A Thursday e-mail inviting people to participate today at 1 p.m. in an “update call” regarding passage of Initiative 594, the 15-page gun control measure now gathering signatures, establishes a direct link to the initiative with a group created to push Barack Obama’s entire political agenda, from gun control to Obamacare.
The e-mail was circulated yesterday by Organizing for Action, whose website URL is “barackobama.com.” Click on this and you will be taken to a website reminding people that the Obamacare marketplace is open, without explaining that this “marketplace” was obliterated by what has been a political train wreck.
Click through and one learns that “Organizing for Action is the grassroots movement fighting for the agenda Americans voted for in 2012. We are millions of people, empowering individuals to make their voices heard.” Are those the same "individuals" who are now making their voices heard about having their health insurance programs cancelled?
Yesterday, Congressman Darrell Issa’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released notes from “War Room” meetings at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance that show just how badly the Obamacare launch has gone off the tracks.
So that Examiner doesn’t get off track, the e-mail announcing today’s conference call says “OFA supporters want to go all-in on gun violence prevention in Washington state...” It also creates the false impression that there are no background checks at gun shows, when it is widely known that sales conducted by retail vendors already require such checks. In addition, the Washington Arms Collectors, which operates the largest gun shows in the state, is a member organization that allows gun sales only between members – violators of this rule are subject to disciplinary action – and all members go through a background check as a condition of membership.
Why would a national group of Obama-backers even be interested in a Washington State initiative battle?
Who and what is Organizing for Action? According to the Wikipedia explanation, OFA is a “nonprofit social welfare organization and community organizing project.” The group is “officially non-partisan,” says Wikipedia, “but its agenda and policies are strongly allied with the Democratic Party.” The group is also “the successor of Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign and of Organizing for America, which itself succeeded Obama’s 2008 campaign.”
Yesterday’s e-mail invitation was sent over the signature of Jon Carson, OFA executive director. Mr. Carson formerly worked for the Obama administration.
And then the e-mail says this: “OFA is working with coalition partners to gather more than 300,000 signatures by January 4th to make sure Initiative 594 is on the ballot in 2014.” Suddenly, there is a “coalition” pushing I-594, which was launched by the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a Seattle-based group with big money backing that has already spent about $1 million, according to the Public Disclosure Commission. And this “coalition” includes OFA.
Carson’s OFA e-mail also complains that “The other side is already out there trying to push back with their own initiative to prevent Washington from expanding background checks.”
That’s not quite accurate. Backers of Initiative 591 were out there first, hence the disparity in initiative number sequence. I-591 was filed first, and it is a simple, common sense measure that requires background checks here to comply with a uniform national standard (rather than establish a complicated set of state regulations; a situation that parallels the desire by anti-gunners to overturn state preemption in a sense, because I-591 would keep Washington checks on par with the rest of the country). One might argue that I-594 is the measure that is "pushing back" against a sensible proposal.
One might question why the uniform national standard isn’t good enough. Gun control groups claim that the current system has prevented 1.5 million gun transactions involving people who should not have guns. The Washington Post Fact Checker looked at this issue here.
There is another part of I-591 that gun prohibitionists may not like. It prohibits government confiscation of firearms without due process.
The whole country remembers Hurricane Katrina, but less attention is paid to the aftermath, where police and National Guard troops – acting without warrants or probable cause – arbitrarily confiscated firearms from storm survivors. It took a federal lawsuit by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association to stop those seizures, for which no official has yet been held accountable.
I-591 backers simply want it to be established law that gun owners are secure against any kind of arbitrary confiscation.