caught by a law enforcement background investigation.
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This can help us catch those mistakes.
A handful of Democrats, and many Republicans, would prefer to not vote on this bill.
Some are afraid of the extremists. Some are afraid of the gun lobbyists who buy their votes. Others are afraid they may be held accountable after the next spree killing, should they vote against background checks now.
Sen. Sharon Nelson says that it is the people’s job to pass this by ballot initiative, though the people have twice supported Gun Violence Prevention initiatives in recent years. I say that it is the job of the elected legislators to craft and vote on good legislation.
I urge Speaker Chopp and Sen. Nelson to have courage to lead their party. Vote now; don’t delay this life-saving legislation another year for short-term political cover.