The Killing of Officer Brenton Triggers an Angry Exchange Between the State's Biggest Gun Advocate and His Foe

Gottlieb knows how to fire an insult
Good thing we're only talking about guns here because things are getting really nasty between Alan Gottlieb, chair of the Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and Ralph Fascitelli, president of Washington CeaseFire.

Yesterday, Gottlieb launched his rhetorical firepower on Fascitelli for telling Seattle Weekly that he would cite the murder of Officer Timothy Brenton as he pressed for a state ban on assault weapons. The nationally known gun advocate said the remarks amounted to using the "cowardly crime to advance a political agenda" and "signaled a despicable new low in behavior."

"Fascitelli is essentially dancing in Officer Brenton's blood, and he ought to be ashamed," Gottlieb continued.

Fascitelli fought back by calling Gottlieb "scum" and a "far-right extremist" who made a living by "driving up the hysteria of the gun group." He also noted that Gottlieb is a felon; he pleaded guilty to filing false income-tax returns in 1984.

But Fascitelli says Gottlieb's hands aren't exactly clean when it comes to exploiting tragic murders for political points. He recalls Gottlieb's remarks to this paper after the 2001 slaying of federal prosecutor and onetime CeaseFire president Tom Wales. Gottlieb suggested that the still unsolved murder was committed by a fellow gun control advocate. "They needed a martyr, and they got one," he said.

Fascitelli, who counted Wales as his best friend, says the idea was offensive. "I have no love for that guy."

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