According to his Facebook page, Ralph Fascitelli is “fat and happy.” I’m thinking no so much the one and definitely not the other. The co-founder of Enthrall Marketing is not at all enthralled by a recent shooting in one of Seattle’s green spaces, where a gang bangers’ picnic turned into, well, a gang bangers’ picnic. “The recent tragic shooting at Lake Sammamish State Park once again illustrates that where there are guns, particularly when accompanied by alcohol, there is a much greater chance of death and violence,” Fascitelli writes in seattletimes.nwsource.com. “Contrary to the claims of the gun-rights groups, guns do kill people, and they do it very efficiently.” Uh-oh. A mischaracterization in the second sentence? And . . . he’s off!
It matters not that some of the victims may have been affiliated with gangs. These were two groups that were with family and friends out celebrating a sunny Seattle weekend. They didn’t go looking for trouble. At least one of the victims had no prior record and was praised profusely as a good friend and family member.
Like so many other incidents of gun violence, our state elected officials will, in all likelihood, say all the right things but ultimately cower in fear of the gun lobby and the National Rifle Association, whose numbers represent about 1 percent of the population in this state. And after every shocking incident we often pigeonhole the victims as gang members or rave devotees or drug users even if they have clean records.
Do we? Do we do that? I don’t do that. Do YOU do that? Do journalists do that? I read a LOT of media reports about shootings. As far as I can tell, jobbing journos go out of their way to downplay the role of gang affiliation and drugs in “home invasions” and “self-defense” shootings.
Which this was not. Being a gang member, or being with a gang member, may not constitute “looking” for trouble, but it sure as hell makes you a trouble magnet. As the rabbi says, the best way to avoid a gunfight is to avoid stupid people doing stupid things in stupid places.
And that one percent NRA stat is entirely dubious. Seattle is a bastion of liberal thought and policy, and Portland is PC paradise, but the rest of the state is as middle America as you can get without actually being in the middle of America.
In any case, Mr. Fascitelli has a three-point plan to quash these lamentable outbreaks of gunfire in public places (public parks!).
. . . let’s ask our politicians in Olympia to ban guns in all state, county and city parks, where we have now seen more than once that a toxic combination of alcohol, firearms and elevated testosterone on a sunny day can have deadly consequences. Let’s make our parks gun-free zones where families can gather with peace of mind without the worry of sudden death to innocent loved ones (and let’s have our park rangers make spot checks to ensure that no one does indeed have a gun in their possession).
Bring back the killing fields! I jest. Somewhat. Even if you accept the idea that you can create a gun-free zone in a major metropolitan area with gangs, I wonder how many park rangers would like that little task added to their jobs.
Points two and three: close ye olde gun show loophole and then ban open carry and raise the standards for concealed carry. Fascitelli ends on a conciliatory note.
We need to cut through the emotional and irrational rhetoric about Second Amendments rights and find the middle ground between personal freedoms and public safety.
True. But this rant is exactly the kind of emotional and irrational rhetoric that Mr. Fascitelli condemns. What that all about?