In what may go down as the most callous and telling action of the Washington Legislature, at the same time they were introducing a bill to ratchet down on the gun rights of young adults, they were passing legislation to exempt themselves from Public Records Act disclosures.
A number of people attending the weekend Washington Arms Collectors (WAC) gun show at the Puyallup Fairgrounds are aware of both moves. The consensus is, “If it weren’t for double standards, they’d have no standards at all.”
The Seattle Times report is brutally descriptive:
“Forget everything you ever learned about how a bill becomes a law. Forget those public hearings, floor debates and deliberations.
“With breathtaking speed, Washington lawmakers passed a bill Friday that removed themselves from the state’s voter-approved Public Records Act — keeping years of emails and other documents off-limits and making the Legislature its own gatekeeper when it comes to secrecy.”
So, the sentiment goes, we shouldn’t trust 18-20-year-olds with firearms while trusting them with the security of the country, but we should trust lawmakers who want their dealings kept in secrecy.
The National Rifle Association, which has been under constant attack for the past ten days since the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, alerted Evergreen State members about Senate Bill 6620. That’s the last-minute legislation to “raise the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle or shotgun to 21 years of age and would also establish a 10 day waiting period.”
There has been a flood of legislative proposals in the days since Parkland, and also a flood of revelations about how four Broward County sheriff’s deputies waited outside the school building while shots were being fired inside. According to several WAC members at the gun show, the FBI failed, Broward County failed and the Gun Free School Zone Act failed to protect those 17 innocents who died.
And who gets the blame for the carnage? The NRA and, by default, all gun owners and the Second Amendment. If there is blood on any hands in this case, it’s hardly gun owners who need soap and water, according to the prevailing wisdom at the WAC show.
And just what would the proposed gun laws, including a ban on “bump stocks” accomplish?
“Nothing,” according to attorney and former WAC President John Rodabaugh. He’s a licensed firearms dealer, too, and has been a prosecutor, so he has a unique perspective.
“It will make no difference whatsoever,” Rodabaugh said.
Retired gunsmith and former firearms instructor Tim McCullough had this observation: “If I am in the military and allowed to shoot advanced military weapons, then why should I be prohibited from owning a gun?”
A lot of 18-20-year-olds might ask the same question of lawmakers behind SB 6620, specifically Democrat Sen. David Frockt from the 46th District.
Veteran Seattle P-I.com columnist Joel Connelly wrote Thursday that gun rights advocates are under attack. That feeling was evident at the Puyallup gun show, where people who had nothing to do with Parkland or any other mass shooting have concluded that they’ve had enough of being blamed and penalized for crimes they didn’t commit.
When someone can explain the justice in that, it might make interesting — if tortured — reading.