Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Gun-safety laws debated in the wake of child shootings
Legislators should stand up to NRA
Editor, The Times:
There have been three incidents of children getting hold of guns in the past few weeks. Two are dead and one is severely injured. [“Third-grader still in intensive care,” News, March 14.]
Children do not have the physical or cognitive ability to handle guns. If the adults in their world do not keep them safe, who will?
It is time for our legislators to man up, stand up to the NRA, and pass sensible laws regarding kids and guns. Keep your damned guns, but keep them out of the hands of kids.
— Richard Reuther, Richland
Trigger locks not best option for securing firearms
I am a certified instructor teaching the Home Firearm Safety class developed by the National Rifle Association. This is a non-shooting class covering the safe handling of firearms in the home. I teach the section on storing firearms and ammunition.
The discussion on securing firearm generally starts with trigger locks.
I started using trigger locks when they first were available. I found them poorly designed, difficult to use and of little value because most of the locks didn’t block the movement of the trigger. If the firearm is loaded and the trigger lock doesn’t block the trigger, the firearm might discharge, causing an accident.
I generally recommend using cable locks or long-shanked bike locks.
These locks block the closing of the firearm’s action, making the firearm incapable of firing. The locks can be used on many firearms. Many new firearms are sold in stores with a cable lock. Any locking device should be well-made using highest-quality materials. I also discuss other effective ways of safely storing firearms including safes, steel cabinets, gun racks and the like.
Based on my experience as a systems engineer, any safety system can be compromised with intelligence, tools and time. The ultimate safety on any piece equipment, including a firearm, is the operator. If the operator doesn’t think and live safety, he will experience an accident.
— Allan M. Schneider, Bellevue
Limit damage by legislating gun-safety measures
Unlike matches, prescription drugs and hazardous household cleaners, handguns are specifically engineered to kill people. But unlike these products with their built-in child safety measures, guns are deemed to be exempt from “intrusive” and “liberty-infringing” measures such as mandatory trigger locks that might limit the carnage when irresponsible adults allow children access to firearms.
They say you can’t legislate stupidity, but how much longer should we allow children to pay the price for it?
— Ron Dickson, Seattle