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Opinion >  Letters

I-1639 a waste of time, money

Initiative 1639 seeks to severely restrict the purchase and possession of “semi-automatic assault rifles.” It defines semi-automatic assault rifle as “any rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.” I-1639 isn’t limited to a few semi-auto rifles, but will impact the purchase and ownership of every semi-automatic hunting rifle in the state, including a .22 used for target practice.

What will this accomplish? From 2010 to 2014 there were 63,061 murders reported to the FBI nationwide. Of those 1,530 (2.4 percent) were committed using rifles - all kinds of rifles (semi-auto, lever action, bolt action, etc). 8,109 (12.9 percent) of the murders were committed using knives and other cutting instruments. Cutting instruments were used in more murders than all kinds of rifles. The only consistent fact about murders is that people commit them 100 percent of the time.

I believe we are wasting time, money and potentially lives focusing on a tool used to commit less than 3 percent of murders. Our efforts would be better spent improving access to mental health resources. Vote no on I-1639.

Chan Bailey



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