Evergreen State gun prohibitionists, currently bragging about the number of local politicians they endorsed during the recent elections, have revealed their legislative objectives for 2020, and gun owners living north of the Columbia River need only look at California to see what is on their horizon.
“We’re gearing up for the next legislative session,” says an email blast from the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility, the billionaire-backed lobbying group behind a trio of gun control initiatives already passed in Washington state. “Priorities include restricting access to high-capacity magazines, creating a background check requirement for ammunition sales, and protecting our children from gun violence.”
Background checks on ammunition translates to backdoor gun registration, according to critics of this scheme. It will also add to the cost of ammunition. Couple that with the “gun violence tax” schemes adopted by Seattle and Tacoma, and it amounts to discouraging firearms ownership and use by making it too expensive.
The Alliance is responsible for Initiative 594, the “universal background check” measure passed in 2014 that has evidently not prevented a single crime, including the tragic shootings in 2016 in Mukilteo and Burlington.
The Mukilteo case was used to launch Initiative 1639, passed in 2018, which prohibits young adults from purchasing and possessing so-called “semiautomatic assault rifles.” There are several other provisions in the initiative, which is now being challenged in federal court by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association.
There is also a grassroots effort to repeal I-1639 with a new initiative to the legislature, I-1094. This one is being pushed by gun rights activists across the state, and it appears to have considerable momentum. Petitions are available in more than 250 gun shops and other locations, and volunteers have been gathering signatures at sporting goods stores and many other locations. They need at least 300,000 signatures by Dec. 28, and one of the organizers recently estimated they may be better than a third of the way to success.
But that effort has no funding, and some veterans of initiative campaigns believe only paid signature gatherers can make the difference in such an endeavor. This weekend, at the Washington Arms Collectors gun show in Puyallup, petitions will be available at several locations in the building.
Meanwhile, to press their restrictive gun control agenda, the Alliance says on its website that in Washington state, “a person is killed with a gun every 14 hours” and “more people are killed with guns than die in car accidents.”
What isn’t said is that a majority of firearms fatalities in the state are suicides. When it comes to criminal homicides, far more people die in car accidents.
According to the Washington State Transportation Safety Commission, in 2017—the most recent year for which data is available—there were 565 traffic fatalities.
Compare that to data from the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2017, which says there were 134 firearm-related murders that year.
The Forefront suicide prevention program shows there were 637 firearm-related suicides in 2017.
What is revealed here is that the gun control crowd combines suicides with homicides and calls it “gun violence.” This creates the impression of a terrible crime problem when that’s not really the case.
One of the champions of suicide prevention efforts in Washington State is Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation and chairman of the grassroots Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. He even co-chairs a legislative subcommittee on suicide prevention.
According to rights activists, homicide is a crime while suicide is an act of emotional despair, and lumping the two together is deceptive.
The anti-rights gun control movement will try to convince people that background checks on ammunition will reduce violent crime. California has such a requirement and it did not prevent last week’s tragic school shooting in Santa Clarita, nor did it prevent the murders of four men at a football watch party over the weekend in Fresno. Both of those incidents are now being exploited to push for even more gun control.