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Town Hall with 3 (D) state reps - all avoided supporting more regulation.

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by CharonPDX, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. CharonPDX

    CharonPDX Portland, OR Active Member

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    I live in a toward-the-more-liberal part of a very-liberal town (Southwest Portland.) Tonight there was a two-hours "town hall" with the three local-area state Representatives in a community center dedicated to the arts. Attending were Oregon State Representative veteran Margaret Doherty, House District 35; rookie Jennifer Williamson, House District 36 (my representative; ) and veteran Chris Garrett, House District 38. Their three districts all meet in the neighborhood the town hall was held in. They had VERY brief introductions, then went straight to audience questions. I would estimate there were about 50 people there.

    I won't bore you with a full accounting (I took copious notes of every question and answer.) But here are the relevant ones.

    The first question, by an elderly gentleman. (All bits paraphrased because I can't type on my phone's keyboard fast enough to keep up with a full transcription.) Bits in parenthesis and italic (like this) are my commentary.

    Question: With the recent violence in Sandy Hook, Clackamas Town Center, and other locations, NRA president (I know - his words, not mine,) Wayne LaPierre recently said that all Americans should have access to the same weapons as the police and military. So he wants everyone to buy an F-15 with a full load of missiles? That represents one extreme. What is your view on stopping gun violence?
    (How's that for a loaded question?)

    Answer by Rep. Garrett (D-38): I think we need to recognize the rights of all citizens afforded by the second amendment, along with the reasonable limitations to every right. For example, new fully-automatic weapons have been banned as long as I can remember. (I was *VERY* impressed by this statement - specifically the fact that he specified "new". The fact that he didn't know 1986 isn't as important.) There is work on new laws going on in the state Senate, by Ginny Burdick (hissssss...) I have served on the governor's safety commission, and feel that the best measures are to reinvest in prevention, such as mental health and drugs. The shooters in Newtown and Clackamas would not be deterred by more laws. (yay! He gets that!) There are a spectrum of responses that can be taken. I'm prepared to take a look at gun regulations, but those should not be the only thing.
    (Overall, one of the more enlightened responses by a Democratic lawmaker speaking at length. In this room, I could probably safely say that my wife and I were the only ones who are "on the 'more freedoms' side of center" on gun rights in the audience. So his statement to what should have been a "safely anti-gun audience" was refreshing.)

    Answer by Rep. Doherty (D-35): (REALLY paraphrasing) Talked about the need for better school safety, and school counselors to identify mental health issues in schools, that she needs to work on that.
    (Her answer was about ninety seconds - she didn't mention guns at all, solely mentioning school safety and counselors.)

    Answer by Rep. Williamson (D-36, and a member of the Democratic Party of Oregon's Gun Owners Caucus): I agree with the need for more concentration on mental health care, and for better funding of school counselors. They are a safety net for kids, helping to watch out for one another. Much larger an issue than gun safety regulations are mental health issues.
    (Yes, she specifically said gun safety regulations. Having spoken with her previously (also previously to the recent mass shootings,) she has expressed interest solely in safety issues. The "worst" I could see her supporting is something like Portland's "you're responsible for what happens with your gun if it is used in a crime by someone else, and you didn't have it locked in a safe" law.)


    The next question was by a middle-aged woman: The feds co-opt power in laws regarding violence. The state co-ops more, so that there is nearly no power at the local level to regulate violence (Yeah, "regulate violence"? She obviously meant "guns".) Is there any new legislation in the works to loosen the laws so that localities can pass more regulations?

    Answer by Rep Doherty: None that I know of.

    That was it for answers to that question.


    Then the questioning moved on to other topics, and the closest it came to crime again was in funding for local courts. (With Rep. Williamson saying that "courts are involved in many of the most important issues we face, such as restraining orders, civil and criminal trails. People would be shocked by the disinvestment in the courts. We need to invest far more in the courts. Representative Garrett and I are working at forming a 'courts caucus' in the legislature. I want to see Multnomah County get a new courthouse, the current one is atrocious.")
     
    chris61182 and (deleted member) like this.
  2. Will_Power

    Will_Power OR via OK Active Member

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    Ah, how fortunate I am to have ole Ginny as my state rep.
     
  3. CharonPDX

    CharonPDX Portland, OR Active Member

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    State Senator. You have a MUCH better Rep. (Hell, a turnip would be a better State Senator than Ginny...) Yeah, she's mine, too. I hadn't realized she was up for re-election last year until it was too late, or I would have run against her.
     
  4. duane black

    duane black Washington Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to do this, and post here. If 100 of us would show up at each and every one if these events, act like adults and engage these people, I believe we would have a lot less to fear, at least at the state level.


    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
     
  5. CharonPDX

    CharonPDX Portland, OR Active Member

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    Exactly. If I had started shouting "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED" as soon as the mention of regulation had come up, I likely would have driven the Rep to response with anti-gun hostility. Ironically, by the anti-gun guy going overboard, it allowed the Rep to take a more moderate stance than he probably would have if the anti-gun guy had been less rhetoric.