Grassroots gun rights activists who gathered on the capitol steps in Olympia, Washington last year to oppose new gun control efforts will be back again as new threats arise. (Dave Workman)
Beleaguered Evergreen State gun owners are beginning 2019 facing serious threats to their rights, not the least of which is a Legislature dominated by liberal Democrats who are hostile to their rights, and who have yet to be seriously challenged by the local press about some inconvenient facts that do not support their gun control agenda.
For openers, buried in the agenda of the state’s billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobbying group is a proposal to require safety training for a concealed pistol license, like “27 states and the District of Columbia.” While gun owners favor competent training they do not support a mandate.
In Washington, D.C. last year, according to WTOP News, there were 160 homicides, a sharp increase from the 116 logged in 2017 that were listed in the FBI Uniform Crime Report. Not all of those slayings involved firearms.
Washington, D.C. has a smaller population than the City of Seattle, yet last year in the Jet City, as of Dec. 5, there had been 31 homicides, not all of them involving firearms, according to the Seattle Police Department’s “SeaStat Crime Dashboard” and Police Blotter. Liberty Park Press checked with SPD Wednesday morning and a spokesperson there said the final data for last year is still being assembled. Still, Seattle has a remarkably low number of homicides – the five-year average is 20 per year – for cities of the same size.
But Washington, D.C. requires safety training just to obtain a pistol and carry permits are tightly regulated. Seattle, however, is in Washington State’s King County, where there are just shy of 100,000 concealed pistol licenses (99,738) in a state that ended 2018 with 608,460 active CPLs, according to the Department of Licensing. That is up 3,244 CPLs from Nov. 30, and represents and increase of 17,711 CPLs since Jan. 2, 2018.
The safety training requirement does not appear to have worked as a violent crime prevention tool.
Also on the gun control agenda published by the Alliance for Gun Responsibility is a desire to “restore local authority” for gun regulation. This would mean destroying state preemption, a law that has held up for more than 35 years. It has guaranteed uniformity in the state’s gun laws, preventing a patchwork of confusing and possibly conflicting local ordinances.
Another agenda item is to make child care and early learning centers “gun-free zones” to “keep our kids safe” like they are in school gun-free zones. But Marysville-Pilchuck High School—scene of a 2014 shooting tragedy committed by a teen who took a handgun from his father, who should not have been able to legally buy that gun in the first place and was subsequently convicted of a gun law violation—was and remains a “gun-free zone.” For that matter, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., was and remains a “gun-free zone,” but that didn’t prevent last February’s murder of 17 students and staff that ignited the current gun control frenzy.
Gun-free zones may be a symbolic gesture, rights activists repeatedly observe, but the notion that they prevent tragedies is not supported by fact.
The state also now prohibits young adults ages 18-20 from purchasing semi-auto rifles of any kind under provisions of Initiative 1639, passed by voters in November. But according to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, only a small number of Washington State homicides involve rifles of any kind.
And now, according to The Atlantic, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, himself a gun control supporter, is planning to run for president in 2020. That opens the field for anti-gun Attorney General Bob Ferguson to run for the governorship.
Ferguson has spent much of the past two years suing the Trump administration, and also backing gun control laws. According to the Seattle P-I.com, Ferguson is eager to defend the state’s new gun law from a legal challenge mounted by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association, while he has been far less energetic about defending the state preemption law against challenges by Seattle, Everett, Edmonds and King County, all of which adopted local gun control ordinances in defiance during 2018.