In Salem, same old b.s. on gun control

It's appalling that in blue, blue Oregon, the Legislature won't pass anything like serious gun control. Every Democrat down there ought to be crucified on this issue. Every one. Including Killer Kate, who should be drummed out of office over it. The time for their lame excuses on this is long since past. 

Penny Okamoto, a gun control activist, wrote a good post on the subject on Facebook last night. I reprint it here.

After Sandy Hook, people in the US were beside themselves with grief. People thought, "Surely now Congress will take action to stop the slaughter." But Congress didn't. Three years ago, at the MFOL march [March for Our Lives], I saw people once again beside themselves with grief but this time with grief and rage. 

At the MFOL march, I saw Democratic candidates for state offices eager to take pictures with MFOL, Moms Demand Action, and Ceasefire Oregon – all claiming they would work for change. 

But today in Oregon, the two strongest, most effective bills that could do the most to reduce firearm-related death and injury are already dead – they did not even receive a hearing. The dead bills are licensing (SB 604) and banning "ghost guns" which are undetectable and/or untraceable (SB 396). And bills to ban or regulate assault weapons and high-capacity magazines weren’t even introduced.

Closing the Charleston Loophole (HB 2543) is alive but at the mercy of very weak leadership. (Is the Charleston Loophole bill just a bargaining chip for something else?) BTW, I met with a member of Governor Brown’s staff on December 23, 2019 to ask her to use executive action to close the Charleston Loophole. Gov. Brown had taken executive action to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products after two people died. Ceasefire Oregon wanted her to close the infamous loophole. She declined. Since then, gun sales have skyrocketed and we have no idea how many domestic abusers and criminals bought guns through that loophole. 

A weak storage bill (HB 2510) will likely pass but do nothing to stop gun trafficking because straw purchases will still be able to buy guns. In addition, studies show that states with only violations and/or liability like this bill see an increase in pediatric firearm injuries and deaths. I know the sponsors do not want criminal penalties but they even rejected an amendment that would have disarmed violators but without criminal penalties.

HB 3005, a bill to repeal firearm pre-emption, has a hearing and work session scheduled but no one seems to have realized that if that bill passes, it will be much easier for insurrectionist groups and pro-shooting groups to enforce ordinances that allow police to NOT enforce gun laws. HB 3005 should keep current gun laws AND allow counties and towns to ban the open or concealed carry of guns.

I think the Oregon legislature will, however, finally stop people from bringing guns into the Capitol building. No doubt the breach of the building last December by armed insurrectionists (aided by Rep. Nearman) made legislators decide that guns in the Capitol might actually be used to kill the legislators. 

How many people from MFOL, Moms Demand Action, Ceasefire Oregon, and so many other groups had to brave a sea of armed, angry people just to be able to testify at the Capitol? How many times have we placed our freaking SIGNS outside the Capitol because they were considered dangerous, but armed yahoos brought their AR-15s into the hearing rooms in a failed attempt to intimidate us? 

If I sound pissed, I am. Three years ago we heard promises and we elected people based on those promises. Now gun sales and firearm-related death and injury are on the rise. Where are the bills to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines? Why are the strongest bills dead? 

I don’t want to hear about how hard it is to pass bills. I don’t want to hear how legislators have been bullied. What do they think the armed bullies have been doing to survivors, victims, and activists for the past 30 years? How many times have we asked the Capitol police to escort us to our cars? How many times have we waited in legislators’ offices until the armed goons leave? How many Facebook death threats have gone ignored by the police? 

How many people testify because their daughters, sons, wives, husbands, or dear friends were killed by guns when legislative action could have prevented the shooting?

No, do not cry to me about how hard it is to pass legislation.

Legislators weren’t elected to run a candy shop – they have hard work to do and promises to keep. Meanwhile, Oregonians are making escape routes just to go to the grocery store for chrissake. We are scared shitless to send our kids back to school – because of the shootings and COVID. 

People are angry and rightly so. Legislators do little to nothing. Congress passed PLCAA (Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act) which gives the gun and ammo makers and sellers unheard of protection against lawsuits. The Sandy Hook families are still fighting PLCAA more than eight years after their first-graders and their educators were brutally shot to death – and eight years after our US senators and representatives turned their backs on them. 

Today, I am very disappointed by some of those very people who used kids as “props for photo ops” and then let them down. Legislators, if you cannot pass strong, effective legislative to stop gun violence, get out of the way.

For those of us continuing the fight, you must let your legislators know that you expected a hell of a lot more from them when you knocked on doors, gave your hard earned money, and gave them the honor of your vote.

I couldn't agree more. They're hideous. Especially the Democrats, who claim to be better. Shame on the entire lot of them:

House Democrats

Teresa Alonso Leon
Janelle Bynum
Wlnsvey Campos
Brian Clem
Maxine Dexter
Paul Evans
Julie Fahey
David Gomberg
Dacia Grayber
Ken Helm
Paul Holvey
Zach Hudson
Tina Kotek
Jason Kropf
John Lively
Pam Marsh
Susan McLain
Mark W. Meek
Nancy Nathanson
Courtney Neron
Rob Nosse
Khanh Pham
Karin A. Power
Rachel Prusak
Dan Rayfield
Jeff Reardon
Lisa Reynolds
Ricki Ruiz
Andrea Salinas
Tawna D. Sanchez
Sheri Schouten
Barbara Smith Warner
Janeen Sollman
Marty Wilde
Anna Williams
Brad Witt

Senate Democrats

Lee Beyer
Ginny Burdick
Peter Courtney
Michael Dembrow
Lew Frederick
Sara Gelser
Jeff Golden
Chris Gorsek 
Kayse Jama
Betsy Johnson
Kate Lieber
James I. Manning Jr.
Deb Patterson
Floyd Prozanski
Chuck Riley
Elizabeth Steiner Hayward
Kathleen Taylor
Rob Wagner