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In the interest of healthy debate about our nation's gun violence problem (crushingly listed here):

  1. Title EACH gun like we do real estate and vehicles
  2. Require ALL sales, even between private citizens, be registered with the state like we do with real estate & vehicles
  3. Require category-specific licensing, like we do with vehicles and trucks. One non-automatic pistol license covers an infinite number of them, but semi-automatic or automatic handguns require elevated licenses, as would long guns, shotguns, hunting and assault-class weapons
  4. Require owners carry hazard insurance for EACH gun they own. Want to stockpile an arsenal? Call your free-market insurance broker first to see if you qualify for more insurance.
  5. Require proof of insurability and background checks for ALL sales, even private ones
  6. Charge and punish owners for crimes committed with their guns (another good reason to register sales with the state so you're no longer liable for a gun you sold)
  7. Require ALL guns be stored safely as a condition of licensing and insurability
  8. Set penalties, including seizure, for failure to secure guns from minors
  9. Allow law enforcement, medical and mental health professionals to temporarily flag individuals for precursor behaviors like domestic violence incidents, stockpiling, discontinuing anti-psychotic medications.
  10. Enable such flags to be included in background and insurability checks prior to sale (#5 above)

For the record, I'm not opposed to people owning guns and enjoying their use safely. I'm against claims that stockpiled possession is for individual protection and arguments that the 2nd Amendment makes gun ownership so sacred we can't talk about it rationally. I'm not against gun owners, I'm against a culture we've established in which we can't ask reasonable questions (even dumb questions) without ad hominem attacks from gun owners. And word to the gun-owning-wise: attacking the un-gunned online doesn't help your cause much. Lone-gunmen and 'active shooters' have given you such a bad reputation we can't distinguish them from open-carry advocates at the mall.

We live downtown. Trekking to the forest to cut down a Christmas tree each year doesn't fit for us. We prefer walking down to Pike Market, the 100+ year-old open air market that is a jewel in Seattle's downtown crown. A produce vendor sells trees at holiday time, and we've made it a tradition of picking one out and carrying it home to our apartment. Not everyone is willing to carry an eight-foot tree one mile through the city, with dogs and kids, but that's us.

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At the end of the holidays, the challenge becomes how to remove the tree from our apartment, through our building, to the trash room, with as little mess as possible. Dry, brittle pine needles break easily, and wrapping it in a sheet (the preferred apartment dweller's method) always leaves behind a long trail of needles to clean up. We've adopted a different tradition: after New Year's passes we cut our tree down. Branch by branch.

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It takes a few hours. But the slow methodical nature of clipping larger branches repeatedly into smaller and smaller bits until the whole tree is just a few bags of four-inch sticks, can be meditative. As a family we made the holidays together, and this is our way of bringing closure, appreciating what we have, and celebrating the end of another season. Plus the cleanup is a lot more contained.

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From: Alex M. Dunne | d i g i t t a n t e []
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 1:24 PM
Cc:; Opinion; Jennifer Sullivan
Subject: [ REQUEST ] How about "1 strike and you're out" for killer drivers?

Senators Kohl-Welles & Frockt, Representatives Dickerson, Carlyle, & Kenney,

I’m writing to you about public safety and the risk of licensed drivers who have killed on the road.

Senator Frockt and Representative Kenney:  You are likely aware of this weekend’s tragic accident in your district on Lake City Way NE and 110th street. An SUV slammed into a smaller car at high speed killing both occupants.

Senator Kohl-Welles and Representatives Carlyle and Dickerson: You may be aware that the driver of that SUV killed a woman on 15th Avenue West in your district in 2009 while also driving at high speed.

In the 2009 incident, the driver was initially charged with vehicular homicide but later pled guilty to only reckless driving and reckless endangerment. Lessening the charges didn’t lessen the impact. The victim remained dead. The driver was able to resume driving, and as of this Sunday, resume killing.

This driver has now had ‘3 strikes’ in two years, and I certainly hope he will be removed from the roads permanently. But could we make our roads even safer? Driving in Washington state is a privilege, and one that in some cases should be taken away more severely. What if, in Washington State, the law allowed only 1 strike for killer drivers?  Kill with your car just once, and no matter the severity of the conviction, you’re banned from driving for life. Implementing such a change would likely require RCW updates to the following sections as indicated:

My family and friends live in your districts and rely on these roads daily. I’d like to tell them you’ll include this proposal in your upcoming legislative work.

Please let me know if you’re able to, or if you have further questions.

All the best,

36th District
Alex M. Dunne

The Design Planning Commission of the City of Seattle posted this on the side of the MAcGuire Apartments recently. Seems it's one step closer to it's eventual demise. And only 10 years after completion.