Months after Washington State voters approved an initiative that defined a firearm that some say really doesn’t exist, to include every commonly-owned semiautomatic rifle ever manufactured comes an announcement from the Brady gun prohibition lobby of a new effort to ban those very firearms.
It’s precisely what Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich intimated earlier this year when he announced that his department will not enforce provisions of anti-rights Initiative 1639. Buried near the end of that initiative was this language:
“Semiautomatic assault rifle” means any rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.”—Initiative 1639, Page 27
That definition includes .22-caliber sport/hunting/target rifles such as the Ruger 10/22, Marlin Model 60, the classic Remington Nylon 66, popular hunting rifles such as the Browning BAR, Winchester Model 100 and Remington 7400. It applies to hunting and competition rifles built on the AR (Armalite Rifle) platform.
This effort puts the lie to every claim by the anti-gun-rights movement that “nobody wants to take away your guns.”
There is no small irony in all of this. On the eve of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, when thousands of American boys made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect the rights of the folks back home, including the right to own any kind of firearm they want without having to explain why, the Brady bunch sent an email seeking funds to ban “assault weapons.”
Knezovich suggested that one primary reason to pass I-1639 was to create a definition that could later be used to ban the firearms covered by that definition. Here’s what the Brady email, appearing over the name of Renee Davidson, says:
“When we set out to raise $10,000 to ban assault weapons, we knew it was an ambitious goal. Frankly, I’m overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from activists like you.
“I just looked over the numbers, and I’m really excited to announce that we’re now just $285 short of our $10,000 goal. Weapons of war have no place on our streets.
“There’s a reason that assault-style rifles are the weapon of choice for mass shooters: They’re designed to kill as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. There’s simply no reason that everyday Americans need access to these deadly weapons.
“We’re doing all we can to ban assault weapons. But we’re up against corporate gun lobbyists who would rather line their pockets from assault weapons sales than keep our communities safe.”
By no small coincidence, there’s a social media flap over President Donald Trump’s comment to British commentator Piers Morgan that semi-auto rifles are used “for entertainment.” Whether he meant to say such firearms are used for recreation is irrelevant now, because comedian Chelsea Handler has now called for Trump’s impeachment over the remark.
Trump telling Piers Morgan that semi-automatic guns are for entertainment is grounds for impeachment. There are thousands of parents grieving and he calls guns entertainment. I can’t wait to elect a strong leader who has the courage to stand up to the NRA. That will be a leader.
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) June 5, 2019
Provisions of I-1639 are now being challenged in U.S. District Court by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association. A federal judge recently denied a motion by the defense to dismiss the case, in the process saying plaintiffs have standing to sue.
The initiative was supported by the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a billionaire-backed gun control lobbying group that also bankrolled Initiative 594 in 2014. That was the “universal background check” measure that was sold to the public as a crime prevention tool, yet it did not prevent the 2016 Mukilteo incident nor the Cascade Mall attack a few months later.
With the Brady group’s new effort to ban “assault weapons,” Sheriff Knezovich’s prediction appears to have been spot-on.