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Gun violence victims say they felt disrespected at legislative hearing

State Senator Jeannie Darnielle came up with what Dave Ross thought was an interesting gun conundrum - that happened to her in a coffee shop, when a young man came in wearing a holstered gun. (AP Photo/File)

A group of gun-violence victims – including a victim of the Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle – have sent a letter to State Senate leaders, saying they were disrespected at a committee hearing 12 days ago.

The hearing involved Initiative 594 which would require universal background checks, including for gun transfers between family members.

The letter specifically criticized this exchange – where Senator Steve O’Ban went down a list of high-profile shootings to point out that Initiative 594 would not have prevented any of them, including the Sandy Hook shooting.

“Isn’t it the case that he (Adam Lanza) actually stole those firearms from his mother and then of course turned one of those firearms on his mother, so obviously that transaction would have been captured in 594 had it been law, right?” asked O’Ban.

“Unfortunately, I think that was the murder your mom loophole,” responded NRA lobbyist Brian Judy.

The letter also criticized Senator Pam Roach for her comment:

“It’s nice to have women testify, but I don’t give much to gender on these kinds of things. I mean, I think it’s easy to push for the women to say I’m helpless and this is how I feel,” she said. “However, I’m also a woman, a mother of five, a grandmother of 16, so everybody should feel warm and fuzzy about Pam Roach, right?”

Roach dismissed the complaint saying they waited a week and a half after the hearing to send it.

Although, I noticed that right after the “murder your mom” comment, one witness did try to say something.

“Excuse me,” the witness said. “Can I have an opportunity to respond to that line of question?” But she was denied the opportunity to respond because they were following “a system.”

By the way, State Senator Jeannie Darnielle came up with what I thought was an interesting gun conundrum – that happened to her in a coffee shop.

“It had to do with me having a meeting with someone in a coffee shop in Tacoma where there were three young moms with their young kiddos in the coffee shop, as well. When a young man came in with a holstered pistol, kept touching the holster, kept looking anxiously around the room, those three women nearly panicked getting their kids together, out of that room. So I know that even though I don’t have little ones myself right now, I am a new grandmother, I venture to say I would have the same sort of reaction. It’s just me, but I think it’s other women as well. Other parents,” said Darnielle.

I’d like to hear from listeners who’ve been in that situation.

The two gun initiatives headed for the ballot in November don’t deal with open-carry laws. I-594 would require universal checks, and I-591 would largely keep the law as it is.

The Senate has the power to approve either one; otherwise, they go to the voters.

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