Washington State’s liberal anti-gun Attorney General Bob Ferguson may be basking in the media sunshine for beating the Trump administration in court on immigration, but he apparently can’t push his gun control agenda through the state House of Representatives, which is controlled by his fellow Democrats.
By no small surprise, Puget Sound media has overlooked the fact that Ferguson’s effort to ban so-called “assault weapons” and his backup measure to license and strictly regulate them both died in committee. On Thursday morning, KVI talk hosts John Carlson and Kirby Wilbur discussed this debacle, along with the failure of another Ferguson-backed bill, one that would have abolished the death penalty.
Instead, the spin on Ferguson is only positive for his challenge of the Trump administration’s immigration order, which has now been revised. Seattle media may be wearing blinders.
Ferguson made a rather big deal of his gun ban proposal last fall, which many believe was the launch of his 2020 gubernatorial bid; an effort to cement his liberal credentials with the increasingly far-left Democrat voting base in Seattle and metropolitan King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. But Democrats in the Legislature, who have to run next year, appeared to be in no mood to push a politically toxic measure certain to bring every gun owner to the mid-term polls. Once away from the I-5 corridor, the Evergreen State is still purple or bright red in many counties, especially east of the Cascades. It would be a disaster for rural Democrats to pass a restrictive licensing bill to say nothing of an all-out ban.
Three years is an eternity in electoral politics. Even a period as short as three weeks or even three days can sometimes destroy a politician, depending upon the circumstances or the subject. Three words can be a fatal wound: “Assault. Weapons. Ban.” That might float in Massachusetts or California, but Washington is neither despite liberal attempts to make it so, and there are more than a million gun owners in the state who might be compelled to vote.
There may be a moral to Ferguson’s gun control effort. It can be found in the final moments of the film “Patton.” Actor George C. Scott delivered a reflective rendition of a famous George S. Patton quote:
For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeteers, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conquerors rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.”
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