Evergreen State grassroots rights activists, alerted to the gun control agenda they are facing when the Democrat-controlled legislature convenes in January are fired up, and emerging from the pack are some examples of leadership who have identified the problem in their ranks, and are providing some solutions.
While many gun owners are simply griping on social media, others are energized for action, and they are building an army of volunteers; people now involved in gathering signatures for Initiative 1094, which would repeal gun control Initiative 1639. Whether they are successful in their signature-gathering remains to be seen, but indications are they have a monumental challenge to gather the hope-for 300,000 signatures by Dec. 28 to qualify.
Whether they succeed or fail in that endeavor, they’re an ambitious lot, and they are motivated. And there are some voices they might listen to for guidance.
One of those is Jeff Hayes, writing at Facebook: “I predict gun owners in Washington will once again not take the 10 minutes to vote but will spend hours on the internet complaining about the new laws.”
But a moment later, he observed, “Gun owners have the numbers to make any laws they desire. They lack the ability to come together and do it.”
And then he counseled, “Put supporting the Second Amendment at the top of your priorities and put your egos at the bottom because your egos are not going to matter in a few years if we do not pull together.”
In another thread, an observer named Adam Fitzgerald, writing at the Gun Rights Coalition Facebook page stated, “All this says to me, if you’re a (sic) owner of a firearm, no matter the type, go register to vote if you’re not already. Don’t let this state become anything like California. I’ll be packing up the place I’ve called home for the last 15+ years and head to a conservative state, before I follow any ‘feel good’ laws.”
And responding to a story published at AmmoLand News, a reader identifying himself as “Tuska1” advised readers to “Get active in your city/county. Create smart initiatives in your counties and cities.”
“Tuska1” also reminded activists that Saturdays are not best for holding rallies in Olympia that get noticed, even if a couple of thousand people attend.
“While it is harder,” he continued, “because I know you are working and leading your life, and don’t have that much time to take a day off, you need to do this on a day when the elected people are actually in their office, and in session!!! You have to understand that while you are working to live your life the other side is devoting their entire life to taking away your rights.
“If only (1,000) people showed up here in WA State on a day when they are sitting in their office,” Tuska1 explained, “and you split up that would give you at least 25 to 50 people that can go into each official’s office and talk to them about your concerns. They cannot ignore you when you do that. At least not easily. If you live stream or record it, it is even better.”
Toward the end of several paragraphs, “Tuska1” concluded with this: “We cannot rely on SAF, or whomever, to be the only fighters for our rights. Do donate, if that is really all you can do, but more importantly, write an intelligent, polite and thoughtful letter to your local, county and state elected employees, and be sure to ask for a replay. Make them work a little.”
These lessons could easily apply not only in Washington, but at the far end of the nation, in Virginia, where Commonwealth gun owners are also facing a decidedly anti-gun Democrat-controlled General Assembly. Democrats took over earlier this month when only “about 40 percent” of eligible voters actually filled out ballots. With so much on the line, some observers consider that pathetic.
In Washington, where two anti-gun initiatives were passed by about 60 percent of the voters who actually returned ballots, and the suspicion is that a lot of gun owners didn’t. Roughly one in ten eligible Washington voters has a concealed pistol license, according to data from the State Department of Licensing. At last report, about 639,000 active CPLS were in circulation, in a state with a population of about 7.5 million, of which maybe 5 million or so are eligible voters. Do the math.
What Hayes, Fitzgerald and Tuska suggested is how the grassroots works. Everyone focuses on a common goal, forgetting their differences in order to get the job done. Hayes correctly noted that gun owners “have the numbers” but they lack the unity. The threat they’re facing in January may change that, so that after next November, the tide will turn.