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Handguns allowed in Seattle libraries starting Monday

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SEATTLE — Seattle public libraries are places to read and research, study or just enjoy the peace and quiet.

Now it’s also a place for handguns, whether carried concealed or where everyone can see.

LibraryPatrons who spend a lot of time at the library have mixed feelings about guns in their library.

“It’s out there on the streets so it might as well be in here as well,” library visitor Randy Larson said.

“It’s a gun and it can go off very quickly and has really bad results,” library visitor Catherine Reynolds said.

The city of Seattle has for years tried to ban guns in public places, even though the state Constitution grants citizens that right.

Library officials voted to make the change and allow guns inside, but in reality they had no choice.

“The reason for the rule change is the Seattle Public Libraries needs to be in compliance with state law around firearms,” Seattle public library spokeswoman Andra Addison said.

Where one can carry a gun has long been a big issue for those on both sides of the gun debate.

“It’s a terrible idea, absolutely terrible idea,” said Ralph Fascitelli, spokesman for the gun-safety organization Washington CeaseFire.

“Whether it’s a good idea or bad idea, they have to comply with state law,” said Dave Workman, spokesman for the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation.

The foundation filed a successful lawsuit to stop Seattle’s ban on guns in parks.

Workman said that lifting the decades-old ban on libraries is long overdue.

“This may come as a shock to some of the people at the Seattle library system, but armed citizens have been going in and using that facility for years.  Now is the time for the Seattle library system to comply with the state law and they’re doing that and that’s the responsible thing to do,” Workman said.

Washington CeaseFire disagrees.

“Cities like Seattle that want to protect their people can’t. They can’t protect them in parks.  They can’t protect them in libraries.  And like I say, it’s a bad law. It’s a bad law because where you have guns you have gun violence,” Fascitelli said.

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  • Ed head

    I have no problem with it as long as they are legally carrying it.

    Police can’t be everywhere and after the recent beatings in Seattle I can understand why someone would want to as well.

  • The World is Ending

    I have an idea for all you gun control people let's ban all guns and make it illegal for anyone to have one, lets see .. I bet the gangs will be first in line to turn them in. The cops won't shoot any unarmed person because with guns illegal no one will have one so the cops won't even need them, just think no more gang shootings or drive by shootings in fact no one will ever be shot again…. What you don't realize is that people can get ANYTHING they want including some of the most advanced weapons our military has, regardless if it is legal or not.

  • Bruce

    Phew. Thank goodness. I had to carry my gun into Starbucks because it was such a threatening place. Now I can take it to the library with me, probably the scariest place to go as a grown man.

    • Toneblind

      where you have guns you have gun violence? I’ve never heard such an ignorant response. no its where you have criminals you have gun violence and no law is going to stop criminals from walking and shooting any place up.just look at the LAX shooting, no place is more “secure” than an airport right now.

  • Mr. Eric

    “It’s a gun and it can go off very quickly and has really bad results,” library visitor Catherine Reynolds said.
    Come on, Catherine…do you think before you speak? Guns don't "go off" on their own. It requires human interaction. Law abiding citizens privately carrying a concealed weapon are not going to be handling their firearm.
    If you want to be scared, then be afraid of the criminal who comes into the library with to rob you.
    See here:
    Or here:….
    Or here:
    Libraries are no longer the off limits, quiet sanctuary to study, or retreat and read a book in solitude.
    You go ahead and wring your hands about law abiding citizens carrying a concealed weapon in your proximity. I can guarantee that you walk among people that are carrying guns, you don't know it because they don't advertise. And, while you are wringing your hands in dismay, my hands will be prepared to defend myself against someone who would do me harm. Best of luck as you continue your naive walk through this world.

  • Byron

    As an ex military member who is legally licensed to carry in EVERY state in the union I do feel threatened where ever I go, I do not see how I can be considered a social pariah because I choose to exercise my right to the second amendment. I mean honestly lets take a look over the last decade in what I'm gonna call "Reasons to carry my gun"

    December 11, 2012. On Tuesday, 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts killed 2 people and himself with a stolen rifle in Clackamas Town Center, Oregon. His motive is unknown.

    September 27, 2012. Five were shot to death by 36-year-old Andrew Engeldinger at Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis, MN. Three others were wounded. Engeldinger went on a rampage after losing his job, ultimately killing himself.

    August 5, 2012. Six Sikh temple members were killed when 40-year-old US Army veteran Wade Michael Page opened fire in a gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Four others were injured, and Page killed himself.

    July 20, 2012. During the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, CO, 24-year-old James Holmes killed 12 people and wounded 58. Holmes was arrested outside the theater.

    May 29, 2012. Ian Stawicki opened fire on Cafe Racer Espresso in Seattle, WA, killing 5 and himself after a citywide manhunt.

    April 6, 2012. Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32, shot 5 black men in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in racially motivated shooting spree. Three died.

    April 2, 2012. A former student, 43-year-old One L. Goh killed 7 people at Oikos University, a Korean Christian college in Oakland, CA. The shooting was the sixth-deadliest school massacre in the US and the deadliest attack on a school since the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.

    February 27, 2012. Three students were killed by Thomas “TJ” Lane, another student, in a rampage at Chardon High School in Chardon, OH. Three others were injured.

    October 14, 2011. Eight people died in a shooting at Salon Meritage hair salon in Seal Beach, CA. The gunman, 41-year-old Scott Evans Dekraai, killed six women and two men dead, while just one woman survived. It was Orange County’s deadliest mass killing.

    September 6, 2011. Eduardo Sencion, 32, entered an IHOP restaurant in Carson City, NV and shot 12 people. Five died, including three National Guard members.

    January 8, 2011. Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in the head when 22-year-old Jared Loughner opened fire on an event she was holding at a Safeway market in Tucson, AZ. Six people died, including Arizona District Court Chief Judge John Roll, one of Giffords’ staffers, and a 9-year-old girl. 19 total were shot. Loughner has been sentenced to seven life terms plus 140 years, without parole.

  • Byron

    August 3, 2010. Omar S. Thornton, 34, gunned down Hartford Beer Distributor in Manchester, CT after getting caught stealing beer. Nine were killed, including Thornton, and two were injured.

    November 5, 2009. Forty-three people were shot by Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan at the Fort Hood army base in Texas. Hasan reportedly yelled “Allahu Akbar!” before opening fire, killing 13 and wounding 29 others.

    April 3, 2009. Jiverly Wong, 41, opened fire at an immigration center in Binghamton, New York before committing suicide. He killed 13 people and wounded 4.

    March 29, 2009. Eight people died in a shooting at the Pinelake Health and Rehab nursing home in Carthage, NC. The gunman, 45-year-old Robert Stewart, was targeting his estranged wife who worked at the home and survived. Stewart was sentenced to life in prison.

    February 14, 2008. Steven Kazmierczak, 27, opened fire in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University, killing 6 and wounding 21. The gunman shot and killed himself before police arrived. It was the fifth-deadliest university shooting in US history.

    February 7, 2008. Six people died and two were injured in a shooting spree at the City Hall in Kirkwood, Missouri. The gunman, Charles Lee Thornton, opened fire during a public meeting after being denied construction contracts he believed he deserved. Thornton was killed by police.

    December 5, 2007. A 19-year-old boy, Robert Hawkins, shot up a department store in the Westroads Mall in Omaha, NE. Hawkins killed 9 people and wounded 4 before killing himself. The semi-automatic rifle he used was stolen from his stepfather’s house.

    April 16, 2007. Virginia Tech became the site of the deadliest school shooting in US history when a student, Seung-Hui Choi, gunned down 56 people. Thirty-two people died in the massacre.

    February 12, 2007. In Salt Lake City’s Trolley Square Mall, 5 people were shot to death and 4 others were wounded by 18-year-old gunman Sulejman Talović. One of the victims was a 16-year-old boy.

    October 2, 2006. An Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster, PA was gunned down by 32-year-old Charles Carl Roberts, Roberts separated the boys from the girls, binding and shooting the girls. 5 young girls died, while 6 were injured. Roberts committed suicide afterward.

    March 25, 2006. Seven died and 2 were injured by 28-year-old Kyle Aaron Huff in a shooting spree through Capitol Hill in Seattle, WA. The massacre was the worst killing in Seattle since 1983.

    March 21, 2005. Teenager Jeffrey Weise killed his grandfather and his grandfather’s girlfriend before opening fire on Red Lake Senior High School, killing 9 people on campus and injuring 5. Weise killed himself.

    March 12, 2005. A Living Church of God meeting was gunned down by 44-year-old church member Terry Michael Ratzmann at a Sheraton hotel in Brookfield, WI. Ratzmann was thought to have had religious motivations, and killed himself after executing the pastor, the pastor’s 16-year-old son, and 7 others. Four were wounded.

    July 8, 2003. Doug Williams, a Lockheed Martin employee, shot up his plant in Meridian, MS in a racially-motivated rampage. He shot 14 people, most of them African American, and killed 7 before killing himself.

    December 26, 2000. Edgewater Technology employee Michael “Mucko” McDermott shot and killed seven of his coworkers at the office in Wakefield, MA. McDermott claimed he had “traveled back in time and killed Hitler and the last 6 Nazis.” He was sentenced to 7 consecutive life sentences.

    September 15, 1999. Larry Gene Ashbrook opened fire on a Christian rock concert and teen prayer rally at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX. He killed 7 people and wounded 7 others, almost all teenagers. Ashbrook committed suicide.

    July 29, 1999. Mark Orrin Barton, 44, murdered his wife and two children with a hammer before shooting up two Atlanta day trading firms. Barton, a day trader, was believed to be motivated by huge monetary losses. He killed 12 including his family and injured 13 before killing himself.

    April 20, 1999. In the deadliest high school shooting in US history, teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Kiebold shot up Columbine High School in Littleton, CO. They killed 13 people and wounded 21 others. They killed themselves after the massacre.

    All of these places are considered to be places that legally licensed gun owners are not allowed to carry in and EVERY one of them could have been avoided if we LEGAL gun owners were not treated like the scum of the earth and allowed to carry when and where we feel its necessary.

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