Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Tag: 2nd amendment


Dome gunshow a vestige of a bygone era

The year was 1991. Bryan Adams topped the music charts, cell phones were beginning to shed unsightly pounds and The Silence of the Lambs ruled the box offices. And the Tacoma Dome hosted its last gun show.

In the ensuing 23 years our country has endured a major terrorist attack, two lengthy foreign wars and a tortuous economic spiral. It is a new era indeed, yet for all of that some aspects of society stubbornly resist change.

For example, if you were to attend the 1991 gun show at the Dome with the intent of purchasing a firearm from a private

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Firearms and domestic violence are a fatal mixture

Guns, guns, guns. It’s difficult to turn on the news or scan the headlines of the morning paper without coming across yet another tangential argument about guns in our society.

Well, here’s one more.

It starts out with a very welcome bit of news from a 2010 Department of Justice report which states that violent crime, on the decline for years, has reached a 40 year low. Good news for sure, even if experts cannot seem to agree on the reason.

But it’s not all good news. According to Kelly Star, a member of the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic

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Gun background checks not just a “feel better” idea

The debate on gun control is arguably the most contentious topic currently sucking up real estate inside the media bubble. An important national issue, with both legal and cultural implications, it is primarily an emotional one.

The only federal legislation still on life support is the measure requiring universal background checks for gun sales. Despite being backed by roughly 90% of Americans, the bill barely made it out of the Senate committee’s frying pan, and now waits a slow basting in the fiery Senate chambers.

If nothing else, the measure’s plodding pace has provided ample opportunity for everyone to voice

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The only consistent factor in gun debate is inconsistency

For those interested in deciphering the myriad federal, state and local laws governing firearms, let me first offer this tip. Don’t go looking for a super secret decoder ring to find your way through the various statutes’ dizzying levels.Instead, find a coin. Then flip it.

Our nation’s troubled relationship with firearms has created a paradoxical reality where protections are offerred in unlikely situations and controls restrict basic rights. A recent federal appeals court ruling, summarized in a Denver Post article, highlights the discrepancy.

The Denver court’s decision was based on a suit brought by a Washington State

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Once upon a time in a parking lot…

My kids like to think my police career began in a year that ended with the initials, B.C. Actually, it was 1988, an era of heavy metal and parachute pants, when coffee was still Folgers and the B.C. stood for Before Children.

Much has changed in my profession since then: Lawsuits and liability issues, court rulings and legal precedents, gang violence and synthetic drugs. Nothing, however, has altered the landscape more than the ready availability of massive firepower.

I was barely 23, wet behind the ears and all nervous energy when a grouchy old sergeant marched me into the armory

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Apples and oranges: The Canadian perspective on American gun control

For many years I have spent a week each summer visiting family in Vancouver, B.C., a uniquely picturesque Canadian city enveloped in mountains and floating on tidal waterways.

Its citizens and businesses are much the same as our own, even if their clothing is more fashionable and the prices a notch higher, but for all its familiarity, the Vancouver situated 180 miles north is more European than American. It is, in essence, distinctly Canadian, and nowhere is that more obvious than its restrictions on the private ownership of firearms.

For proof, one need look no further than the city’s daily

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Controlling one’s gun is not “Gun Control”

There is at least one commonality between the role of parent and that of gun owner – both require a heightened level of personal responsibility. Ensuring the safety of children is an instinctual trait for our species. Being a responsible gun owner just makes good sense. When both these roles are ignored, the results can be tragic.

As I began research for this column, the circumstances surrounding the February 22 accidental shooting of an 8-year-old girl in a Port Orchard elementary school were well-documented (Trib 3/13). On the heels of this tragedy came the

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California says no to Open Carry

On Monday California’s governor demonstrated that the federal decree known as the 2nd Amendment is open to interpretation by states.  With Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature, California has outlawed the open carrying of firearms in public.

Proponents of the right to bear arms–specifically to do so openly and in public–must now add California as the sixth state to outlaw open carry (not including Washington, D.C.).

The legislation signed by Brown was propelled by concerned citizens as well as anti-gun lobbyists and activists and then serenaded to the governor’s desk by a statewide chorus of police chiefs. But

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