It is familiar political ground in the Pacific Northwest, with rising homicide numbers providing strong evidence that gun controls in Washington have been an abject failure.
Seattle has recorded its 52nd homicide, and with two full months remaining in the year, there is no doubt the number will eventually exceed the 53 recorded two years ago. The city, as previously reported, is headquarters to the billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobbying group Alliance for Gun Responsibility. The organization has bankrolled two restrictive gun control initiatives since 2014, making it difficult for law-abiding citizens to exercise their rights while demonstrably not accomplishing the promise of reduced gun-related violence and murder.
Down the road 175 miles, Portland is the tarnished gem of Oregon, with more than 80 slayings so far this year and an outlook for hitting a new record. It is against this backdrop Beaver State anti-gunners hope to pass next week a restrictive gun control measure—Ballot Measure 114—that will require a permit to purchase a firearm and add more restrictions including a training requirement.
At least one county sheriff—Brad Lohrey of Sherman County—told Fox News, “It is impossible for us to do what they’re asking us to do.”
In decades past, Seattle and Portland were known as laid-back growing metropolises, with far left politics and lots of tourist attractions. Nowadays, both cities are experiencing drug and gang epidemics, and crime is spiking because police manpower is down.
There may be change coming, in both states. Oregon appears on track to elect the first Republican governor in a generation. In Washington, there could be changes in the legislature and some changes in congressional representation as well. With changes in people, there will be changes in policy, but it all depends upon a strong turnout of gun owners and conservative voters across both states.
Gun politics is playing out in other regions. The Des Moines Register is editorializing against a proposed state constitutional amendment affirming the right to keep and bear arms. Iowa is one of a handful of states without such an amendment, and gun owners are seeking to change that.
But the newspaper is dead set against protecting the right at the state level, continuing a trend where the media uses the First Amendment to throttle the Second. It excoriates the June Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen for opening the door to both legal challenges and court corrections of infringements on the right to be armed. This suggests anti-gunners still haven’t accepted the explanation in Justice Clarence Thomas’ majority opinion that the Second Amendment must be treated like all other rights.
For decades, gun control proponents have had it their way, with incremental imposition of restrictions on gun owners. Violent crime is increasing, not decreasing. Election Day could change that pattern, with a new Congress and power shifts at the state level, rejection of Oregon’s ballot measure and adoption of Iowa’s proposed amendment. At least, that is the perspective of Second Amendment activists who are hoping for a strong turnout of “gun voters” Nov. 8.