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Flickr Photo/Jory (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

To improve Seattle traffic, what if your child in the backseat no longer gets you into the HOV lane? Good idea? Also: Is Backpage.com liable for sex trafficking through its site? Would expanded gun background checks lead to gun confiscation? And will anyone really give marijuana candy to trick-or-treaters? Really?

Bill Radke’s guests this week: Dan Savage, Rob McKenna and Joni Balter; plus Slate’s Mike Pesca, LiveWire’s Luke Burbank and the NRA’s Catherine Mortensen.

Why Do We Care About Guns So Much?

Oct 24, 2014
Guns line the walls of the firearms reference collection at the Washington Metropolitan Police Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Marcie Sillman talks with Robert Spitzer, author of  "The Politics of Gun Culture," about the place guns have in our culture. 

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Updated 9:00 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 26

The scene was surreal and all too familiar.

Students sprinting across school fields with hands above their heads. 

Police officers, guns drawn, moving from building to building, looking for another possible shooter. 

Cell towers overwhelmed by messages from frantic students. Terrified parents crowding the hospital waiting room to hear if their kid made it out alive. 

Flickr Photo/Adam Fagen (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks with UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, author of, "Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right To Bear Arms in America," about privacy concerns with background check bills. Also, we hear from Alan Gottlieb with Protect Our Gun Rights.

How The Gun Debate Plays Out In Faith

Oct 22, 2014
KUOW Photo/Ryan Katz

Charles Stephens performed opera in New York City for 20 years. He sang with the Seattle Symphony on opening night. But Stephens says that doesn’t compare to the concert he recently directed last month.

File photo of a gun show.
Flickr Photo/M Glasgow (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Stan Goldman, law professor at Loyola Law School, about how gun laws and gun culture compare in California and Washington state.

For more KUOW elections coverage, visit the Election Connection page.  

Checking Your 'Intuition' At The Gun Show

Oct 21, 2014
KUOW Photo/Ryan Katz

George Brewholmes has been collecting firearms since he was eight years old. He worked in a pawnshop, where he would stock and sell several different types of guns. His boss bought him his first pistol, an old Iver Johnson from around the turn of the century.

591 Or 594? Former Cops Differ On Gun Control

Oct 20, 2014

Ross Reynolds talks with two former law enforcement officials on opposite sides of this fall's gun ballot measures. 

Don Pierce is a former Bellingham police chief and the former executive director of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. He supports 594, which calls for stricter background checks. 

William Burris is a retired detective and spokesman for the Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association. He supports Initiative 591, which would limit the restrictions the state can place on gun ownership.

KUOW Photo/Austin Jenkins

Washington’s upcoming vote on gun laws is being closely watched around the country.

It’s the first time a state has presented voters with two competing initiatives on gun regulations – one to require universal background checks and the other to prevent them. It’s also marked a new surge in campaign donations to regulate gun sales in Washington state. Advocates for background checks call the donations “a sea change” that could have ripple effects in other states.

In rural parts of the Northwest, many believe owning a gun is sort of like owning a garden trowel. You just have one or two around.

Ross Reynolds talks with journalist Cyrus Farivar about untraceable, homemade guns. Farivar is senior business editor for the technology website Ars Technica.

According to the latest Elway Poll released Monday, a ballot measure to expand background checks for gun sales in Washington has lost some support, but still enjoys a healthy lead.

Guns line the walls of the firearms reference collection at the Washington Metropolitan Police Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

When we talk about guns, rarely do we speak with reluctant gun owners, particularly parents who have decided that owning a firearm is safer than not and who struggle with how to discuss gun safety with their kids.

The National Rifle Association says it’s “very committed” to defeating a background check measure on Washington’s November ballot.

This November, Washington voters will decide whether to require background checks for person-to-person gun sales.

Flickr Photo/Piskami (CC-BY-NC-ND)

State records reveal that in the past two years, four law enforcement departments in Washington state have been suspended from the military surplus program known as 1033.

The government program issues surplus military gear to state and local municipalities who show a need. Under the program, law enforcement agencies can apply to receive everything from Shop-Vacs to mine-resistant vehicles. All they need to pay is the cost of shipping.

Police in Pocatello, Idaho, are investigating how a university professor accidentally shot himself in the foot during class.

Michael Waldman's book "The Second Amendment: A Biography"

Most Americans don’t question an individual’s right to own a gun, with certain exceptions. But in an age when senseless public shootings make frequent headlines, many question the limits of gun ownership. 

And though a large majority of Americans say they support expanded background checks for gun ownership, Congress can’t come to any agreement on possible legislation.

Supporters of a Washington gun control measure on the November ballot may have just gotten a mid-summer boost. They’re capitalizing on an audio recording that recently surfaced.

Flickr Photo/Adam Fagen (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks to Michael Waldman about his new book "The Second Amendment: A Biography." Gun control has been a hot topic for years and the debate will play out in Washington this November in the form of two rival initiatives on guns. 

Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, says for decades of American history the Second Amendment was a non-issue. 

The Washington Supreme Court ruled Thursday a Washington man whose loaded gun went off in a school backpack critically injuring a student can’t be charged with third-degree assault.

A new Elway Poll out Tuesday shows support for a gun rights measure on Washington’s fall ballot is flagging. Meanwhile, a dueling measure that would expand background checks remains popular.

Seattle City Council / University of Washington

Treat people hospitalized for gunshot injuries as you would treat addicts.

That’s the counsel of Dr. Fred Rivara, a professor of pediatrics, who headed a University of Washington study that found that patients who had been shot were more likely to be arrested within five years than people with a psychiatric history.

Flickr Photot/Sounder Bruce (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Seattle City Light hired an online reputation management firm and now the utility would like its money, and its repuation, back. The State Liquor Control board filed emergency marijuana rules. And why does Seattle love soccer, a sport where losing can end happily?

KUOW's Bill Radke kicks those stories and more around with Joni Balter, Knute Berger and Eli Sanders.

Marcie Sillman talks with Jeffrey Swanson about which public policies are effective in reducing gun violence. Swanson is a professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University School of Medicine.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

In the wake of recent gun violence, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said the city faces a crisis of confidence in public safety.

A gun that fires only in the hands of its owner isn't science fiction anymore. A so-called smart gun is already on sale in Europe. But you won't find it on store shelves in this country — in part because of an obscure New Jersey law that's had unintended consequences for the rest of the nation.

Basically, the Childproof Handgun Law of 2002 says that once "personalized handguns are available" anywhere in the country, all handguns sold in New Jersey must be smart guns within 30 months.

One candidate for an eastern Washington congressional seat has hit on a way to appeal to 2nd Amendment advocates and to increase the names on his campaign mailing list.

The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a major victory to gun control advocates on Monday. The 5-4 ruling allows strict enforcement of the federal ban on gun "straw purchases," or one person buying a gun for another.

The federal law on background checks requires federally licensed gun dealers to verify the identity of buyers and submit their names to a federal database to weed out felons, those with a history of mental illness and others barred from gun ownership.

SPU shooting: Seattle Pacific University students pray and comfort each other the day after a campus shooting on Thursday, June 4, 2014.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

The man held in the shootings at Seattle Pacific University could go to prison for life.

Aaron Ybarra was charged in Superior Court on Tuesday with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of assault for the shootings last Thursday. If convicted as charged, he could face up to 86 years in prison.

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