BELLEVUE, WA — The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today expressed relief that a suspect in the horrible incident at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington is now in custody, and offers its heartfelt sympathy to the victims and their families for their painful loss.

“All of Washington State and the Pacific Northwest, including our members and supporters and more than a million law-abiding firearms owners certainly grieve for those directly affected by this inexplicable crime,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “We will learn more about the suspect and his motives as the investigation continues.

“What has been reported, however, is that the suspect apparently had three firearms and that he used a .22-caliber Ruger rifle,” he continued. “These firearms were all legally purchased, but the suspect apparently stole all three from his father.

“Already,” Gottlieb observed, “the gun prohibition lobby is trying to exploit this tragedy via an e-mail message in which it vowed to end what it alleges is ‘an epidemic of gun violence tearing our communities apart.’

“Before the anti-gun rights lobbying organizations beg for one more penny to support their demonstrably-failed agenda,” he said, “they should explain just how they think one more gun control law might have prevented Friday’s mayhem. Two years ago, they pushed a poorly worded and ridiculously complicated background check measure into law. But it appears the suspect stole the gun he used, so how well did that work? Published reports say the suspect has a record that includes domestic violence charges and that a judge ordered him in December not to possess firearms.

“Exploiting this tragic event to press for more ineffective laws that simply erode the rights of honest citizens is dishonest,” Gottlieb said. “If these reports are accurate, this is proof that background checks don’t stop determined, violent individuals from committing crimes that affect us all.”