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Anti-gunners take initiative fight to new level…downward

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The Seattle Times is reporting this morning that “a group of gun-violence victims” attending a hearing on Initiatives 591 and 594 before the state Senate Law & Justice Committee have complained that they were “disrespected.”

Many Seattle Times readers are offering a courtesy “boo hoo” and one even suggested that it took the anti-gunners more than a week to complain because they had to find something to complain about.

I-591 is a two-sentence measure requiring that background checks conducted in Washington comply with a uniform national standard, while preventing government gun seizures without due process.

I-594 is an 18-page gun control measure ostensibly aimed at forcing so-called “universal background checks,” but opponents have pointed out what they believe are several hidden problems that will only encumber law-abiding citizens.

It’s the latest round in what promises to be a political bareknuckle battle royal that has now become personal because the letter singles out both Sen. Pam Roach (R-Auburn), the staunch pro-gunner, and National Rifle Association lobbyist Brian Judy for remarks they made during the hearing. Roach was criticized for noting that the first I-594 proponents were women, to which she observed, “I don’t give much to gender on these kinds of things. It’s easy to push forward the women and say, ‘helpless’ and this kind of thing.”

Judy was targeted for noting to Sen. Steve O’Ban (R-University Place) that the Sandy Hook attack would not have been prevented by a background check because, “Unfortunately, I think that was the ‘murder-your-mom loophole’.” While the sarcasm rang true with gun rights activists in the audience, Sen. Jeannie Darneille (D-Tacoma) later noted that she was offended.

That’s the same Sen. Darnielle whose hoplophobic comments about open carry were reported by this column.

“I am not a person who handles guns,” she admitted. “I don’t own guns. I don’t…they shock me quite frankly. We’re an open carry state and when I see people open carrying their guns, while it may be perfectly legal, it creates a visceral, personal, physical reaction in me as it does in other people…”

Alan Gottlieb, with the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, had this to say: "I was sitting right next to Brian Judy when he made that comment. He did not offer the comment in a joking manner but, rather, seriously to highlight the absurdity (and dishonesty) of the other side’s continued harping about the non-existent “gun show” loophole. He was trying to point out the absurd with the equally absurd."

The letter came from “eight victims, a mix of survivors and family members of people who died in shootings.” It was delivered to Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom (D-Medina) and committee Chair Mike Padden (R-Spokane Valley), and it signals what may be a downward step for gun control advocates whose testimony during the Senate hearing and a House Judiciary hearing the day before was based more on emotion and promises while gun rights activists repeatedly noted that none of the crimes used as examples by I-594 advocates would have been prevented by its language.

That was the same problem with former astronaut Mark Kelly’s remarks in Oregon Thursday, as reported by this column.

Among gun control advocates, it now appears that being “disrespected” translates to being challenged, and they don’t like it. But they better get used to it.

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