The midterm elections are only a few days away, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi already predicting a Democrat victory, while one of the nation’s leading Second Amendment advocates just ripped the news media for what he called subliminal bias, especially relating to a crucial gun control ballot issue in Washington State.
“Gun control versus gun rights is an important shadow issue,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, “because Democrats have already made it clear that guns will be on the agenda if they take control of the Congress.”
Pelosi has already promised to put gun issues at the top of the Democrat agenda if her party regains control of the House. It is also likely Democrats may push anew to impeach President Donald Trump, and there have also been hints at trying to remove recently-appointed Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Gottlieb took issue with an Associated Press headline earlier this that declared, “Guns send over 8,000 US kids to ER each year, analysis says.” He said it is “no coincidence” that such stories appear before an election.
“It’s all subliminal, but it is designed to create an impression about firearms, gun owners and their (the media’s) desire to add further restrictions on the Second Amendment,” he stated.
The issue is especially critical in Washington State, where gun control Initiative 1639 threatens to restrict the rights of young adults to buy and possess semiautomatic firearms, while adding new restrictions to the ownership of guns by adults. Gottlieb has called I-1639 “30 pages of gun control disguised as gun safety.”
Anti-gunners have poured more than $5.4 million into their campaign, including a recent $800,000 windfall which may help flood the airwaves with advertising. This infusion of cash included $200,000 from Vulcan, a group founded by the late Paul Allen. Anti-gunners have out-raised and out-spent the grassroots opposition more than 7-to-1, when one adds up all the money reported by three different groups opposing the measure. Together, they have raised less than $700,000, according to Public Disclosure Commission reports.
But these grassroots activists are a determined bunch, and there has been a remarkable effort to get gun owners to fill out their mail-in ballots.
Not only are gun owners up against a billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobbying group, they’ve also had to contend with news coverage that has downplayed the fact that every one of the five major statewide law enforcement groups are opposed to I-1639. That’s an important consideration that could sway lots of votes, especially among independents.
“All five major law enforcement groups in the state, representing thousands of rank-and-file lawmen and women, are opposed to the measure,” Gottlieb said, “but the media downplayed their importance, referring to them as a ‘handful of law enforcement groups,’ or ‘some law enforcement groups,’ while vastly inflating the importance of three officials, including a single county sheriff, who are supporting the initiative.”
Additionally, he asserted, “News agencies refer to gun prohibition lobbying groups as ‘gun safety organizations’ to help disguise their true intent. They talk about ‘semiautomatic assault rifles,’ when there really is no such thing, since true ‘assault rifles’ are fully automatic.”
Proof positive appeared in the Seattle P-I.com headline over the past weekend in which it was reported that the “State’s 5 Catholic bishops back I-1639, gun safety initiative.” But I-1639 isn’t about gun safety, it is about gun control, Gottlieb and others have repeatedly noted.
“The press screams when anybody talks about ‘fake news’,” Gottlieb said, “but this bias is exactly what people are talking about, and when it comes to gun issues, it’s blatant.”
But this year it is not uniform. Five newspapers have encouraged a “NO” vote on I-1639.
Proponents of the measure have hinted strongly that if it passes in Washington, it will become a model for similar efforts in other states with the citizen initiative process.