Blue Byline

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

Tag: gun control

June
17th

Three years later, a blue wrap-up

In 1988 I was a big fan of the cop drama, Hill Street Blues. It was a brilliantly poignant show that myself and many of my academy classmates credited for driving our decision to become police officers. Fast forward to April 2011, and that career choice spurred a new gig as a News Tribune blogger.

Hard to believe it’s been over three years since I first started writing Blue Byline. Back then I was a cop with a penchant for writing hackneyed diatribes, small 600 word missives forever destined to change the way TNT readers viewed the world of law

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June
9th

Mass shooter: the rise of the anti-hero

This time it happened close to home. One victim dead and three wounded on a college campus. A lone gunman taken into custody.

Once again it was our turn to stare in shock at the breaking news on the television – a mass shooting at Seattle Pacific University, the quiet, tree-lined campus that hugs Queen Anne Hill (TNT 6/7).

Our reaction to such senseless violence should not depend on proximity, but of course it does.

In an achingly familiar cycle, we first experience panicked shock as we recall the faces and names of students we know (four,

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April
28th

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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Jan.
6th

The three biggest public safety issues for 2014

Now that the goose is cooked and eaten, the tree trimmed and recycled, the presents bought and returned, it’s time to get back into work mode. With the new year already almost a week gone, it is well past time to discuss the important issues in public safety that will have the most effect on us – both locally and nationally – in 2014.

The following are three critical issues of public safety that require the most attention in 2014.

1. Gun violence: It is difficult to even mention this issue without arousing the angry attention of the fervent protectors

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Nov.
6th

Low casualties in LAX shooting highlight new police response

When a disturbed man pulled an assault rifle out of a bag in a crowded Los Angeles airport terminal and shot four people last Friday, it marked the 17th mass shooting just this year in the U.S. The phenomenon only seems to have increased in number since Newtown.

The recipe is the same. A suicidal man arms himself and takes out his rage on a surrogate, in this case the Transportation Security Administration. The violent spree left three people wounded and one man – Gerardo Hernandez, a TSA employee – dead.

But it could have been

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May
17th

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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Feb.
25th

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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Feb.
5th

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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