All politics is local, and gun control appears to have motivated at least two activists to seek local office in Washington State. (Dave Workman)
The latest in its unceasing appeals for $5 donations (or more) from the billionaire-backed, Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility reveals that the gun prohibition lobbying group has evidently realized that all politics is local, or perhaps someone read the Vancouver Columbian story about two pro-rights candidates running for spots on the Battle Ground City Council.
Activists across the map should pay attention to what happens in the Northwest, which has become something of a political petri dish for anti-gunners. The region has become a hotbed of gun control politics over the past few years. Now it appears adherents to the Second Amendment are deciding to get directly involved, rather than just complain on social media, and as a result, anti-gunners are getting interested in local politics. Theoretically, the Second Amendment is in jeopardy with each election, regardless of its perceived importance.
According to the newspaper’s lengthy piece, Shauna Walters and Josh VanGelder are vying for separate positions on the small city’s governing body. Battle Ground might be considered a suburb of Vancouver, and both Walters and VanGelder appear to have been inspired to enter local politics because of their opposition to gun control, especially Initiative 1639.
The newspaper made a point of mentioning up front that the candidates were introduced at a recent rally by Joey Gibson, “the founder of right-wing protest group Patriot Prayer.”
“If I’m elected, I will stand with the people’s vote and the Constitution and do everything I can to repeal I-1639,” VanGelder reportedly told The Columbian.
So, three days after that story appeared, here comes the Seattle gun control crowd declaring in an email, “for far too long, the gun lobby has used elections to control our nation’s gun policy. The formula is simple: Fund candidates who will do the lobby’s bidding and use them to obstruct any and all legislation that would take real steps to end the gun violence crisis…
“From school board and city council elections,” the message continued, “to those for the statehouse in Olympia, every race is critical to getting lifesaving gun violence prevention policies passed and enforced. The Alliance has already endorsed 28 gun safety champions from every corner of the state for the 2019 primary election on Aug. 6.”
The gun control group said it needed to raise $10,000 “to support candidates the gun lobby can’t buy.” Is that because they’ve already been bought by the gun prohibition lobby?
Check with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission to find out who supports who financially, then decide who is in what lobby’s pocket.
Every state should have a similar source of information about who is contributing to which candidate or campaign issue.
For example, last year, I-1639 backers raised $5.5 million and spent nearly all of it to pass the measure. Opponents, including the National Rifle Association and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, raised and spent less than $1 million.
With the off-year election cycle now in progress, and the 2020 national and statewide elections looming in about 15 months, this grassroots activism could be a signal that something is happening at the local level not before seen in firearms politics. Evergreen State gun owners now smarting from all of the provisions of I-1639 appear to be waking up, and their interest in local politics has likewise set off an alarm bell at gun control central. This could become interesting.