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Bieber bust boredom v. gun rights activism

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Yesterday’s arrest of teen heartthrob Justin Bieber may have temporarily distracted some folks from more important business coming up in Olympia, but trust Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) to get the focus back on track with an e-mail alert today to its members, about 12 hours after the National Rifle Association alerted its members, regarding next week’s hearings on the dueling initiatives.

This morning, KVI’s pro-gun drive time host John Carlson was suggesting that Bieber be deported for his speeding and drunken driving arrest, if convicted. He’s a Canadian citizen, and evidently he is oblivious to recent news about high-profile car crashes including the one that took the life of “Fast and Furious” star Paul Walker, or the jealous road rage incident on I-90 that now finds one guy facing criminal charges and another in trouble over unrelated legal issues. Incredibly, nobody was killed in that misadventure, but speeding cars can be just as deadly as carelessly-used firearms.

Back on the ground in Washington, MAIG urged its members to contact lawmakers and push for support of Initiative 594, the 18-page gun control measure touted as a so-called “universal background check” proposal. MAIG has already contributed $30,000 to the I-594 campaign. There's also a handy sign-up place to attend, courtesy the Moms Demand Action group.

The MAIG e-mail was possibly in reaction to the NRA’s Thursday alert – the first time the NRA has weighed in on dueling initiative controversy – which called I-594 a “universal handgun registration scheme being promoted by a very wealthy group of anti-gun elitists who have already raised nearly $1.4 million to qualify this initiative.”

“Further,” the NRA continued, “virtually every firearm transfer - with very few and limited exceptions - would be required to go through a licensed firearms dealer under the provisions of I-594.”

The NRA did not mention I-591 in its alert, possibly indicating that its full attention is on the other measure, sponsored by the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility. Several times over the past few months, supporters of I-594 have intimated that the NRA is behind I-591, which is demonstrably false. The five-million-member organization has not contributed a penny to the measure, which is being pushed by Protect Our Gun Rights, a statewide coalition representing gun rights groups, gun collectors, hunters, target shooters and law enforcement firearms trainers.

There are two hearings on both measures next week, on Tuesday and Wednesday. Here are the particulars:

Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.
House Hearing Room A
John L. O'Brien Building

Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.
Senate Hearing Room 1
J.A. Cherberg Building

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