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Carla Tolle, whose child was killed by another child with an unsecured shotgun, has my sympathy.

But her criticisms of the law enforcement community are unfair. It is unlikely that the opposition of every law enforcement association in the state to I-1639 is largely “based on misconceptions or misunderstandings about the law.” Undoubtedly they had good reason to believe that I-1639 would divert scarce resources from more productive work.

Another group that tends to oppose laws such as I-1639 are criminologists. When I was researching for a series of articles that appeared in the journal of the Washington Bar Association, I contacted Handgun Control and the National Rifle Association and asked for work by criminologists that supported their positions. The NRA sent me a bibliography that went on for page after page. The Brady organization sent me a handful of articles, some of them not much more than letters to the editor and almost half were authored by the organization’s paid staff. So, both the law enforcement community and criminologists would likely view I-1639 as a feel-good law that will have little positive impact.

William Dennis


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