The TriMet parking lot at Park Ave was full.
The MAX tram into Portland was full.
The North Park blocks were full.
Broadway was full and closed to vehicular traffic.
Pioneer Square was full.
The difference between the Women’s March and the March for Our Lives was the composition of the crowd, far more young people in the streets in the latter event.
For those on the sidelines, for those who failed to march, the question heard most often was: will it make a difference? Continue reading
By Paul Kemp
(reprinted by permission of the author)
There is no denying that gun violence is a complex problem. But as a founding board member of Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership, I know there are some evidence-based steps that Oregon’s leaders can take to help the roughly 450 Oregonians who die every year from gun violence.
On the evening of Dec. 11, 2012, I planned to meet my brother-in-law, Steve Forsyth, at the Clackamas Town Center mall. That afternoon, I received a frantic call from my sister; there had been a shooting at the mall.
When I arrived on the scene, I stood alongside my sister and niece for hours before learning that Steve had been shot and killed with a stolen, unlocked assault rifle. Steve was shot while on the phone with his father. Continue reading
Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel
Clackamas County’s law enforcement situation is a piece of cake when compared to the problems confronting the sheriff in Josephine County.
First, he doesn’t have enough deputies to patrol the county except for eight hours a day. If there’s a big crime going on, the state police may respond. Note the use of the word “may,” as the state police have other work to do.
Second, he’s got a handful of gun nuts ready to get into a shooting match with the feds, just like the idiot in rural Nevada who got into a cow grazing beef with the feds more than once and finally called in his buddies to resolve the issue with gunfire. Fortunately, calmer heads prevailed in that one. In Josephine County the hassle involves in-river gold mining rights.
Third, now that the State Senate has passed (17-13 with Democrat Betsy Johnson voting with the Republicans) a stiffer gun control bill, the sheriff says he won’t enforce it in his county. His hands are already full, he says, with the ongoing felonies under way there. This doesn’t satisfy the outspoken gun lovers, however. They want him to come out flat against it. Right now!
Places like Josephine County make Clackamas County look like a Sunday picnic.
Despite the entreaties of Clackamas County Commissioners John Ludlow, Tootie Smith and Paul Savas, hundreds of pro-background check advocates are expected to converge on the state capital Monday, March 2.
Their purpose is simple: Pass legislation in Oregon to mandate background checks when firearms are sold.
Similar legislation passed the House in the last session but was killed in the Senate by one Democrat in a 16-14 Democrat-Republican body. Today that senator is outnumbered.
Mary Shortall, a West Linn Democrat, is leading the fight in our county. Her group has lots of information to back up their position.
Ludlow and his two fellow commissioners (with Jim Bernard absent and Martha Schrader abstaining) voted in recent days to “support the 2nd Amendment” and send Salem a pro-gun message, knowing this legislation was coming up. Among those opposing this senseless waste of public time was Clackamas Democrats chair Rosie Stephens.
As advocates learned, sensible gun safety legislation is not automatic. That’s why they’ll be out in force Monday. You may want to join them.
By Peter Toll
Many people are gearing up for the regular Oregon legislative session next week. Hundreds of lobbyists are meeting with their clients to put schemes and dreams into law or to protect their positions. Bureaucrats are mulling whether to ignore or cater to the biennial barrage from legislators, the only chance elected officials get to shake a fist at them. Salem is gearing up.
But what about the regular folks? Those in the dwindling middle class in Milwaukie or Sandy, Molalla or Oregon City? What about the one-in-five Oregon children living in poverty? Or the motorist forced to endure the constantly deteriorating roads and highways, the bridges of our county and state? The list goes on and on. Who will represent these people in the fighting and clawing, biting and scratching for new laws? Continue reading