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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Used practice targets left at League office

The League of Women Voters of Washington wants supporters of a gun-rights initiative to denounce the unknown group that left used targets at or near their office.

But supporters of Initiative 591 called the incidents a "propaganda stunt" the good government group is milking to get money for a rival ballot measure, I-594. . . 

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. . .  I-594 would extend background checks currently required for gun purchases from dealers to all sales. I-591 wouldn't allow that change until a uniform national standard is established. 

A paper target that had perforations that appear to be from bullets or pellets was slipped under the door of the league's office over the July 4th weekend, and another was found attached to a pole about two blocks away on Monday. The Seattle Police Department is investigating the two incidents as threats, the league said.

Alan Gottlieb of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms this week suggested that was "a stunt perpetrated by proponents of 594 seeking attention." If the league wants to find out who left the targets, it should offer a reward. In the meantime, pro-gun folks would be happy to loan league staff firearms for their protection.

Kim Abel, president of the league's Washington chapter, said Gottlieb and others were trying to minimize the attempts at intimidation while the league was intent on finding solutions to gun violence. Voters deserve "to have all sides of the debate focused on a reasonable solutions based dialogue, not finger-pointing and scare tactics," she said. 

Results of a statewide Elway Poll last week suggested that I-594 has strong support while support for I-591 is slipping. In the survey, 70 percent of those contacted said they definitely or probably would vote for I-594, compared to 72 percent who said that in April. For I-591, 46 percent said they definitely or probably would vote yes, compared to 55 percent in April. 

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981. He is currently the political reporter and state government reporter in the newspaper's Olympia bureau office.

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