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The Chronicle - Centralia

Chehalis Middle School Student Pages in State House

Messina Occhino paged in the Washington state House of Representatives Jan. 16-20. The Chehalis Middle School student was sponsored by Rep. Ed Orcutt, of the 20th District.

Messina was able to experience the Legislature in the second week of the 2023 legislative session. She assisted the Washington state House of Representatives with duties on the chamber floor, made deliveries throughout the campus and supported member offices. Messina also attended Page School to learn more about the legislative process.

“I really enjoyed the chance to visit with Messina — to show her how the House functions as well as to get to know her future plans,” said Orcutt, R-Kalama. “I was very pleased to sponsor her and appreciated her work during the week.”

To serve as a page for the Washington State House of Representatives, students must be at least 14 years of age and have not reached their 17th birthday. However, the Legislature is making a one-time exception this year. The weeks of Feb. 5-10 and April 2-7 will be designated for students who are 17-18 years old and were unable to previously participate due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pages work a 40-hour work week, earn a stipend of $50 a day and can also earn up to 20 hours of community service.

Learn more about the House page program online at https://leg.wa.gov/House/pages/housepageprogram.aspx

In Focus: 'American Dream TV' Drops by Sweet Dough Cookie Co. as One-Year Anniversary Approaches

Silver Creek Man Pleads Not Guilty to Domestic Violence Assault Charges

A Silver Creek man accused of pointing a gun at a woman in August and assaulting the same woman in December has pleaded not guilty to felony assault charges in Lewis County Superior Court. 

The defendant, Ryan L. Pebbles, 36, was arrested at the Lewis County Law and Justice Center in Chehalis on Tuesday, Jan. 24, after he appeared before a judge to have his $100,000 arrest warrant quashed. 

Pebbles is accused of pointing a .44 caliber firearm at the alleged victim on Aug. 7, 2022, and “saying he was going to shoot her,” according to court documents. Out of “fear he would shoot her,” the alleged victim said “she ran off and hid in some bushes” until Pebbles left. 

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office was unable to contact Pebbles at the time the incident was reported on Aug. 8, according to court documents. On Sept. 14, the victim reportedly contacted the sheriff’s office to say she no longer wanted to press charges. The Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office declined to file charges against Pebbles at that time, “Because there were no other witnesses and the victim was not wanting the case prosecuted,” according to court documents. 

But on Dec. 31, the victim reported Pebbles had assaulted her and locked her out of the Chehalis residence, while Pebbles remained inside with access to firearms. The responding deputy observed injuries on the victim consistent with her account of the assault. The victim reported she did not want to pursue charges “because she did not want Pebbles to be more upset with her for calling 911,” according to court documents. 

Deputies attempted to contact Pebbles at the residence, but he didn’t respond. 

“Additional efforts were not made to arrest Pebbles due to the reported firearms inside the residence and his history with those firearms,” according to court documents. 

The Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office filed second-degree assault, domestic violence charges against Pebbles on Jan. 5 and Lewis County Superior Court issued a $100,000 warrant for Pebbles’ arrest that same day. 

Upon learning about the warrant, Pebbles and his defense attorney scheduled a hearing in Lewis County Superior Court to have the warrant quashed. 

Due to “very big concerns about community safety,” Judge Joely Yeager denied Pebbles’ motion and ordered Pebbles be arrested on that warrant following that Jan. 24 hearing. 

“I consider you a significant threat not only to community safety, but to the alleged victim in this matter,” Yeager told Pebbles on Jan. 24. 

Yeager also issued a no-contact order protecting the alleged victim. The alleged victim filed a motion two days later asking the court to rescind that protection order, which will be heard before a judge on Feb. 9. 

Trial is currently scheduled to begin March 13. 

 

 

Abbarno Bill to Expand Veterans Employment Tax Credit Scheduled for Committee Hearing

The state House Finance Committee has scheduled a public hearing for Thursday, Feb. 2, at 1:30 p.m. on a bill sponsored by state Rep. Peter Abbarno, R-Centralia, seeking to create job opportunities for military members, veterans and their families. 

House Bill 1005 would double the existing business and occupation tax credit from $1,500 to $3,000 for employers who hire a veteran and expand the tax credit to include spouses of veterans and active-duty military members and employ them in a full-time position for at least two consecutive full-calendar quarters. 

"Doubling this tax credit will provide the necessary boost for employers to be able to afford to hire our veterans, active-duty military members and their families, who are some of the most skilled and knowledgeable people in our communities," Abbarno said.   

The tax credit would affect those hired on or after July 1, 2023, and veterans would no longer need to meet the requirement of being unemployed for at least 30 days to be eligible. The changes would also apply to seasonal employers. 

"This is about helping our military members, veterans and their families — who've already given so much to our community — get jobs," Abbarno said. "It would also alleviate the workforce shortage and help businesses keep up with demand."

Chehalis River Basin Flood Control Zone District Passes Accountability Audit 

The Washington State Auditor’s Office has completed its inspection of the Lewis County commissioners in their role as the board of supervisors for the Chehalis River Basin Flood Control Zone District and gave them an exemplary audit, according to a county news release. 

Auditors looked at accounts payable, compliance with state grants, resource procurements and overall district financial condition from January 2018 through December 2021. 

“The audit found that the district operation complied in all material respects to applicable state laws and regulations, and provided adequate controls over the safeguarding of public resources,” State Audit Lead Alisha Alkire said in the release.

Lewis County commissioners Lindsey Pollock, Scott Brummer and Sean Swope head the district, which aims to reduce flood risk and preserve life, reduce property damage from flooding and protect, preserve and conserve natural resources. 

“I’m happy with the results of the audit, which demonstrates that we’re being very accountable, and protecting government funds to do the work that we do,” Chehalis River Basin Flood Control Zone District Administrator Erik Martin said in the release. “I’m proud of the fact that not only have we complied with the necessary laws and rules, we also have a hard working staff that keep excellent financial records.”

For more information on the Chehalis River Basin Flood Control Zone District, visit https://www.chehalisriverbasinfczd.com/ 

Sirens: Burglaries; Another Pursuit Terminated; Criminal Impersonation; Indecent Exposure; Assault

CENTRALIA POLICE DEPARTMENT 

Fraud 

• Fraudulent transactions out of a state retirement account were reported in the 700 block of North Tower Avenue at approximately 8:45 a.m. on Jan. 26. 

 

Burglary 

• A burglary to a vacant building in the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue was reported just after 8:50 a.m. on Jan. 26. Maintenance items were reported stolen. 

• Just after 7:05 p.m. on Jan. 26, several items were reported stolen from storage units in the 200 block of East Main Street after the owner discovered a door had been pried open that morning. Video surveillance footage reportedly shows “what appears to be four suspects involved,” according to the Centralia Police Department. The suspects reportedly drove off in a mid-to-late 90s two-door Honda Civic. The back quarter panels were either white or silver in color while the rest of the vehicle was black. 

• A burglary to a fenced area in the 1500 block of Kresky Avenue was reported at approximately 10:35 a.m. on Jan. 27. Vehicle parts were reported stolen. 

 

Vehicle Theft 

• A gold 1997 Honda Accord with the Washington license plate CDT7401 was reported stolen from the 100 block of South Tower Avenue just before 2:15 p.m. on Jan. 26. 

 

Retail Theft

• Two male subjects reportedly stole several items from a store in the 1400 block of Lum Road at 3:50 p.m. on Jan. 27 and fled in a silver Toyota Camry. The case is under investigation. 

• Two juvenile males reportedly stole a 2 liter bottle of soda and a bottle of Fireball from a business in the 500 block of South Tower Avenue at approximately 2:45 p.m. on Jan. 28 before fleeing in a vehicle that was parked in the store’s parking lot. 

 

Eluding 

• A late 90s to early 2000s Green Dodge Dakota pickup reportedly fled from police after an officer attempted to stop the vehicle at the intersection of Rose and Vienna streets just before 10 p.m. on Jan. 27 for suspicion of driving under the influence. The vehicle failed to stop and ran several stop signs before going the wrong way on a one-way street, at which point officers terminated the pursuit due to public safety concerns, according to the Centralia Police Department. The pickup had a white or silver colored pickup box, while the cab and front end were green.

 

Disorderly Conduct 

• A Portland, Oregon man was cited for causing a disturbance at a hospital in the 910 block of South Scheuber Road at approximately 2:45 p.m. on Jan. 26. 

• A man was trespassed from a shelter in the 100 block of North Gold Street just after 11:25 p.m. on Jan. 28 after he was reportedly “being disruptive inside” and was asked to leave. 

 

Vehicle Accidents 

• A non-injury, two-vehicle collision was reported at the intersection of West Walnut and South Pearl streets at 4:10 p.m. on Jan. 26. 

• Minor injuries were reported following a two-vehicle collision at the intersection of North Pearl Street and Reynolds Avenue at approximately 7:45 p.m. on Jan. 28. A vehicle had reportedly tried to turn left at the intersection and failed to yield right of way to a vehicle traveling straight through the intersection. 

 

Hit-and-Run 

• A hit-and-run was reported in the 1500 block of South Gold Street at 1:05 a.m. on Jan. 28. The owner of a vehicle found damage  caused by another vehicle that left the scene “prior to anyone seeing what took place,” according to the Centralia Police Department. 

 

DUI 

• Lino Amon, 31, of Centralia, was arrested in the 2400 block of Cooks Hill Road just before 2:10 a.m. on Jan. 29 and was booked into the Lewis County Jail for suspicion of driving under the influence after they were involved in a collision. 

 

Assault 

• A Tacoma woman was cited for fourth-degree assault in the 1200 block of Ellsbury Street just after 10:55 p.m. on Jan. 27. 

 

Criminal Impersonation 

• A Lewis County man was arrested in the 1000 block of Eckerson Road just before 3:15 a.m. on Jan. 27 and was booked into the Lewis County Jail on multiple felony warrants, including  failure to register as a sex offender, and criminal impersonation after allegedly giving a deceased individual’s name to officers. A Centralia woman was arrested on an outstanding felony warrant during the same incident. 

 

Drug Violation 

• A Cinebar man was arrested in the 1700 block of South Gold Street just after 2:20 p.m. on Jan. 27 on several outstanding felony warrants out of California. During the arrest, officers reportedly located “a large quantity of suspected marijuana along with items used for distribution” in the man’s backpack. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. 

 

CHEHALIS POLICE DEPARTMENT 

Indecent Exposure 

• A male subject who had his pants down and was possibly carrying a pocket knife was reported in the 100 block of Southwest Sixth Street at approximately 11:05 a.m. on Jan. 27. 

 

Assault 

• A subject was arrested in the 200 block of Southwest 13th Street just after 12:45 p.m. on Jan. 27 and was booked into the Lewis County Jail for alleged third-degree assault. 

• A subject was cited for fourth-degree assault in the 500 block of Southeast Washington Avenue just before 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 29 after he allegedly assaulted three staff members at a facility. He was trespassed from the facility. 

 

Hit-and-Run 

• A subject was cited for a hit-and-run in the 200 block of Southwest 13th Street at approximately 5:05 p.m. on Jan. 27. 

 

Vehicle Accidents 

• A non-injury, two-vehicle accident was reported in the 1400 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue just after 8:55 p.m. on Jan. 27. 

• A driver was issued a criminal citation following a non-injury, two-vehicle accident that was reported in the 100 block of North Market Boulevard just after 6:10 p.m. on Jan. 28. 

 

Harassment 

• A subject reportedly harassed someone in the drive-thru of a business in the 100 block of Southwest Interstate Avenue at 11 p.m. on Jan. 27. 

• A case of possible harassment was reported in the 600 block of Southeast Dobson Court just after 11:55 p.m. on Jan. 27. 

 

Disorderly Conduct 

• At 11:05 p.m. on Jan. 27, there was a report of a woman who “fell and hit her head” and then began “acting wacky” in the 500 block of Northwest Pacific Avenue. 

 

Theft 

• A woman reportedly tried to steal items from a business in the 1700 block of North National avenue at 3:45 p.m. on Jan. 28 before fleeing in a red Mustang driven by a second subject. The reporting party got their items back and “may have the female’s purse,” according to the Chehalis Police Department. 

 

Child Abuse or Neglect 

• A case of child abuse or neglect that was reported in the 1500 block of North National Avenue just after 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 29 is under investigation. 

 

Recovered Bicycle 

• A stolen bicycle was located and recovered in the 200 block of Southwest James Street at approximately 2:55 p.m. on Jan. 29. 

 

Death Investigation 

• The death of an 84-year-old man was reported in the 1900 block of Southeast Cypress Avenue at approximately 9:35 p.m. on Jan. 29. 

 

Overdose 

• An overdose reported in the 300 block of Southwest Riverside Drive at 6:05 a.m. on Jan. 30 is under investigation.

 

LEWIS COUNTY JAIL STATISTICS

As of Friday morning, the Lewis County Jail had a total system population of 143 inmates, including 131 in the general population and 12 in the Work Ethic and Restitution Center (WERC). Of general population inmates, 100 were reported male and 31 were reported female. Of the WERC inmates, 10 were reported male and two were reported female. 

•••

Sirens are compiled by reporter Emily Fitzgerald, who can be reached at emily@chronline.com. The Centralia Police Department can be reached at 360-330-7680, the Chehalis Police Department can be reached at 360-748-8605 and the Morton Police Department can be reached at 360-496-6636. If you were a victim of physical or sexual abuse, domestic violence or sexual assault, call Hope Alliance at 360-748-6601 or the Youth Advocacy Center of Lewis County at 360-623-1990.

Julie McDonald Commentary: Lewis County AAUW Branch Celebrates Its First Century

Do you believe women pursuing a college education can impair their fertility? Today, such a notion sounds absurd, but that was a prevailing myth dispelled only after a small group of college graduates formed the American Association of University Women in 1881 and published a research report four years later.

AAUW, the oldest and largest organization advocating for the professional and educational advancement of women, has grown to include more than 170,000 members and nearly a thousand branches, including one in Lewis County.

On Feb. 3, 1923, Zella McMicken called to order the first meeting of the Lewis County branch of the AAUW. Among the nine women was Margaret Corbet, the first principal of Centralia Junior College. Members — all college graduates — paid $3 in dues. The branch formed a Creative Reading Group that met twice a month and offered scholarships through the college in the form of loans.

“I think really that’s a milestone achievement for a group to be viable and active for such a long time,” said Toledo’s Sharon Lyons, head of a five-person committee planning a Feb. 25 centennial celebration at Centralia College. “This branch is really one of the most active in the state.”

One of the early members, Dorothy Dysart, helped organize the Washington State AAUW in the 1920s and chaired the local branch committee that hosted the Washington State AAUW Convention at the Lewis and Clark Hotel in Centralia in 1940. The convention was held in the Twin Cities again a decade later.

Since its beginning, nearly 80 presidents have led the local branch, which today counts more than 85 members whose mission is to advance gender equity for women and girls through research, education and advocacy. They gather regularly for educational programs, book clubs, discussion groups, movie outings, garden tours, art projects, traveling, baking and hiking. Dues today are $87 a year.

Many people hear about AAUW in the early spring when it holds a huge book sale at the Lewis County Mall, an event held annually since the 1970s. The sale raises about $10,000 a year for scholarships to help young women attend Centralia College and to assist middle and high school girls who participate in science, technology, engineering and math camps.

Others may have bought a LUNAFEST 48-hour pass in April to watch seven to nine international short films directed by and about women. All proceeds from the world’s first all-female traveling film festival benefit AAUW scholarships and Hope Alliance, formerly the Human Response Network, which helps survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. 

And many parents have sent their sixth- through ninth-grade girls to Expanding Your Horizons, a Saturday program offered each October since 1993 in conjunction with the Centralia College TRIO Talent Search. The event introduces girls to careers in science, technology, engineering, art and math through workshops taught by professional women working in radiation, physical therapy, electronics, aerodynamics, chemistry, crime scene investigation and veterinary sciences. Dr. Brandy Fay, a local veterinarian who participated in Expanding Your Horizons while in middle school, volunteers each year to share her profession with young girls. Architect Marnie Boomer Roberts has volunteered for more than two decades.

I wrote a column after my daughter and I attended EYH in 2014, when I figured she’d pursue her love of writing, but she’s graduating in May with a degree in genetics and cell biology. I also remember speaking to local AAUW members in May 2013 about the lives of Margaret Corbet and Katharine Kemp, the two remarkable women who kept Centralia College open during the Great Depression.

“I have really, really enjoyed this group,” said Lyons, a retired teacher who joined in 1967, moved away for a while, and raised a family before rejoining in the mid-1990s. “It has really enriched my life.”

Three local AAUW members — Priscilla Tiller, Luana Graves and Jan Leth — have belonged to the branch for more than a half century and each served terms as president. They were featured recently in the branch’s newsletters.

Tiller joined the local AAUW branch in 1965 when dues were $10 a year. 

“When I first joined, I was registered as Mrs. Laurel (Priscilla) Tiller,” she wrote in an AAUW newsletter article. “It seemed that my husband was a member whereas I was incidental. It was not until 1980 that women were listed as themselves with no reference to husbands.”

She served three terms as president: 1971-1972, 1990-1991 and 2011-2013.

“It was my 1990–91 term that proved highly challenging because our branch was about to fold,” she wrote. “Many service organizations had already collapsed as women entered the workforce in large numbers. Our membership dwindled to 32 mostly inactive persons. In desperation, I volunteered to be president if Sandy Godsey would be vice president. She agreed. Together we committed ourselves to one year of dedicated effort to revitalize the branch.”

It worked, and membership soon climbed to 56 and, a year later, 74. Their marketing efforts gained national attention when the Lewis County branch was one of four chapters to win a $300 first prize in a membership planning contest. The local chapter also was featured in the 1991 issue of Outlook magazine.

Graves, who taught physical education at Winlock before working as an employment counselor for the state Department of Employment Security, joined AAUW in 1966.

“As a member, I took on leadership roles, somewhat reluctantly, particularly as president twice and more willingly as program chair,” she wrote in the newsletter. “The importance of AAUW for me has been the educational component including providing scholarships and sponsoring Expanding Your Horizons.”

Leth, a retired Centralia Junior High teacher and guidance counselor, became a 50-year member in 2020.

“AAUW has enriched my life in ways I could never have imagined,” she wrote in the newsletter. “Over the years I have seen LCAAUW change, adapt and grow. Under the direction of talented leadership, in addition to our monthly meetings, we now have many interest groups open to all members.”

Since 1955, nearly 60 full-tuition scholarships have been awarded each year in honor of Dr. Kate Gregg, a step great-granddaughter of John and Matilda Jackson who in 1916 was the first woman to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. Gregg, who worked on the Boeing assembly line during World War II, was a college English professor who authored four books of American western frontier history. She died in 1954. 

The branch also has awarded dozens of other scholarships in honor of longtime members such as Minnie Lingreen, a 55-year chapter member who served as the AAUW’s Washington State Division first vice president for program development; former branch president and historian Carol Alexandra “Sandy” (Champion) Godsey, a Centralia home economics teacher and Weyerhaeuser Forestry Research Center library assistant who joined AAUW in 1959; three-time president and former historian Tiller and her husband, Laurel, who provided pro bono legal services to establish the branch’s nonprofit status and its charity, Women Supporting Women Scholarships; the late Chronicle features page editor Ann Trout Blinks, who joined AAUW in 1950; Dysart, a deacon at Centralia Presbyterian Church who joined the local branch two months after it formed and served a term as president and 61 years as historian; Alice Marie “Billie” (White) Forth, the first Margaret Corbet Scholar who taught secretarial sciences, headed the Centralia College business department, and served as dean of students; Marian (Fagerness) Osterby, head librarian at Centralia Timberland Regional Library who published her recipes into a book called From the Kitchen of Family and Friends; and Shirley Waugh, a Navy lieutenant in the WAVES during WWII and later a home economics teacher, extension agent, and college librarian who joined AAUW in 1950 and, as president in 1975, organized the first used-book sale.

Scholarships also honored friends of AAUW such as watercolor artist Linda Smouse Ropka, who died in May 2021; Gerald M. Vandeboe, a gifted Woodley High School English teacher with ties to the county; and Brian Lee “Ranger” Elder, an outstanding Centralia High School athlete who set five track records and later worked at Green Hill School, the state Department of Social and Health Services, and the state Department of Health.  

A newer member, Betty Garrett, who volunteers at the Lewis County Historical Museum, put together “AAUW: The First Hundred Years,” a pictorial display depicting the organization’s programs and activities through the decades. It can be seen at the museum until the centennial celebration Feb. 25, when it will be displayed at Centralia College.

The centennial celebration culminates from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 25 with an afternoon at Centralia College, where drama students will present a series of short monologues about women and the branch’s history will be recounted through a slide show and other presentations. Dessert and beverages will be served.

A stained glass mosaic created by talented artist Marcy Anholt of Chehalis commemorating the AAUW branch’s centennial will be unveiled at the event and presented as a gift to the Centralia College Foundation to hang in the Kirk Library.

“The mosaic, representing our 100 years of activity in the community, will be on display at the library because of our partnership with the college in presenting Expanding Your Horizons STEM conferences for sixth- through ninth-grade girls since 1993 as well as the many scholarships we have provided to women enrolled at CC.”

AAUW branch meetings begin at 6:45 p.m. the first Thursday of each month from September through May at the Gathering Place at Stillwater Estates in Centralia. For information about joining, contact the membership chairs, Kathy Halsan or Cathy Cavness, at aauwlcmembership@gmail.com.

In the coming weeks, I’ll share a bit about longtime AAUW members in honor of the organization’s centennial. 

•••

Julie McDonald, a personal historian from Toledo, may be reached at memoirs@chaptersoflife.com.

Letter to the Editor: Do You Want Safer Roads or Feel Good Progressive Laws? 

Almost 750 people were killed in vehicle accidents across our state in 2022. That’s the highest number in the past 30 years. Are you concerned? You should be if you or your loved ones travel on our public roads. 

Our rise in the fatality rate is one of the highest in the nation. Gov. Jay Inslee and some fellow elected officials think the answer is to make new restrictive laws. No more right turns after stopping at a red light. (Wait. Don't those turns help prevent traffic jams? Don't they help keep our state green as a stopped car puts out much more carbon pollution?)

They want to stop jaywalking. They want to lower the legal blood alcohol content  level, which sounds great, but ask a cop how many drunk drivers they stop now with a blood alcohol content below .08%. Most often, stopped drivers are well above 1.0%. Is this another knee-jerk, feel-good law that won't yield desired results?

Other restrictive laws will be considered and put forth, mostly because lawmakers can say, “Look at me, look at what I have done for you.”

What Inslee and company don't seem to talk about, and really don't want you talking about, is that these fatalities may have more to do with the fact your police departments have fewer officers on the road then they have in decades.

If you look at the new anti-police, pro-criminal laws that were put into effect in the last couple years, in addition to the firing of hundreds of police officers over their refusal to get vaccinated, added to the defund/dismantle the police movement, and you start to see the real problem and the real solution to our runaway fatality rate. 

There are not enough cops.

I recently drove from Chehalis to Bellingham, about a 320-mile round trip. I saw exactly zero police cars on Interstate 5. I drive to Olympia or Longview weekly. That’s a 60-mile round trip. On one out of six trips, I'll see a patrol car.

It's no secret. It's all over the news daily that the cops can’t chase you for traffic violations, not even stolen cars. 

Some counties, including our own and Thurston County, have enacted no pursuit policies for DUIs, even though state law allows it.

While I don't agree with those policies, I understand the concerns sheriffs have for liability issues if a pursuit goes south.

Speeding, red light and stop sign violations, falling to yield and most other traffic laws can be committed in front of a cop who can't chase you if you decide to just flip them off and speed off.

On top of the new proposals by Inslee, advocates for more equity in the transportation system, would ban police stops for low-level offenses, both traffic and criminal, which are "believed to disproportionately affect people of color."

Do you want safer roads or feel-good progressive laws that put feelings over lives?

I don't think you can have both. Get our cops back on the roads. Take off their cuffs and put them on the criminals. Hold criminals accountable. The traffic deaths will go down. The social experiment did not work.

 

Bradd Reynolds 

Chehalis

Letter to the Editor: Constant Mass Shootings Are a Mark of a Nation Headed for Anarchy and Decay

Three killed in a random Yakima shooting early Tuesday. Seven in Half Moon Bay, California, on Monday. Eleven in Monterey Park, California, last Saturday. I am old enough to remember a time when gun violence on this scale was very rare. Now an incident like the sniper shooting from the clock tower at the University of Texas that killed 14 people in 1966 and utterly shocked the entire country has become commonplace. In 1966, the NRA was still a responsible organization, mostly oriented toward educating gun owners about the proper and safe use of firearms and when handgun ownership was not terribly common. Exotic and dangerous even. 

The combination of the NRA transforming into nothing more than a marketing megaphone for gun manufacturers and a heinous U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2008 that determined gun ownership was an individual right and not a collective right such as with the military or “militia” has created a vastly reduced capacity for the government to control the scope of gun ownership and brought on, to use an appropriate adjective, an explosion in gun violence in America. Murders are up 75% over the last 10 years.

Nothing less than our continuation as a civilized country hangs in the balance. Mass shootings du jour are simply not the mark of a civilized nation that has a future. They are the mark of a nation headed for anarchy and decay. Most of the rest of the world gets that. Britain has had one mass shooting in the last thirteen years. It occurred in 2010 and took twelve lives. They have had two car rampages and one bombing in that period that took a total of 35 lives. The U.S. had fifteen mass shootings in December.

Second Amendment advocates say that gun control measures will not stop gun violence. By that logic, why have laws against murder? Laws against murder have absolutely proven they can not stop people from murdering other people. Laws against rape certainly do not stop rapes from occurring. Laws against stealing have not daunted all thieves.  

To argue that laws should not be enacted because they will not stop people from committing particular crimes is an argument in favor of anarchy. Punky logic, indeed. 

As usual in America, if you want an answer to the question, follow the money. There is only one winner in this epidemic of gun violence cancer. It is the gun manufacturers, including their marketing handmaiden, the NRA. They have made billions off the sale of weapons that bring nothing but misery and fear and death to our streets and our families. 

 

Marty Ansley

Cinebar

Portland Business News

Portland-area apartment building sales down in 2022 but still hit $3B
Author: Jonathan Bach
Even without a record year, 2022 still had strong turnout.

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