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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