A Washington-based gun rights forum, WaGuns.org, has hit upon a clever way to boost pro-gun activism in the Evergreen State and beyond by giving away memberships in the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and the National Rifle Association.
Timing could not be better, considering the formation of a new anti-gun “alliance” in Seattle whose aim is to ratchet down on gun rights protected by the Second Amendment, Article 1, Section 24 of the state constitution and assorted State Supreme Court and State Appeals Court rulings over the years.
As this column noted, the new Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility – which would be more appropriately called the Seattle Alliance for Gun Control – is making noises about mounting big-dollar campaigns to push background check legislation or an initiative. This comes as the controversial background check bill, SHB 1588, appears to be in trouble because a law enforcement administrators’ lobbying group opposes a key tenet that would abolish the state’s questionable pistol registry.
WaGuns.org is doing something about it. Over the weekend, Examiner received e-mails announcing the results, and they are impressive. At least one NRA life membership was awarded along with several annual memberships, plus several five-year memberships in SAF and CCRKBA have already been awarded.
What this little exercise has demonstrated is that gun rights activism is alive and well in Washington despite what liberal Seattle-based anti-gunners would prefer.
According to Dan Solie, whose internet handle is “massivedesign,” WaGuns was launched on March 21, 2011 by himself, Steve Pickard (aka “MadPick”) and Brandon Haines (aka “Tactical Assault”) and is growing at more than ten members per day.
WaGuns.org has more than 3,700 users and this membership builder began as a “PIF” which stands for “Paying It Forward.” It amounts to members giving to members, and in this case, members of the WaGuns forum are a very generous bunch.
“The first PIF,” Solie said via e-mail Monday morning, “an NRA membership…was started by Steve using his own funds and then members added their own funds to offer additional free memberships! A few months later WaGuns.org took some of the funds people have donated to the site as gave away six SAF memberships (one five-year, five annual). This latest one (SAF and/or CCRKBA) was also started by Steve using his own funds to give away one lifetime and 10 annual memberships. Moderator Oldkim (Young Kim is his real name) then ponied up the funds for an additional ten annual memberships to be given away. WaGuns.org is prepared to offer up additional funds to provide more memberships if needed, based on the popularity of the PIF.”
While not nearly as large as Northwest Firearms, with its more than 29,000 members – many of them cross-over members of WaGuns and other pro-gun forums – WaGuns.org reflects the healthy number of gun rights activists in a state where Seattle’s blue voters have tended to dominate the political climate, but not always.
Another active gun rights forum is Seattle Guns, which boasts more than 22,700 members and 5,486 active members. Up-and-coming is the Shooters Northwest forum, which has 505 members, but appears to be working hard to build interest.
These forums can get pretty lively at times. Debate is sometimes heated and often colorful, which demonstrates that gun owners are a diverse bunch with differing opinions.
As talk of gun control turns into action, such firearms forums will become increasingly important as they become grassroots contact points for activists all over the Northwest and certainly in Washington State. With members in key urban areas and scattered all over the rural regions, WaGuns, Northwest Firearms, Seattle Guns and Shooters Northwest couple play an key role in the debate.