Inside Opinion

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Tag: Lisa Marie Melancon

July
28th

Why let thugs practice shooting? Or give gun permits to the witless?

Last weeks’ fatal shooting of Lisa Marie Melancon – and a lot of other casual and criminal gun play that happens around here – has me thinking about two possible ways to save a few lives.

Start with the casual.

Insane as it is, some otherwise law-abiding people handle guns sloppily or pull them out in disputes that could either could have been avoided or don’t involve a credible claim of self-defense. In a particularly stupid case, one of last year’s candidates for the Puyallup City Council drew a pistol in a school parking lot while arguing with someone he saw dent someone else’s car.

That’s like using a torpedo to settle a dispute over fishing rights.

You can’t pass a law against foolishness, but you can make a dent in ignorance. Some other states don’t issue permits carry a concealed weapon unless applicants have taken a serious course in firearms safety and the laws governing self-defense. Some require that you actually know which end the bullet comes out.

Washington’s instruction requirement: zero. To get a permit in this state, you merely have to fill out an application and not have record of criminality or involuntary commitment. What reasonable objection could there be to making the permit contingent on a few hours of safety training?

Then there’s the criminal issue.
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July
27th

Text insults, petty pride leave a good woman dead

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

What’s so shocking about Lisa Marie Melancon’s killing last Thursday was the pettiness of the dispute compared with the enormity of the crime.

It all began with an exchange of angry text messages she’d had no part in. Text messages.

While shocking, the Tacoma shooting wasn’t particularly surprising. Trivial insults and even inadvertent slights make some hotheads explode as if someone were holding a knife to their mother’s throat.

Last January, a 2-year-old girl was shot after her father and another driver reportedly wound up dueling with their cars and “exchanging gestures” on Tacoma’s East Side. Whatever driving and fingers were involved hardly warranted capital punishment. Fortunately, the girl was not killed

Another road rage incident in February, also on the East Side, claimed the life of 20-year-old Camille Love while she was on a ride with her 19-year-old brother. Someone took offense at something ­and shot repeatedly at their car. Murder, for who knows what perceived offense.

A Madigan neurosurgeon – yes, a neurosurgeon – went berserk in March 2009 after a driver cut him off on state Route 16 in Tacoma. Dr. Dennis Geyer lit out after the offender, dragged the 61-year-old man from the car, and left him with a broken nose and two black eyes. For cutting him off.
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