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February 14, 2013 at 4:00 PM

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State Senate introduces bills to reduce gun violence

Civilly committing mentally ill people is an abuse of power

A recent article on gun control called attention to several measures that are on the table right now in the state Senate, with the most high-profile of them being one that would require background checks for all gun purchases [“Gun bills unveiled; school panic alarms?,” NWTuesday, Feb. 12].

That’s all fine and good, but by focusing primarily on this measure, many of the others end up flying under the radar. What we see reflected in these measures as a whole is erroneous blame being placed on causes of gun violence.

This includes a measure that aims to “increase the state’s ability to civilly commit those who might be dangerous.” Men and women with mental illnesses are by no means representative of the entire criminal population. While I agree that something must be done about the gun issue in America, civilly committing individuals simply because they might be dangerous is a gross abuse of power and is an issue that Senate members need to address.

--Victoria Crim, Seattle

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