The Spokane Spokesman-Review reported yesterday that the overwhelming majority of financial support for Initiative 594, the 18-page gun control measure pushed by the Seattle-based Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility (WAGR), comes from just ten zip codes in and around — surprise! — the Seattle area.
Veteran political reporter Jim Camden even put together a map showing where the big bucks neighborhoods are located. For grassroots gun rights activists who are suddenly fired up in the wake of billionaire Paul Allen’s half-million-dollar donation last week, this clarifies the situation. Examiner has alluded to this "Seattle-centric" support base many times, but Camden has given it visual reality.
It boils down to wealthy elitists using the power of their money in an attempt to dictate how citizens in the entire rest of Washington State shall live. This time the issue is firearms, but if they are successful at this, what’s next?
Meanwhile, the Gabby Giffords-Mark Kelly group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, has a new plea for background checks that once again uses examples involving shooters who passed background checks to peddle its message. And the Center for Gun Responsibility (CGR) — another group that uses the term “responsible” as if to suggest that anyone who disagrees with their demagoguery is irresponsible — has another anti-gun-rights video.
Google the CGR and WAGR and you will find that both groups have much in common, including the people involved. Apparently all of this responsibility is pretty much confined to the ten zip codes mentioned above.
Ironically, Seattle Times editorial columnist Jonathan Martin has a new piece calling for change of a mental health law that criminalizes certain behaviors. He’s on the editorial board of that newspaper, which supports I-594, a measure that many in the firearms community believe criminalizes their behavior, such as loaning firearms to friends and in-laws, and teaching safe gun handling to youth or novice adult shooters.
The irony is that in virtually all of the high-profile mass shootings in recent memory, each of the perpetrators had serious mental problems that were evident. They didn’t get treatment or avoided treatment and instead they were free to commit their heinous acts.
Camden’s story in the Spokesman-Review noted the disparity in finances between the well-heeled I-594 campaign and the grassroots effort backing alternative Initiative 591. Much smaller contributions from middle-income people whose rights are at stake support that measure.
One thing Camden’s story did not mention is the law enforcement opposition to I-594 and support for I-591. Perhaps that’s because the story was about finances, and Camden will get around to this later.
In the meantime, the small fortunes being spent to drown out the fact that law enforcement opposes more gun control underscore how important it is to the elitist residents of ten Seattle-area zip code neighborhoods to buy this election.