What is the cost of a life? This famous, or infamous, statement was made by Angie Homola when speaking of the costs associated with new proposed Island County code change to allow for firearm restrictions in Island County.
If this is what it has come down to, Angie speaking about the cost being irrelevant when saving lives with the new firearms ordinance where is the evidence that there have been lives lost in Island County due to private property owners shooting on their own property? I have lived on the Islands for most of my life and I can never recall a life being harmed or injured by citizen’s target shooting on their own private property. There have been injuries and deaths due to firearms on the Island. A couple of hunting accidents over the last 30 years, a couple of deaths due to the improper handling of firearms and yes there have been deaths due to the criminal elements we all live with on a daily basis. But where are the deaths or injuries related to private citizens shooting on their own property?
If we take Angie Homola’s statement to heart we would need to ban all firearms from the Islands because there have been firearm deaths here on the Islands. Along with that we would also need to make very severe changes to the rest of our activities here on the Islands. As our most frequent cause of death is our highways and county roads we should also be looking at major changes to them. Center line barriers would be the most effective effectively stopping all head on collisions. Stop lights at all intersections would also reduce the number of highway fatalities from people not yielding the right of way to oncoming traffic. The costs for all of these changes? Well as Angie states “What is the cost of a life?”
In society we all take risks, every time we choose to drive our roadways there is a risk that another driver can cause us harm or injury. Wildlife is also a risk for drivers, every year there are deer and car collisions which to my knowledge has never caused a death here on the Island but the potential is always there. We should consider removing all of the deer from the Island or fencing our roadways off because after all “What is the cost of a life?”
The threat to life here on he Islands does not stop there. What about fire? Can a neighbor’s recreational fire get out of control? Certainly it can and it certainly can cause deaths and property damage but are we advocating stopping all burning in Island County? No we are not.
Common sense at some time has to prevail. This new county code is not about saving lives, it is not about property damage and it is not about damage to livestock. It about guns and those that believe that it is politically correct to remove them from society. Fortunately we have a document, several of them, which protect us against this non sensical behavior. One is our US Bill of Rights where in article 2 it states:
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
The other is our Washington State Constitution which states:
“SECTION 24 RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.”
I strongly suggest that MS Homola pay attention to the 2 documents that the 2 above passages come from. These documents were not devised to control the citizenry, they were devised to reserve those enumerated rights to the citizens themselves not to the government.
If Ms Homola is truly interested in “saving lives” should first start with looking at areas where saving lives would be effective not in areas where there has been no evidence or proof that lives have been lost or people injured. The rights reserved to the people by our founding fathers and documents should be off the table until there is conclusive evidence that the exercising of these rights are indeed causing harm.