Pro-gun rights listener calls in to find middle ground amid ongoing nationwide debate

Jun 3, 2022, 6:21 PM | Updated: Jun 5, 2022, 7:52 am
Students participate in a school walk-out and protest in front of City Hall to condemn gun violence...
Students participate in a school walk-out and protest in front of City Hall to condemn gun violence on May 31, 2022. (Photo by RINGO CHIU / AFP) (Photo by RINGO CHIU/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by RINGO CHIU/AFP via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden spoke to the American public last night, imploring 10 Republican senators to join Democrats on new gun-prevention legislation.

“I respect the culture and tradition, the concerns of lawful gun owners,” President Biden said. “At the same time, the Second Amendment, like all other rights, is not absolute.”

In his speech, he laid out some main proposals: banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines or raising the age to purchase them to 21, strengthening background checks, enacting safe storage and red flag laws, repealing the immunity that protects gun manufacturers from liability, and addressing the mental health crisis.

As a long-time listener of Gee and Ursula, Bob Goodman decided to call in and voice a pro-gun rights side of the rekindled gun debate, while also trying to find middle ground with the hosts.

“That’s the galvanizing part of this debate. You can have an opinion, I can have an opinion, President Biden can have an opinion. But it’s ultimately going to come down to the Supreme Court making the decision,” Goodman said in response to Biden’s speech on the Gee and Ursula Show on KIRO Newsradio. “So, of course there are limits placed on all of the rights that we freely exercise in this country. And I don’t think that the Second Amendment is one of those things that have absolute clarity. And it’s definitely open to interpretation.”

Since the mass shooting in Buffalo took place on May 14, there have been 36 documented mass shootings across the nation, with 52 people killed and 174 injured, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

Goodman, an avid hunter who lives on a 10-acre property in Spokane, was building an AR platform rifle with his son-in-law on the day of the Uvalde shooting.

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“As we start assembling the rifle, my wife comments, gosh, it’s really odd and tragic that you’re building an AR rifle on a day when a third-grade classroom was entered by a murderer and 19 children and two adults were killed,” Goodman said. “I have a daughter that teaches third grade, so it was a very interesting moment in me having to be introspective, looking at how important is what I’m doing. And how am I part of the problem as it relates to the approach that we have to rifles and that expectation of exercising our freedoms. I had a weird mix of emotions.”

In 2016, Washington voters passed an initiative on “extreme risk protection orders,” known as ERPOs, which allow family members and law enforcement to request a court order that prevents someone from accessing guns if they’re worried the person might be at risk of harming themselves or others.

In King County, 70-80 ERPO petitions were filed each year, on average, according to a King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson.

But Goodman thinks more can be done in the evergreen state.

“Since a magazine is not a serialized item, it doesn’t require a permit or license or a minimum age, it could be acquired out of the state of Washington. So, it’s really a it’s a mild inconvenience to a person who wants to commit evil with a rifle,” Goodman said. “Not being able to purchase one inside of the state of Washington is a small problem, but it’s not a complete solution.”

Goodman also stated that he has a relative who is an active duty Navy SEAL.

“There’s a little bit of me that feels like, for lack of a better sense of of word, a little bit more of a man or a little bit more of channeling my inner navy seal,” Goodman said, referencing the feeling when handling a gun. “And is my life better with it? No. Would my life be over if it was gone? Not at all. It’s just a recreational toy.”

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In terms of gun control strictness, Washington grades pretty high among the states. Scoring a B+, the evergreen state only trails California, Illinois, Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Hawaii in possessing stricter gun ownership laws, according to World Population Review.

The Alliance for Gun Responsibility, based in Seattle, has been advocating for legislation to ban magazines with more than 10 rounds.

“In reality, a semi-automatic handgun with a large capacity magazine could be just as effective in a close quarters situation like a school classroom. So we’re not going to eliminate that,” Goodman said. “But if a person logically can sit down and read through the requirements of the California-compliant AR-15, it’s not a taking of your Second Amendment rights. It’s a limitation on your ability to reload and the timing that that takes.”

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Pro-gun rights listener calls in to find middle ground amid ongoing nationwide debate