Washington State gun rights activists might have a new weapon in the fight against gun control efforts currently on-going in the State Legislature, and it has nothing to do with the astonishing remark by State Sen. Patty Kuderer that “constitutionality is in the eye of the beholder” regarding her bill to ban so-called “assault weapons.”
Kuderer (D-48th District) made that observation after acknowledging opponents of her measure will argue banning a whole class of firearms is unconstitutional.
However, gun rights activists now panning Kuderer have even something better to use, especially when newly-sworn Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell calls for more gun control, and that “something” is the Seattle Police Blotter. According to a recent report involving a daylight shooting in downtown Seattle, “Police responded and found a man with a gunshot wound to the hip. As officers began first aid on the victim, they discovered he was carrying a handgun and a waist pack containing narcotics.
“Police seized the victim’s handgun,” the Blotter report adds, “since he is a convicted felon and is not permitted to carry a firearm, and entered the narcotics – approximately 14 grams of heroin, 3 grams of methamphetamine, and 82 fentanyl pills – into evidence.”
KIRO, the local CBS affiliate, also reported the discovery and correctly noted the man’s legal status.
The importance of this incident underscores what gun rights advocates have been explaining for years, perhaps decades: Criminals do not obey gun laws, especially when they only penalize law-abiding citizens.
In a Wednesday email blast and fund-raising appeal, the Seattle-based and billionaire-backed Alliance for Gun Responsibility recalled a downtown Seattle shooting that left one woman dead and seven others wounded.
“The shooter purchased a high-capacity magazine just hours before opening fire,” the message lamented. “He was prohibited from purchasing a gun, but could legally and easily buy the high-capacity magazine he used to shoot eight people and terrorize countless others.”
They essentially ignore the fact that all three suspects in this shooting were convicted felons who could not legally possess firearms. Instead, the gun prohibition lobbying group exploits the fact that one of the men had purchased an extended pistol magazine earlier in the day, because of legislation in Olympia to ban so-called “high capacity magazines.”
This episode illustrates what John Carlson, a conservative morning drive-time host at Seattle’s KVI-AM, said this week about the Alliance and the gun control movement. Anti-gunners, he observed, are only interested in pushing laws to ratchet down on the rights of honest gun owners, rather than demand enforcement of current laws against armed criminals.
More than 25 years ago, Carlson spearheaded two campaigns, one called “Three Strikes and You’re Out,” and the other “Hard Time for Armed Crime.” Both measures easily passed with strong support from gun rights organizations, with virtually no support from the gun control lobby.
Nationally-recognized gun rights advocate Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, championed both measures as well, and the initiative campaigns also received financial support from the National Rifle Association.
Another case sure to raise eyebrows has a 14-year-old as the suspect in two different homicides, one last fall and the other more recent. The youth turns 15 soon.
He allegedly used a handgun—which, under state law, he cannot legally possess—in both killings. The teen has been charged in juvenile court, according to KIRO, but prosecutors want the case moved to adult court.