There are more than a few raised eyebrows in Eastern Washington over Congressional candidate Clint Didier’s offer to give away three firearms, reported yesterday by the Tri-City Herald and today by the Yakima Herald-Republic.
Didier, a former NFL player whose team, the Washington Redskins, just had their trademark of that name cancelled by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is a conservative Republican living in Eltopia. Nowadays, Didier is a farmer, and only one of several people running to succeed retiring Congressman Doc Hastings this fall.
However, he’s the only one offering to give away guns. In this case, two are Ruger LC9 pistols and the third is an AR-15 type rifle with a 30-round magazine and ammunition. Both newspapers noted that winners will have to follow all laws, including passing a background check.
If this is a publicity stunt, it’s a good one and it is already paying off. The Tri-City Herald reached out to other candidates running in the Aug. 5 primary, and Democrat Estakio Beltran of Yakima reportedly had this to say: “I am a strong upholder of the Constitution and fully support the Second Amendment rights of all Americans. However, as a congressional candidate, I am sensitive to the grief that many here in Washington may be feeling as a result of recent tragedies.”
That may seem like a typical squishy “I support the Second Amendment, but…” remark to Eastern Washington gun owners, who haven’t elected a Democrat in their district since 1992. That was Jay Inslee, who lost his seat in 1994 along with House Speaker Tom Foley of Spokane during the Republican revolution. Both made the mistake of voting for a gun control measure when they represented districts in Washington’s “gun country.”
Contrast Beltran’s remark with this one from Didier about recent mass shootings: “All these shootings are occurring at gun-free zones by individuals on some type of drugs with mental issues. The guns are not pulling the trigger, the people are pulling the trigger. These gun-free zones are enticing people to go to these areas to do these terrible deeds.”
This is not the first time Didier has run for office. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010, but came in third in the state’s “Top Two” primary.
He played in two Super Bowls for the Redskins, and he serves as co-head coach at Connell High School, according to this biography. He was born in Connell, a farming community in rural Franklin County.