Support for tougher gun control measures in Olympia
Many people are incredulous to learn that in Washington it is easier for a person to purchase an assault weapon than a pistol. Assault-type weapons are currently categorized as “long guns” used for hunting and may be purchased legally by someone as young as 18. These are weapons that can fire 45-60 rounds per minute according to Wikipedia.
As we discovered in the shooting of four young people in Mukilteo this summer, the 19-year-old shooter was able to walk out of the gun store after a simple background check with an AR-15 and proceeded to kill his girlfriend and others a few hours later.
The shooter would not have been able to purchase a pistol as the minimum age for purchase is 21. Purchase of a pistol also requires a more extensive background check, which can take up to 10 days before the buyer can take possession.
We can do something about this situation this legislative session. The best solution is a ban on the purchase of assault weapons and high capacity magazines (over 10 rounds) through passage of HB 1134 and Senate Bill 5050. A second measure, HB 1387 would require an enhanced background check for assault-style weapons and large capacity magazines, restricting purchase or transfer to persons over 21 with a background check like that for pistols.
So please let our legislators (Rep. Frame is one of the cosponsors) know your support for sane gun legislation and urge your friends, especially those in Eastern Washington to join you in support.
Pronto, future bike share would fall victim to successful city bike culture
The point that most people seem to be missing is that Pronto or successors are and would be victims to the success of the bike culture in Seattle. We are a leader in biking, which means that those who want to ride bikes, own a bike. Add in the other factors of the helmet law, the rain, the hills, and it is a predictable failure. I spend about 25 percent of my time in New York and watch the Citibikes program there. NYC is flat, it has millions of tourists, and no helmet law.
Studies show that about 5% of Seattleites are bikers. Deduct from that the vast majority of them who own bikes, and you are left with a clear absence of critical mass to make a bike-share system viable. Kudos to our Mayor for figuring that out.
Make your voice heard in 2017 by contacting your representatives
Excellent idea to think about what we want in the year to come, since we definitely can’t change the past. (‘Looking ahead at the new year’ an editorial, QA&MN, Jan. 3, 2017) There were good insights in that editorial and a call to hear from readers.
How about a “This week in Congress” review, which of course could include what’s coming up in for our input. For example, the appropriations process is coming up soon to decide what we will pay for this year.
That includes the safety net programs like SNAP (food stamps) that help thousands of Washingtonians put food on the table. It also includes funding our promise to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.
This pledge if funded each of the next three years will combine with 2/3 of of the total from other donors to save the lives of 8 million people, avert 300 million new infections, and strengthen the health care systems of over 100 countries. Each of these programs is more likely to get funded if we add our voices by calling or writing our representatives about how important these programs are. We can help make 2017 a great year for all!