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WA – GUN RIGHTS – Grief and Furor As Gun Violence Victims And Gun Rights Advocates Descend On Olympia

A gun rally in Virginia on Monday drew thousands of people and national attention. But guns were also on the agenda at the Washington state Capitol following a smaller pro-gun rally in Olympia on Friday. People on both sides of the gun control debate packed a Senate hearing room to testify on measures to restrict magazine capacity, require training for concealed pistol permit holders and increase penalties for stolen firearms. Among those testifying was Ami Strahan whose 15-year-old son Sam was killed in the September 2017 shooting at Freeman High School near Spokane. “I am here because I am a grieving mother,” Strahan said tearfully. “I lost part of my soul and I’m still struggling to recover.” Strahan testified in favor of a measure that would limit firearms magazine capacity to 10 rounds. She was one of several victims of gun violence and their families to appear before the Senate Law and Justice Committee. Their pleas for action were countered by the National Rifle Association and other gun rights advocates who urged lawmakers to stand down. “I’m a compassionate man and I feel badly for the people whose lives have been affected by these tragic instances,” said Allen Ernst who described mass shootings as “terribly sad.” “But it’s also sad that we are here once again debating bills that will almost certainly not save a life or place any hardships whatsoever on those with criminal intent,” Ernst said.  [full article]

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