Washington CeaseFire’s Ralph Fascitelli made it official yesterday during his remarks launching the gun free zone project that discriminates against firearms owners in Seattle: there is a culture war that the Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb said gun owners will fight.
The past two days have seen some candid statements coming from gun prohibitionists, including Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, who told yesterday’s press event on Capitol Hill, “Changing behavior takes time. Changing a culture of gun ownership, of gun carrying, or the use of a gun to settle a dispute; that’s going to take time.”
Fascitelli, quoted by the Seattle Weekly, revealed that CeaseFire “plans to lead an effort directed at neighborhoods designed to help identify which homes have guns - so parents can make informed decisions about where their kids play.”
Gun rights activists and at least one attorney raised a question: How is CeaseFire going to identify which homes have firearms? It is a valid concern, since it could involve an invasion of privacy because it is nobody’s business who owns a firearm, or even who legally carries a concealed firearm for personal protection.
Fascitelli was also quoted by the Capitol Hill Seattle blog noting that the gun free zone program is “part of a ‘culture war’ to ‘address the culture of gun violence.’ He said his group would increasingly ask neighborhoods to get involved in this culture war.”
This morning, Gottlieb told Examiner, “Yes, there is a culture war, and (Fascitelli) started it.”
However, in this war, there are some interesting culture clashes. Take the case of a gay gun owner who sent an e-mail to Cupcake Royale, one of the businesses participating in the gun free zone program. Gray Peterson told them his wedding is a month away, and that this was made possible in part because of the shop’s support for R-74 last year that legalized gay marriage. He was all set to order cupcakes for the event from Cupcake Royale when he spotted a story on KING about the gun free zones.
“I honor your private property right to prohibit me, even,” Peterson wrote. “However, siding with the city and with Washington Ceasefire, an organization that is as anti-civil rights as Focus on the Family, is a bridge too far. Supporters of private business gun bans have really no constituency except for easy to do Facebook likes and shares. It will not net you any new business, in fact it will cost you business, as it did with me and everyone I tell.
“Now that I remember,” he added, “perhaps that cupcake didn't taste as good as when I tried it. Social bigotry tends to make food taste bad.”
Gun owners will be asking McGinn why their culture, their tradition, requires changing. It is one of those “Who put you in charge to change my lifestyle” moments and McGinn has not explained why he thinks gun ownership needs to be changed. It appears he is confusing law-abiding gun owners with thugs and crazy people who illegally carry and misuse guns.
That brings us around to State Sen. Ed Murray, who was critical of the gun free zone effort yesterday, and his remarks about last week’s Metro bus shooting in downtown Seattle. That incident left a bus driver slightly wounded, but ended with the fatal shooting by police of the gunman.
Murray described that shooting to the Seattle Weekly as “tragic.” This perspective differs dramatically from that of armed citizens who cheered the heroic bus driver, who was only slightly injured. They also believe that the police acted properly in shooting the would-be killer. In parlance, it is what they call a “righteous shoot.”
Where CeaseFire produced the artwork for the gun free zone decals and the City of Seattle spent $500 to have them printed, a local gun rights advocate offered his own version. It essentially reflects how the firearms community looks at the mindset of those backing the gun free philosophy, and how silly it is to believe a sign will deter a determined criminal.
Instead of Seattle businesses being gun free zones, one attorney and former police officer calls the philosophy “the zone of happy thoughts.” Translation: If an armed robber bursts through the door, point to the decal, give him a big hug and hand him a cupcake.