With the bombshell revelation that slain Kittitas County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Thompson was killed by a man who was in the U.S. illegally, many in the firearms community are now wondering how long it will take certain authorities and the Seattle-based gun prohibition lobby to blame “lax gun laws” for the tragedy.
The gunman, identified as Juan Manuel Flores Del Toro, came to the U.S. legally on a work visa in 2014, crossing the border at Laredo, according to published reports. But that visa expired two years ago, and he was still here, living in the Ellensburg area, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reportedly had no record that Del Toro ever went back to Mexico, nor did he extend the work visa.
But he had a gun. So far, there has been no word on where that firearm came from and how he managed to have it.
In the aftermath of the horrific Christchurch, New Zealand shooting at two mosques last week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a total ban, effective immediately, on so-called “military-style assault weapons.” While 50 people were murdered during their prayers last Friday, the suspect in that slaughter had only been charged with a single count of murder while the government decided to penalize possibly a million Kiwi gun owners who didn’t harm anyone.
Prominent U.S. politicians including Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Hillary Rodham Clinton all posted messages to Twitter that they think the gun ban was a great idea.
Now, in a case that many are arguing on social media puts blood on the hands of so-called “sanctuary” advocates including Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson, both liberal Democrats, critics of the policy want accountability. Inslee wants to be president and Ferguson, according to speculation, wants to be the next governor. Neither one seems very friendly to the Second Amendment, and both supported an anti-gun initiative that passed last November but is now the cause of what could be called an insurrection involving local county governments and sheriff’s departments.
Initiative 1639 raised the age limit for purchasing any kind of semi-auto rifle, and defined all semi-autos as “semiautomatic assault rifles.” It I being challenged in federal district court by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association.
Writing at MyNorthwest.com, KIRO radio host Dori Monson contended that Inslee owes an explanation and apology for Deputy Thompson’s death, because the governor is a strong advocate of the “sanctuary” movement. Monson even included an Inslee quote that fully explains the would-be president’s philosophy:
“Other places close their borders and fear the unfamiliar. We are the state that opens our communities to immigrants and refugees seeking safety, shelter, and sanctuary.” –Jay Inlsee
Several people, including residents of Kittitas County, would like to ask the governor how that is working out.
In addition to Deputy Thompson, Del Toro seriously wounded Kittitas Police Officer Benito Chavez, who is now at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center.
Friday morning, KVI Radio morning host John Carlson wondered on the air what the reaction at the state capitol in Olympia might be if the deputy and officer had been shot by a young adult using a legally-purchased AR-15 rifle. Democrat lawmakers have been pushing several gun control measures this year.
If history is any indicator, fallout over Del Toro’s immigration status may not retain much traction with Puget Sound media, except for conservative talk radio, while his gun possession will likely elicit calls for additional gun control.