The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

I-1639 will not save lives


January 3, 2019

To The Eagle:

Eric Skemp’s letter last week about Sheriff Howie demonstrates the fallacy of Initiative 1639.

The statement “No sales of assault weapons to people less than 21 years old” is powerful. Folks who did not read the initiative, or who are not familiar with rifles see this and think “Assault Rifles, yes we should restrict those.”

I-1639 defines any and all semiautomatic rifles as “Assault Rifles.”

Of note, “Semiautomatic” means basically one pull of the trigger, one shot fired, release the trigger and squeeze it again, one shot fired.

When I was 12 (well over 50 years ago), my mother used to lend me a little Sears 22 rifle she had. It had a tube magazine that held about 12 or 15 rounds. She kept it behind the door in the kitchen, handy for coyotes bothering our chickens. This bill calls that little rifle a “Semiautomatic Assault Rifle.” With the passage of I-1639, an 18 year old, or 20 year old for that matter cannot buy that little 22 rifle for shooting rabbits, or nutria, rats or even target practicing. Also, she would now be forced to lock it away or face a large fine.

Mr. Skemp also states “ Frankly, I think voters are frustrated to do something to curtail the epidemic that guns, and especially assault weapons represent in our society.”

Epidemic of Assault Weapons? According to the FBI UCR table 12, in 2016 (latest year available) 374 people were killed with rifles, all rifles, not just “assault rifles.” That same year 1,604 people were killed with knives. To put this in perspective, that year 37,806 people were killed by automobiles.

I-1639 will not save lives, nor will it make anyone safer. It paves the way, should there be a future “Assault Weapon Ban,” for the state to ban nearly all rifles.

One more note, “Assault Weapon” or “Assault Rifle” has no clear definition other than I-1639 defining it as any semiautomatic rifle.

I fully support Sheriff Howie and the voters of Wahkiakum County who voted 1,581 to 862 against I-1639.

M. Moneyhan

Puget Island


Reader Comments

Johnny writes:

Agree 100%! A wise man once said that the modern day gun control warriors answer to gun violence is addressed similar to kids speeding 70 mph through a 45 mph zone so they lower the speed limit to 35. Bad people are still gonna shoot guns illegally no matter how many more restrictive, anti-2A laws get enacted. It is simply the beginning of the end for the millions of law abiding gun owning citizens.


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