Gun control center stage at KTTH Freedom Debate

By Stephanie Klein | October 23, 2014

With Election Day less than two weeks away and two initiatives on the ballot, the issue of gun control is heating up.

In KTTH’s third Freedom Series Debate, hosts Ben Shapiro and Michael Medved sat down with KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross and Ralph Fascitelli, President of Washington Ceasefire, to take on initiatives 594 and 591 and other gun rights issues.

Medved boiled the issue of background checks down to its roots.

“The problem here is actually having something that can keep guns out of the hands of criminals. There’s something that you have to understand. The problem is not just the guns. The problem is the people. There are too many dangerous and insane and violent people roaming the streets … that’s the heart of the problem. Any system of background checks that you want to employ is not going to protect us as well as being a little bit more serious about keeping dangerous folks off the streets.”

Ross argued part of controlling people is anticipating their behaviors.

“That gets to be a risk to freedom,” he said. “So is what you have to do is intercept the weapon at that point that it leaves the hands of the responsible gun owners in this room and falls into the hands of the irresponsible people where we then lose track of it … Either that or we should decide that we can live with the level of criminal violence that we have and not do anything about it.”

Fascitelli pointed out that Christopher Monfort, the man accused of killing Seattle Officer Timothy Brenton, obtained the gun used in the Oct. 2009 shooting from a gun show.

“There was no background check,” Fascitelli said. “It was a convenient way to do it. If you’re a felon or somebody intent on a felony, that’s where you’re going to get your gun. That’s why, I think unanimously, that we agree on the concept of background checks.”

Shapiro agreed with Medved, saying it’s easy to look to the holistic when humans are to blame.

“Guns are a tool, like anything else, and the reality is the states with the lowest homicide rates in the nation are, in order, New Hampshire, Vermont, Iowa, Idaho, North Dakota, and Montana. None of those states have significant gun laws. None of them. The reason for that is the folks who live in those states are different than the folks who live in states with high rates of gun crime. If you actually want to solve the problem of gun crime, you have to solve the underlying problem, which is crime.”

Bottom line, Medved argued, is he rejected both I-594 and I-591 simply because he’s a Federalist.

“I do not believe that the state of Washington should have background checks standards dictated to us by the federal government.”

How will you vote? Check out the KTTH Election Guide and listen to the full debate.

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