As Americans prepare for Thanksgiving, a war of ideals is unfolding between anti-rights liberals and conservative constitutionalists in sharply-split Washington State over a rural police chief’s decision to not enforce the state’s newly-passed – and some dare call it extremist – gun control initiative, and reader comments in the Seattle Times bare an ugly truth.
And that truth appears to be that the Left’s lifestyle is steeped in hypocrisy while the Right’s righteous indignation is not always diplomatically expressed.
Republic Police Chief Loren Culp’s announcement that the provisions of anti-rights Initiative 1639 will not be enforced in his jurisdiction while he remains the city’s top cop has enraged anti-gun Seattleites 300 miles away. However, while the left is criticizing Culp for violating the law, they’re not uttering a peep about “safe injection” sites for drug addicts in the Jet City. And when someone argues that a “sanctuary city” for the Second Amendment is a tit-for-tat in reaction to a “sanctuary city” for illegal aliens, the reaction from the Left amounts to, “Well, that’s different.”
Culp’s approach appeared to get plenty of local support in Eastern Washington’s Ferry County, where I-1639 was overwhelmingly rejected by more than a 73 percent margin. Not so much in King County—which encompasses Seattle—where the measure passed by about 76 percent.
One Seattle Times reader writing as “Satsop,” contended, “This Sherrif (sic) needs to turn in his badge and move to another state with more lax gun laws. The people of this state spoke. The people want sensible gun controls.” Culp isn’t the sheriff, he’s the police chief. In Seattle, they apparently don’t teach spelling or Civics.
But another Times reader, writing as “Ikaika,” had this tempered observation, while also needing a spelling lesson:
“As I read the responses to this, I all of a sudden hear liberals wanting the law to enforced, the same people who do not want other laws to be enforced. I also hear alot (sic) misreading of the constitution, especially on the second amendment. I believe this town is doing the right thing as people wanting to harm others will do so if not with a gun, with another weapon of opportunity to employ deadly force on another. In rural areas such as the town of Republic, guns are more of a tool, they have fewer occurances (sic) of mental illness due to the closeness of the community. In Urban areas, guns are less of a tool and they seem to have let mental illness run rampant without any meaningful deterrent or help. As far as the 21 years of age requirement for purchasing a gun, I say just take away their voting privledges (sic) because they have been determined to be immature for a number of things to make their own decisions so just treat them like children until their 21.”
By Wednesday morning, there were more than 1,000 reader reactions to the Times article by veteran columnist Eric Lacitis. Gun control always brings out the best and worst in people.
The gun control measure is being challenged in U.S. District Court by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association. Evergreen State gun owners are vowing to disobey the law, which is one of the strictest in the nation. It classifies semiautomatic .22-caliber target and hunting rifles as “assault rifles.” It requires proof of training, a paperwork fee, so-called “enhanced background checks,” so-called “secure storage,” raises the minimum age for buying a semi-auto to 21, and creates a new crime called “community endangerment.”
Whatever else it does, the measure has widened the chasm between urban liberals and self-reliant rural citizens. That’s a problem which may only get worse.