Background checks are performed at fairgrounds gun shows

The letter to the editor by Chuck Wright (“County should end gun shows at Monroe fairgrounds,” The Herald, Sept. 10) contains misinformation and perpetuates myths that impair a reasoned discussion of violence in society.

The gun shows held in Monroe at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds are presented by the Washington Arms Collectors. Even before it was the law, we required that members pass a criminal history background check; firearm purchases were denied to felons. Washington state law now requires “universal” background checks on all firearm transfers. The Monroe gun shows have a number of licensed dealers who perform FBI background checks on private and retail sales. T

he firearm-buying attendees at our events include the most scrutinized citizens in Washington; they have been fingerprinted and had backgrounds checked multiple times. Mr. Wright seems unaware of the processes already in law and his implication that our gun shows are somehow part of the problem is provably wrong.

Regarding AR-type rifles, there are an estimated 5 million to 10 million in the U.S. and they are almost never used by criminals; they are the choice of sportsmen, target shooters and hunters. The boycotting and banning acts Mr. Wright suggests are intended only to marginalize good, law-abiding citizens and will have no impact at all on the real problem.

We must focus on the root causes of spontaneous violence: alienation, addiction and mental illness. Social media, violent video-gaming and dysfunctional families will continue to produce killers if we continue to mislead ourselves about the true causes of violence.

Philip Shave

executive director, retired

Washington Arm Collectors

Olympia

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