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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 “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?

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  1. "(and let’s have our park rangers make spot checks to ensure that no one does indeed have a gun in their possession)."

    So this guys is proposing that if I'm playing frisbee in the park with my wife and son that it's okay for a Park Ranger to approach us and demand to what, pat us all down?! Would my wife be required to lift her shirt for a male ranger to verify that she's not carrying around the waist? What if he wanted to check her for a shoulder holster? Or is the alternative to employ and team up male and female rangers for the sake of conducting same sex searches? What would be the additional cost in dollars? I guess that doesn't matter to Frascetti. Nor does it matter that going for an afternoon in the park shouldn't be like going through airport security. How does that make going to the park a place to "Gather with peace of mind"?

  2. "They didn't go looking for trouble." I'm sorry, did you just say that armed gang members weren't looking for trouble? Lots of young men got drunk, fistfights broke out, and more than 20 shots were fired, from at least four different guns, and "They didn't go looking for trouble"?

    I'm sorry, Mr. Ralph Fascitelli, but you're got just a little bit of bullshit on your lip, right there, yeah, right by the corner. That's it.

    Now that that's been cleaned up, Mr. Ralph Fascitelli, I'm going to give you a little tip about gangs. Gangs are *always* looking for trouble and protecting their territory; it's part of the code. Whether you're a full-fledged gang member, a gang 'affiliate' or just a gangsta wanna-be, you can *never* back down from disrespect, a challenge or a confrontation.

    If this means you get you get curb-stomped by a rival gang, that's just gang life, and it's probably nothing compared to the beatdown you'll get from your own 'brothers' if you wuss out and don't represent for your hood and your homies. If this means you need to bust out your .40 and empty a clip into a passing car that flipped you off, that's just gang life. If you go to prison, that's okay because there are plenty of gangs in prison too.

    Now that you know a thing or two about gangs, Mr. Ralph Fascitelli, let's talk about Washington's public parks. If you actually visit your local parks, you'll notice that most of them already expressly prohibit weapons of *any* kind, except those in the possession of Concealed Pistol Permit holders. If you read the Seattle Times which printed your Ignoramiad, you would know that this rule was already in effect at Lake Sammamish State Park. How many of the combatants in this 'Battle of Seattle', at least one of whom was arrested on an outstanding warrant, were Concealed Pistol Permit holders?

    While you're looking that up, Mr. Ralph Fascitelli, why don't you explain how a prohibition on open carry will prevent gang warfare like this? As you now understand, it was already illegal to openly carry a gun at Lake Sammammish State Park, and if you look at RCW 9.41.050, you will discover that is was also illegal for them to carry *concealed* firearms in the park, or anywhere else in public, without a permit.

    Old aphorism's aren't always right. Sometimes it *is* smarter to keep your mouth shut and remain an idiot, than to open your mouth and prove it.

    • He wants to make it, duh. /sarc

      Too bad I left Seattle……for Maryland. (cries quietly in a dark corner, unarmed)


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