Within hours of the school shooting in Marysville that left two students dead – including the shooter – Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer posted a link to a story about the shooting with this caption: “We need more school shootings!!! Vote yes on Initiative 591.”
It was a sarcastic reference to the gun control measure on the ballot that would stop expanded background checks. Hanauer opposes this measure. He is a top funder for a separate measure that would require background checks for all gun sales and transfers in Washington state, including those from unlicensed sellers.
Some people from the campaign asked Hanauer in the comments below the post to take it down. The post was still up at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, two hours after he posted it.
Wrote one person: “Perhaps sarcasm isn't the best communications strategy right now, Nick?”
And another: “Battle between the heart and the mind. Perhaps the heart should consider removing this at this time.”
Hanauer is a venture capitalist from a Democratic family. He is one of the top funders for the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, which supports I-594.
Meantime, Pedro Celis, the Republican candidate running for the first Congressional District sent out a statement calling the shooting a “horrendous tragedy.”
But, Celis added, “Let us not move to politicize this tragedy with knee-jerk reactions. Let us focus on healing – physically for the victims, mentally for those in the school, emotionally for all those involved, and spiritually for this nation.”
His opponent, incumbent Suzan DelBene didn't tread into political waters: "No one should have to go through the horrific violence that occurred today, especially our children. As the Marysville-Pilchuck High School community comes together during this very difficult and terrible time, our region grieves with them and stands united in our support to help in any way."
Next week, families of the children killed at Sandy Hook elementary in Connecticut will travel to Washington to campaign to support I-594.