I grew up in Alaska hunting and fishing. Regardless of how we feel about hunting, surely we can agree that murder and death by suicide with guns is tragic. Concern about gun safety is not anti-gun.
Often, family members, neighbors and friends are aware that someone may be a risk. Later, when tragedy is fact not fear, people wonder whether they could and should have done something. This is why red flag laws, providing for gun violence protective orders, have been passed in several states and are being considered in others.
It’s tricky business, no question about it, to develop a procedure to temporarily restrict someone’s gun ownership. Who makes that decision? What are the standards? For how long? What happens to the guns? There are a lot of legitimate concerns and questions, so let’s talk about it. Let’s explore how to protect people’s rights while also protecting their safety and the safety of others.
House Bill 62 is currently in the House Judiciary Committee. I hope there is a hearing before the legislative session ends. A hearing would raise people’s awareness and offer a mechanism for lawmakers during the interim to gather the best thinking of their constituents on how to combine concern for safety with preservation of people’s rights, and then to bring those ideas back to the Legislature during its second session.
Preserving lives and rights is a worthy goal, but it will take a lot of conversation and a lot of listening. Let’s get started.
Susi Gregg Fowler,
• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.