A new poll showing that a majority of likely 2018 Washington State voters, including more than half of gun owner households, believe elected officials should do more to “help stop gun violence” was sponsored by a “progressive advocacy organization” founded by the same man who bankrolled a Seattle-based gun control campaign three years ago.
The poll, done by EMC Research, was sponsored by Civic Action, according to KCPQ News and The Stranger. That group, founded earlier this year, is a “partner organization” to Civic Ventures, founded by Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer. The group’s slogan is “Let’s cause some trouble.”
As noted by The Stranger, an alternative Seattle newspaper, the poll was conducted between Oct. 9 and 14 via cell phone and landline telephone.
Both news organizations quoted Civic Action President Zach Silk, who indicated that there may be upcoming political action in the Washington Legislature.
Hanauer has also provided support for The Trace, an on-line pro-gun control publication also supported by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg. Hanauer was a large contributor to the Initiative 594 campaign in 2014 that mandates so-called “universal background checks” on firearms transfers in the Evergreen State.
But the Weekly Standard recently reported this:
“The case for increased gun regulation isn’t helped, either, by the fact that what laws have been passed and rigorously enforced all over the nation have had little or no measurable result. A comprehensive study published in 2013 by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council could find no clear correlation between the implementation of gun-control laws and reductions in gun-related violence.”
According to the new poll, 74 percent of gun owner households support a ban on “bump stocks” that were apparently used by the Las Vegas mass shooter while 84 percent support mandatory firearms safety training. Among identified likely Republican voters, according to Civic Action, 62 percent say they support safety training, a bump stock ban and firearms licensing.
But the poll doesn’t offer many details on what sort of training should be required or where. Should it be part of the public school curriculum? Should it be required for anyone exercising their right to bear arms that is protected by both the Washington State and federal constitutions? A good civil rights attorney might argue this is an infringement (Second Amendment) or impairment (Article I, Section 24, State Constitution).
Gun rights activists are typically all for reducing violent crime, but not at the expense of their own civil rights, including the right to privacy. They want laws that punish criminals rather than penalize honest gun owners.
The Weekly Standard offered a blunt perspective on the gun control debate. It observed, “But what makes the gun debate so unbearably stale isn’t any disagreement over the interpretation of data. Nor is it a dispute over the value of firearms in a free society. If only it were about these questions. What makes the debate so stale, rather, is the disingenuousness of those who claim to want ‘sensible’ and ‘reasonable’ gun regulations but who in fact want an outright ban.”
According to the Civic Action Facebook page:
“Civic Action is a progressive advocacy organization located in Seattle, Washington. Civic Action is dedicated to empowering and emboldening progressives across the country to take direct action on the most pressing issues facing America today. Civic Action develops and promotes bold policy ideas in four key areas: inclusive democracy, middle-out economics, climate change, and gun responsibility. By engaging with people on social media and through email, Civic Action communicates our outside-the-Beltway thinking, and encourages political troublemaking.”
Among Second Amendment activists, the term “gun responsibility” translates to “gun control.”
Another revelation of the EMC poll is that 75 percent support licensing for anyone buying a gun in Washington State. But this is where gun rights advocates remind people that owning a gun is a right protected by the constitution, not a regulated government privilege.
Another finding of this poll is that 65 percent of the respondents favor new laws that “heavily restrict access to semi-automatic firearms.” Does that include junior’s .22-caliber Marlin or Ruger rifle? How about grandpa’s decades-old Browning Auto 5 that he hunted ducks and geese with for many years, and is now a family heirloom? How about the pistol your wife or single daughter has for personal protection?
The survey contacted only 500 people, although the pollsters say the overall margin of error is plus/minus 4.4 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence interval.