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Anti-gunners in poll minority; I-591 backers not contacted prior to endorsement

State Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-Potlatch) was among lawmakers who attended Tuesday's Legislative Shootout.
State Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-Potlatch) was among lawmakers who attended Tuesday's Legislative Shootout.
Dave Workman

Anti-gunners who are voting today in the Portland Oregonian against the idea of legislators learning about firearms are getting the same negative reaction that a couple of PTSA groups in King County are getting on a popular gun rights forum after it was announced that they are supporting Initiative 594, an issue that has zero to do with education.

Neither of those groups contacted the Initiative 591 campaign, according to a source with Protect Our Gun Rights, the umbrella coalition of gun owners, competitive shooters, hunters and law enforcement professionals. The endorsements were apparently made without learning both sides of the issue. And these PTSA groups claim to promote education?

Interestingly, the Lake Washington PTSA council actually did invite POGR representative Phil Watson to speak earlier this month. They heard from I-594 backers at the same meeting, so getting both sides together in Seattle or Northshore would not have been difficult.

Gun owners are essentially unimpressed with the handful of Oregonian readers who think that the idea of state lawmakers visiting a gun range for some enjoyable firearms education is “inconsiderate toward families hurt by gun violence.” They are equally miffed toward the Seattle and Northshore Parent-Teacher-Student Association boards, which represent PTA groups in Bothell, Kenmore and Woodinville, for endorsing I-594, the 18-page gun control measure that mandates so-called “universal background checks.”

Oregonian readers responding to the newspaper’s poll that asks “What do you think about lawmakers going to shooting ranges during the legislative session” overwhelmingly support the idea. More than 38 percent think they should exercise their Second Amendment rights and more than 33 percent say if it is done safely and responsibly, there is no issue. Just over five percent think it’s an insult to victims of so-called “gun violence.”

But what about these PTSA groups? One might wonder how gun owning parents who belong to the sub-groups in Woodinville, Kenmore and Bothell feel about these endorsements, and whether they were even asked. Since it does not appear these PTSA boards contacted the I-591 people about their measure, the answer is probably not.

No pun intended, but it could be educational to learn whether gun owners in those school districts might be inclined to oppose the next special levy or bond issue. Whatever else gun owners are, they are taxpayers and they vote. The Northshore PTSA website says the group is "seeking potential candidates for positions on Council's Executive Committee for the 2014/2015 school year."

"The positions are President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Legislative VP, and Bothell / Inglemoor / Woodinville Area VPs," the website says.

What is continuing to emerge as a pattern in the Evergreen State gun prohibition movement is that a minority of Seattle-centric gun prohibitionists are trying to push their agenda into the lives of everyone else in the state, and they evidently are not interested in hearing about anything that promotes and protects gun rights.


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