Roach [21:00]: Let me ask a question. How many of you that are gun owners have given your fingerprints, your thumbprints, to the federal government before you could get a gun? How many? Everbody?! Senator Kline, we have been vetted very very well. The question I have for Mr. Judy is this. We did have a very fun day we went out to the Black Diamond Gun Club. Well, I think we had a good time and included Senator Kline and were very happy we could come out. At that time we had a display, and because I'm not so good on what they were. You called on of them a range rifle and I don't know if the other one was an AK47. You took the mechanism, the working mechanism, out of one and the other and switched them, put them in. Could you describe to Senator Kline, again, what that was and that maybe we're talking about cosmetics more than actual functioning of a firearm.
Brian Judy [21:42]: Yeah thank you. I passed out a flier that hopefully you all have, and it talks about the cosmetic changes about this cosmetic legislation. The firearm that is in this display is a Ruger Mini-14. It is also called a ruger ranch rifle. And a lot of people will look at this picture and say "well, the gun on the bottom is an assault rifle or an assault weapon, and that needs to be restricted; the gun on the top is a sporting firearm." Well, in fact, as indicated by the serial number, that is the same firearm. The guts of that firearm, the action is exactly the same, and all that's changed is the cosmetic features. And that's what I point out when I point out the arbitrary sumset and the confusion. You try to ban firearms like the one on the bottom, well, you change the cosmetic appearance on it, and make it look like the one on the top, and it's not banned. Well, what sense does that make?
Kline: Senator Roach, if you have a statement, let's keep this reasonably...
Roach: Well, if you want to give me another one I'll ask another question, but I think we should move on
Kline: We would like to get on
Roach: No I'm good
Kline: Okay, thank you. Going on to the next witness in favor of the bill, Ralph Facatelli representing ceasefire
Ralph [23:25]: Mr Chairman, members of the committee, my name is Ralph Facatelli and I probably represent Washington's Ceasefire. We are a statewide citizen activists group of 5,000 members dedicated to one thing. Reducing gun violence in Washington state. And it may suprise some people in this room, but we accept the recent ruling of the US Supreme Court that validated the second amendment and the right to bear arms. In that ruling conservative justice Anthony Scalia stated that few rights, including the second amendment, are in fact, limited, and that military grade weapons are not provided with second amendment protection. We have a public health crisis in our state. In the last decade, more Washingtonians were killed by firearms than all US deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, combined. I am here to tell you that guns do kill people. That research by the Harvard School of Public Health show that gun deaths correlate directly with the number of guns in society.We Americans are no more violent than other countries, but because of guns we are far more lethal. The incidence of rape, burglary, and assault is the same in Seattle as it is in Vancouver, BC, yet we have four times the number of deaths because we have four times the number of guns. And no firearm has a greater lethal capacity than semi-automatic assault weapons. This weapon was responsible for a mass shooting of 27 people in Spokane in 1994 by a 21 year old man with a clean criminal record. This gun was also for the death of young, 18 year old Aaron Sullivan by another man with no criminal record, as well as the death of officer Tim Brenton of the Seattle police force, again by a man with no criminal record. In fact, according to FBI data, 24% of police killed in the line of duty are killed by semi-automatic assault weapons. Many crimes are committed by angry, disturbed individuals without a criminal records who turn deadly in a moment of rage when they have access to weapons of war such as these assault weapons. It is an insult to victims like Aaron Sullivan and Timothy Brenton to split hairs over what is or what isn't a semi-automatic assault weapons. If it holds more than 10 bullets in my mind it is. If it automatically loads and discharges bullets it is. And if its original design and intent was to kill many humans and not animals, it is. We need to come to come together to find a balance between personal freedom we all in this room care about, and public safety. The tragedy of gun violence is preventable but will not go away on its own. It requires the courage of all elected officials. Polling by Washington Ceasefire and Mayor Bloomberg and his group of mayors shows that a large majority of state voters, and even many gun rights proponents favor common-sense legislation such as this one. The hard core of this group may win this fight, today, but it's a short-sighted victory, that sadly comes at a great cost to the citizens of this state. Thank you.
Kline [26:40]: Thank you, before we get into questions I just want to clarify something. You mentioned if it reloads automatically it is a semi-automatic assault weapon. Just so you know, not all semi-automatics qualify for this ban.
Ralph: No, I meant all those three characteristics, collectively.
Kline: Right, it has to be semi-automatic and meet the requirements of the federal law. It has to have those 5 physical characteristics. I... This is my first question and I'm sure others may have their own questions. You referred to people who are not here today. Earlier there was a showing of who's in favor and who is not. It is not just the people who are here today but these and people not here today are voters. They elect us, and they are the final arbiters. You have some polling data that you alluded to at the end?
Ralph: Yeah, we do
Kline: Could you refer to that?
Ralph: We did a poll of 600 Washington state voters done by an independent group, Evan McDunnum, shows that 80% of Washington voters are in favor of banning these assault weapons, including a plurality of NRA member households. That data was also correlated by a national poll that showed that 78% of Americans want the ban of semi-automatic assault weapons. This legislation is also favored by the international association of chiefs of police.
Roach: Mr Chairman
Kline: Senator Roach
Roach: Thank you. I think the ultimate best poll would be the poll of the people. And we had an initiative that was here in Washingtion a number of years ago. Who here can tell me what it was, 677? (crowd answers 676) 676 and there was a huge battle in the media, in the bought press, and there was a huge campaign. The people of Washington showed, the real people we should be polling here, didn't want your gun bans. They wanted the freedom to protected themselves and their families. They wanted to be able to be sportsmen and women. They wanted to be able to target shoot if they want. They wanted to be able to hunt, and what you want to do here is really in opposition to what the people of the state of Washington have already stated through a very well fought campaign, and the bad guys lost to this.
Ralph: I can't speak to that (clapping in crowd disrupts him) initiative -
Kline: This is not entertainment, I'm sorry
Ralph: -it was years ago and has nothing to do with the bill put forth today.
Roach: Well, it most certainly did in terms of a poll and how people feel-
Kline: Senator, this is question and answer period, it is not time-
Ralph: That initiative had nothing to do with the banning of semi-automatic assault weapons here today.
Senator Carrell: Mr Chairman
Kline: Senator Carrell you had a question?
Carrell: Thank you. Do you approve of the bill as written?
Ralph: I am in general approval of the bill, and it's not a perfect bill and no bill is a perfect bill and I think it's a bill that will reduce gun deaths in this state.
Carrell: Do you also support and approve of the search and seizure portion of this, which as I simply read the US Constitution article (sic) 4
Kline: As I mentioned to Mr Judy, that was included by mistake and that language will not be in
Carrell: So you do not approve of that either?
Kline: Correct. That language will be out of here. Other questions? Hearing none. Thank you. The first person to sign up, and I'm certain it was someone who was here earliest this morning, and I'm going to accord to him the next spot is Bill Pierce, citizen from 98366. There will bill one more witness from each side, then we can go on to the next bill.
Pierce: Thanks for your time, good to see Pam Roach here. You know, legislation like this necessarily impungns the characters of gun owners at large, and we don't like it a bit. Okay, first of all. Of necessity, legislation is basically telling other people how to live, and I read a little bit about your background, you seem like a smart guy, I imagine you're a sincere guy, okay, you're a former SDS member and you seem to be proud of that, you mention it in your bio. You're a national abortion rights activist league contributor and defender, and I would suggest to you that the lifestyle you're supporting in that takes more far more innocent lives every year than any of the people sitting behind me today. First of all... Second of all, when I was fifteen years old and I joined the NRA, my father told me that there are people sitting up day and night thinking of ways to circumscribe your rights, and I didn't think that was possible. But as I grew older, I met people like you, who sit there with intense smugness and arrogance and tell us that we're clapping because this is entertainment, and it's not.
Kline: Pierce, excuse me, please stick to the merits of the bill. One way or another, tell us what you feel about the bill, not about me.
Pierce: No, no, because this is to the point. You're sitting there in superior judgment to everybody out here and telling us that you can make things safer.
Kline: Hold on *gavel strike* This is not about me or any other legislator. It's about legislation. If you want to talk about policy, absolutely, that's what you're here for.
Unknown Senator: Mr Pierce, I would ask that you speak to the bill. Lack of merit, if that's what it is.
Pierce: Okay, I'll try to ...
Unknown Senator: You're here to talk to me too, and not just the chair
Pierce: I'm not familiar with your name being on the bill. I didn't see it
Unknown Senator: It's not on the bill, that's why I want to hear what you have to say, rather than to impugn our chair.
Pierce: Very good, no, then, uh. The relevance is this: we elect people to serve us, not to dictate to us, first of all. Second of all, the empirical data was already provided by the fellow from the NRA. The fraction of a fraction of deaths that occur and god bless the poor lady and her son Aaron, and I'll include her family in my prayers tonight, but the fact is, you're talking about a fraction of a fraction. The way people operate, who chew away at our freedoms, incrementally, and we're not gonna have it, period.
Kline: Thank you very much. The next and final witness is the police chief of the city of Bellevue, Linda Pillo.
Roach: Mr Chair
Kline: Do you have a question?
Roach: I'm keeping track of who's speaking and how many minutes, this would be an odd number, would this person be giving advantage to the pro or the con?
Kline: Oh sure then we'll have one more you're right....
Pillo [33:55]: Good morning senators, my name is Linda Pillo, and although I am the Bellevue police chief, I am here today representing myself and my personal opinions regarding my law enforcement background. Three years ago the international association of the chiefs of police teamed up with Joyce foundation to hold a policy summit identifying ways to reduce gun violence. What resulted was a report recommending common sense strategies. The IACP also recommended law enforcement leaders throughout our nation to take a stand against gun violence and work with their officers and their communities to stop the nearly 30,000 lives that are lost every year to gun violence. This is a number far higher than any other developed country. Since 1990, more American lives have been lost to gun violence than in all the combats fought during the 20th century. One of the recommendations that came out of the IACP summit was to reduce the availibility and lethality of firearms to criminals. And FBI analysis found that 41 of the 211 law enforcement officers slain in the line of duty between 1991 and 2008 were killed with weapons that can be defined as assault weapons. Because of current restrictions on the release of ATF trace data, it's impossible to know how many assault weapons are used today. But we do know that just three months ago, Seattle police officer Timothy Brenton was shot to death and officer Brett Sweeny was injured by a killer using an assault weapon. Another dramatic example of why assault weapons should be banned happened back in 1997 when _ten_ Los Angeles officers were injured during a bank robbery. The officers were _completely_ outgunned because the suspects were using assault weapons. This example shows how quickly a killer can spray a lethal volley of bullets using this type of weapon. Another horrific incident happened in 2002 when a sniper held citizens in Washington DC under seize, randomly killing ten, and critically injuring three, during a twenty day killing spree. Assault weapons can also easily be converted to fully automatic machine guns. Every time a shooting occurs, law enforcement is called. Officers risk their lives to protect their community. Since October, six officers are dead and two are injured from gun fire. I've never experienced so much gun violence in all my 31 years that I've served. I'm heartbroken that these brave public servants are no longer with us protecting their communities. I urge you to support this bill as one way to help protect our officers and our community. Law enforcement officers cannot do it alone, we need elected officials to act in the overall public interest and help reduce gun violence in Washington state. Thank you very much for your time.
Kline: Thank you. Questions?
Roach: Yes, I have a question.
Kline: Senator Roach
Roach: Thank you, Mr Chairman, and we take opposite sides, but my son in law is a member of law enforcement. He's, of course, the father of my grandchildren and I want you to know that I care about law enforcement also, we see things a bit differently. Law enforcement I know, they want people to protect themselves, because they can't be there every time every minute. But the question was this: you say you want to ban certain guns here, because of the issue of "lethality." Could you tell me which guns are lethal and which guns are not?
Pillo: What I'm talking about is the assault weapons, what is defined as assault weapons, and I completely agree with you -
Roach: What is more or less lethal about those firearms that are defined in this bill as being assault weapons than any other firearm that is not defined in this bill as being an assault weapon. What is the difference in lethality between the two?
Pillo: Because of the multiple rounds that can be fired in seconds.
Roach: How many rounds does it take to kill a person or a deer or anything? How many rounds would it take?
Pillo: I'm just talking about assault weapons today, and I completely -
Roach: The answer is one.
Pillo: completely agree with you about the second amendment rights. I agree with you about the right to bear arms, that any law abiding citizen.
Roach: You mentioned lethality and I don't think you've been able to define the difference between these weapons here that you would think would be okay and those that are not.
Kline: Senator, this is not an argument, if you have an argument this is not the time for arguments.
Roach: That was a question
Kline: Further comments in answer to Senator Roach's...? I would point out that it takes one round to kill somebody, 10 rounds can kill 10 people, that's the difference. *points at Carrell* You had a question?
Roach: I have a question. There was a report that was done about 15 years by a Mr James Gosery. He was the senate intern to the then State senator ken pulland. And what he researched his several months here on campus was how many lives were actually saved versus those that were taken - illegally of course, because these people were stealing and such. How many lives were saved versus how many were taken, do you know the answer to that, the proportion?
Pillo: I don't know about that study.
Roach: There are some studies at the University of Florida, also, gave what was probably a more professional study - we thought ours was pretty good - and who can tell me, was it 19-100 to one people have their lives saved because of firearm ownership, possession, and the ability to protect themselves versus those that are in the category of suicide, or murder.
Kline: Senator, this is not the time for floor speeches
Roach: Well, she didn't know the answer
Pillo: And again, I agree with you about the right to bear arms, we're talking specifically about assault weapons today.
Kline: Thank you. Last witness, I know Mr Murton Cooper has been at almost every hearing
Roach: What about Dave Workman, I'd like to have him answer questions that were brought up by this particular
Kline: Senator, she was trying to answer your questions and I think she made a good faith effort. Badgering a witness while she's trying to answer -
Roach: I wasn't badgering, I was trying to show...
Kline: Simply because you disagree is not within our usual rules