Washington state considers measure that would cause suicides

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These days, I’m a tad sensitive about things like suicides. I have a strong reason to be.

Yet the truth of the matter is that suicides are a big problem if for no other reason than those that are committed with a firearm are lumped into “gun death” statistics and used to justify restrictions on our right to keep and bear arms.


As such, we should encourage people to take steps to protect themselves if they’re feeling suicidal.

In Washington state, one of the measures they put in place to reduce suicides is allowing people to voluntarily waive their gun rights for a time. I’ve never been convinced that would really work all that well, but we haven’t really seen statistics one way or another, so I could be wrong.

Yet a new proposal seems like the kind of thing that would take that law and turn its intention on its head.

People with mental health issues and those who might consider suicide sometimes voluntarily give up their right to possess guns by filing a voluntary waiver of their firearm rights with the clerk of the court of any county within the state.

Under a bill now being debated in the Legislature, filing such a waiver would be allowed electronically, and revoking the waiver would trigger notification of a friend or relative.

Substitute Senate Bill 5006, by Sen. Jamie Pederson, D-Seattle, also would create a class 4 civil infraction of unlawful possession of a firearm for a person who has a firearm in their possession after a voluntary waiver has been accepted by a clerk.


Now, a class 4 civil infraction apparently just carries a $25 fine.

That means this law will do one of two things. It’ll either do nothing or it’ll discourage people from signing such a waiver in the first place.

See, suicidal ideation is typically temporary. Few people are chronically thinking of taking their own life. People cognizant of that fact will only sign that waiver because it’s temporary, and those thinking about the waiver are typically cognizant of that.

By suddenly creating an infraction for violating something that was their own choice in the first place, some will just say “screw it” and carry on.

As a result, if they decide to commit suicide, their guns are still readily available, thus rendering the entire effort null and void. (Granted, if they don’t have access to a firearm, there are still plenty of other ways to commit suicide but bear with me here.)

Remember, this is voluntary. That means people should be able to voluntarily end things. The idea of penalizing someone for having a gun when they were the ones who decided to give up guns is beyond vile.


Absolutely nothing about this actually makes any sense. I don’t care how you try to spin it, either, it just can’t make any sense.

The best-case scenario for this is that it doesn’t really do anything. That’s it.

The worst-case scenario is that any potential good done by allowing people to waive their gun rights is eradicated because someone wants to penalize people for feeling better and wanting to exercise their rights again. Absolute idiocy

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