Rules didn’t prevent tragedy in Marysville high school


by Lars Larson

I’ve marked my ballot in Washington State and it’s a “no” vote on Initiative 594, an anti-gun bill by any standard.

When a teenager went crazy and shot his friends at Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington, a number of you wrote to me and said it would fuel the support for 594. In fact, the opposite is true.

Jaylen Fryberg shot five of his classmates before shooting and killing himself. Police say Fryberg used a .40 caliber handgun belonging to his father. Initiative 594 would not have prevented Jaylen Fryberg from getting a hold of that gun.

Three months ago his parents gave him a hunting rifle for his birthday. Initiative 594 would not have prevented that because gifts among family members are exempt under 594.

These so called “expanded background checks” are a favorite political hobby horse of folks who think rules will stop crimes. Fryberg broke one rule by bringing a pistol to school, broke another by shooting it, broke more by murdering classmates, and even broke a law by killing himself.

Rules didn’t stop him – and passing one more won’t make any difference at all. A teacher stopped the shooting – but might have stopped it sooner if armed with a gun.

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