Letters to the editor
Legislation on Salem focuses on stalkers
Did you know there is important gun legislation in House Bill 4145 before the Oregon State Legislature right now?
Gov. Kate Brown has made it a priority to pass this bill, which closes the abusive "boyfriend" and "stalker" loopholes, taking away their ability to purchased guns; and sets up an active alert system, in which local authorities are notified of attempted illegal purchases of guns by dangerous individuals.
Why do I care about this? Because I had a co-worker who simply went home for the evening. She was a young and vivacious women with everything to live for, but her ex-husband rang the doorbell and then shot through the door, killing her.
In an average month, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation report, 50 American women are shot to death by intimate partners and more are injured. It's time to take a stand here in Oregon!
This bill is not about taking guns away from everyday folks — it's about protecting innocent citizens from dangerous felons, domestic abusers, stalkers and those who are seriously mentally ill. On Wednesday, Feb. 7, the Oregon House has scheduled a public hearing and work session on HR 4145 in Salem. Please shout out, show up and speak directly to your legislators about supporting this bill!
Lawmakers: Pass law on guns, domestic violence
As a professional who has worked in the public and private child welfare sectors for nearly 20 years, I've seen the trauma that guns and domestic violence can have on Oregon's children. I've worked on numerous cases where a gun was used by a domestic abuser to control a mother and a household, in the presence of kids.
There are many hidden costs: children who experience domestic violence are also more likely to experience behavior, social, emotional and cognitive issues, putting more stress on an overwhelmed educational and foster care system.
House Bill 4145, the Domestic Violence Victims Protection bill, would close loopholes in Oregon's gun laws to prevent intimate partners and individuals convicted of stalking from buying guns. It would also strengthen Oregon's background check system by giving law enforcement more information to keep guns out of dangerous hands.
Abusers use guns to threaten and control their victims, even if they never pull the trigger. When a child is present in these circumstances, they are forever impacted by something we as a society, can prevent.
As a social worker, children's book author, mother and volunteer leader with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, I urge the Oregon Legislature to pass HB 4145.
Legislature: Act now on cap-and-invest proposal
With the federal government's assault on environmental programs, and especially on those addressing climate change, the states need to do everything they can to pick up the slack.
Oregon's Clean Energy Jobs does that. Bills in the House and Senate create a carbon market where corporations can cooperate with each other to bring down their pollution to acceptable levels over a period of time. It also provides investment dollars to develop and strengthen environmental programs within the state.
But Senate President Peter Courtney is holding back a vote and could delay it until next year. The House version apparently is ready to move, and the Senate may be, too. A lot of work has gone into these bills and the momentum is here now.
This bill may not be a perfect plan. And Oregon's industries may not be among the country's largest polluters. But Oregon's pollution problems are serious enough, and its industries need to do more than they are. Clean Energy Jobs will make a difference.
Hopefully Sen. Courtney will bring the bill to a senate vote this session. The federal government isn't wasting time turning back environmental gains. The state should not waste time making them.