Editorials yesterday at both ends of the country — in the Seattle Times endorsing a far-reaching and invasive gun control initiative and in the Newark Star-Ledger blasting New Jersey Gov. Chris Cristie’s veto of a magazine capacity limit — and the public reaction are cause to wonder whether newspaper editorial boards are wholly disconnected from their readers, if not reality altogether.
Many Times readers continue this morning to blister the newspaper’s decision to support Initiative 594, the 18-page gun control measure backed largely by wealthy Seattle elitists and Michael Bloomberg’s $50 million “Everytown for Gun Safety” lobbying group. In New Jersey, a poll in the same newspaper beating up on Christie this morning shows more than 70 percent think the governor was right to veto the magazine legislation.
The Star-Ledger ran a guest opinion from Democrat State Assemblyman Louis Greenwald in which he accused Christie of “craven cowardice” for the veto. Evidently, one might conclude, the social disconnect between the public and newspaper editors extends to anti-gun politicians.
One might cut Greenwald a little slack, or maybe not, since he sponsored the magazine limits legislation. But in his criticism of the governor’s veto, Greenwald provided some interesting information. He quoted Jim Johnson, the Baltimore Police Chief and chairman of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, who supports magazine limits for private citizens.
He also quoted William Bratton, New York police commissioner, who stated, “High-capacity ammunition magazines were designed as weapons of war.” If that is so, why do police carry high-capacity magazines? Is the public to believe that the police think they are at war with the people?
Police are not the military. They are civilian law enforcement. Here in Washington state, a large segment of law enforcement professionals are lining up against I-594 and supporting Initiative 591, the measure that Seattle Times editors think the public should reject.
The Star-Ledger editorial also said this about imposing ten-round limits on ammunition magazines: “The idea is that psychos on a rampage would have to stop and reload more often, giving the potential victims a chance to escape or pounce.”
Tell that to Elliot Rodger, the pathetic Santa Barbara spree killer. In addition to passing background checks and enduring waiting periods, he also only had 10-round magazines for the three handguns he owned, yet he fatally shot three people and engaged police in a gun battle before taking his own life.
In today’s Seattle Times, there’s also a story about a newly-released University of Washington study that says shooting victims are more likely to “die from gun violence or commit crimes in the future.” It’s something of a “Well, duh” story that does not use the word “gang” anywhere.
Honest people do not repeatedly get into gun battles, nor would they be expected to “commit crimes in the future” if they are unfortunate enough to be shot by some criminal. Times readers are already suggesting that this is the sort of junk science that Congress voted to de-fund several years ago because it was used not to produce useful data, but support a political agenda.
Considering the weekend’s editorials at far ends of the country, the political agenda seems pretty well revealed.