James Thomas

Statement on Tumwater Shooting

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James Thomas, Candidate for State Representative
35th Legislative District, Seat 1

The horrific shooting rampage that ended at the Tumwater Walmart on Sunday underscores yet again the endless tragedy of gun violence in America.

The gunman was stopped by a concealed carry permit holder who is rightly hailed as a hero for ending the madness before more people were killed or injured.

At this point there is little known about the gunman, his history, or his motivations. What is known with certainty is that he was armed with a handgun and used it to attempt at least two car-jackings and to fire indiscriminately inside a store full of people on a Father’s Day afternoon.

When will we decide that it is time to put in place common sense gun control measures? I am not some wild-eyed gun confiscator. I have been a Life Member of the NRA for some 30 years, largely to support the Eddie Eagle gun safety program. I own pistols, rifles, and shotguns myself. I am a wholehearted supporter of Second Amendment Rights. I am also an advocate for common sense gun control measures.

I believe that with rights come responsibilities. The hero who ended the shooting spree is a perfect example of a responsible gun owner. He obtained proper credentials for concealed carry and honed his skills to deploy his weapon appropriately.

There is nothing inconsistent with the Second Amendment in demanding background checks for all weapon sales. There is nothing inconsistent with the Second Amendment in demanding that gun owners take responsibility for keeping their weapons secured.

It may well be that neither of these measures would have made a difference in Sunday’s shooting spree. But common sense gun control measures will change the conversation on gun violence and will reduce the frequency of gun-related tragedies. Enacting common sense gun control measures today will reduce the legitimacy of demands for more confiscatory gun control measures tomorrow.

For State Representative, 35th District Position 1
Statement on Tumwater Shooting