Monday, December 15, 2008

My Testimony @ the Nickels Gun Ban Hearing

Nickels Gun Ban

I am GC. I live in West Seattle. I am a gay man, suffer medical limitations, and am the proud uncle of two charming nieces. I speak against this rule.

Nature stole my ability to use my preferred safety strategy “Run away! Run away!” and as a gay man I am member of a community various bigots love to physically attack - thus I’m blessed with a sort of double whammy of vulnerability. I find it hard to imagine visiting City facilities, parks, and events under the proposed rule – particularly as darkness approaches and anti-social activity increases – while unable to EITHER defend myself or scamper off in the face of assault or worse.

We live in a democracy, not merely nationally, but even in the City of Seattle – wherein we are bound by the rule of law and the legislative process – not mayoral fiat. What a County or City is barred from doing by legislative act, it is equally forbidden to do by executive decree. This proposed rule is clearly in violation of Title 9.41 of the Revised Code of Washington.

Mayor Nickels himself acknowledged the cities absolute lack of authority regarding firearms a letter to Washington State Speaker of the House Frank Chopp, dated May 4, 2006 stating: “State law preempts any and all local regulations related to firearms. Our hands are tied at the local level and we are unable to adopt any local laws to protect our residents from gun crime.”

By his own admission, this rule is unlawful – leaving us to suppose it is merely political grand-standing as the Mayor dances in blood in a desperate effort to appear relevant in a City largely hostile to his administration as he seeks re-election.

If passed and enforced this rule increases, as Chief Kerlikowske can testify, the risk of lawfully owned firearms being stolen from vehicles as law-abiding CPL holders store them in their personal vehicles before entering city property. Not unlike Chief Kerlikowske’s experience.

The rule bars law-abiding Concealed Pistol Licensees from exercising the very action they are licensed for in all city facilities, community centers, parks, and events.

This rule *INCREASES* victim vulnerability – placing members of the LGBT community, other minorities, and stalkers victims at higher risk in the name of political grand-standing.

This rule would create vast civil liability for the City when we can least afford it – abort this ill-thought out exercise in bloody shirt-waving for political gain before it leads to both injury for citizens and expense for the city.

Kerlikowske Lost Gun Story

Nickel’s Follies

1 comment:

Cassie Wallender said...

This was a great statement, very powerful.