Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, whose name was repeatedly taken in vain over the weekend by members of the Washington Arms Collectors (WAC) gathering for a monthly gun show in Puyallup, made big headlines over the weekend for stopping, at least temporarily, President Donald Trump’s travel suspension to this country by refugees from several nations.
As explained on the Attorney General’s website, Ferguson contends that Trump’s Executive Order “violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of Equal Protection and the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, infringes individuals’ constitutional right to Due Process and contravenes the federal Immigration and Nationality Act.”
What especially irritated the Arms Collectors group at the Puyallup Fairgrounds was the fact that Ferguson is also behind a proposed ban on so-called “assault weapons,” and another bill that would require licensing of such guns and full capacity magazines, along with more stringent background checks. If Ferguson was the only candidate in a WAC popularity contest, he would still lose.
On the tables at this past weekend’s gun show were all kinds of modern semi-automatic sporting rifles. These are the firearms that Ferguson would like to see banned, or at least licensed and regulated so strictly as to discourage people from owning them.
That’s not gun control, that’s gun prohibition. At the Second Amendment Foundation’s display, a steady stream of gun owners stopped to complain about Ferguson and his proposed gun ban.
Many people are convinced that the liberal Democrat state attorney general is in the process of “making his bones” politically for a gubernatorial run in 2020. He has done two things to cement his base: push for a gun ban and pick a fight with the Trump administration – which Seattle liberals loathe – and for the moment he has won. But as Gen. George Patton wrote, “all glory is fleeting.”
If it turns out that Trump has the law on his side, Ferguson isn’t going to easily recover from that, except for something pointed out by the Washington Post on Sunday: “the combination of a left-leaning populace, outspoken Democratic lawmakers, legal efforts spearheaded by a resolute attorney general and support from several Seattle-area tech companies wary of Trump’s policies.”
It never hurts one’s political ambitions to be portrayed as “resolute.”
The effort to demonize certain firearms is hardly new. For the state attorney general to lead the charge suggests to WAC members that he is being rather selective about which constitutional rights he defends.