Preserve my right of choice | Letters

Some of you may know me because of my involvement in protecting women’s rights to reproductive choice. But now, I want to express my feelings about Initiative 1639, which places additional restrictions on gun ownership.

Just as the anti-abortion forces are campaigning to incrementally pass laws to not only make abortion illegal but to create more and more restrictions and barriers for women’s access to family planning in general, so the anti-gun forces are campaigning incrementally to pass laws to prohibit and further restrict personal gun ownership. In exactly the same way, increasingly restrictive gun laws are essentially rendering law-abiding and responsible people helpless victims of criminal acts.

Just as I am fiercely against any type of government laws that prohibit a woman’s right to have access to any reproductive medical care she needs and chooses for her health, I am also fiercely against any type of government laws that prohibit my right to defend myself, and have access to any weapon I need and choose for my protection.

As a Jew, I have lived my life with constant reminders of the evils of Nazism. The lessons I now take from that is when I look at totalitarian regimes and police states, one of the very first things they do to seize power is to disarm the population. This has happened throughout history and still goes on now. For that reason, I never want to be rendered helpless to defend myself in any situation, and I don’t want any law to limit my right and ability to do so.

I believe that no law, no matter how airtight, is going to prevent criminals, fanatics or mentally ill people from getting hold of a gun to kill their victim, or victims.

Regarding Initiative 1639, the existing laws related to background checks, sales and transfers, registration and storage, and types of firearms allowed to be used and sold in Washington are already extensive and reasonable.

So I say, we do not need Initiative 1639.

Jean Henigson