Crowding capitol campuses across the country, including a major turnout in Olympia, America’s gun owners took the offensive Saturday against what they view as extremist gun control measures now proposed at the federal and state levels.
Although the Seattle Times estimated only “about 1,000” people at the Olympia turnout, other estimates varied, ranging to the more than 2,000 by KOMO. Examiner was there, and it appeared the KOMO estimate was far more accurate.
Turnout was reflective of gun owner solidarity that also brought a huge Saturday crowd to the Puyallup fairgrounds for the Washington Arms Collectors monthly gun show. That show coincided with “Gun Appreciation Day,” which brought gun owners to state capitols and gun shows across the country.
Anti-gun Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) asserted Friday that the National Rifle Association is a “fringe group,” yet there was no explanation how the NRA has attracted more than a quarter-million new members in the past month. Likewise, there has been no mention of a recent Gallup poll that showed the NRA has a slightly higher favorable rating than Barack Obama.
At the WAC gun show in Puyallup Saturday, hundreds of new faces were in the crowd waiting to get inside, lining up for more than a block stretching around the corner of the fairgrounds.
The Second Amendment Foundation’s “Bucket of Bucks” campaign kicked off, and several people visiting the organization’s display table indicated it was their first gun show.
In Washington State, newly sworn Gov. Jay Inslee has already said he would like to ban so-called “assault weapons” but he could face long odds in the Legislature. The guns he would like to ban were highly visible in the crowd at Saturday’s rally, carried peaceably by people bundled up against the chill as a few State Patrol troopers stood along the perimeter.
Saturday’s turnout offered a stark visual image of American firearms owners who represent a powerful bloc of taxpayers and voters. That reality is not lost on former President Bill Clinton, who lost Congress in the 1994 election over his ten-year ban on so-called “assault weapons.”
Gun owners showed Saturday they are prepared for a bare knuckles political battle, and that cannot possibly go unnoticed in legislatures or in Congressional offices.