Gun control proponents are making something of a “big deal” out of the alleged discovery of a perforated paper target at the League of Women Voters office in Seattle, intimating in today’s Seattle Times that this may be an effort to intimidate the group for its stance on Initiative 594, the 18-page gun control measure being pushed by the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility (WAGR).
Today, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms fired back, challenging WAGR to “put its money where its mouth is” and offer a reward for the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators. CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb issued a press release that raised questions about the authenticity of the allegedly threatening target.
Last Friday, WAGR’s deputy campaign manager Stephanie Ervin sent an e-mail to supporters, asking them to sign an on-line petition of support for the League. In the e-mail, Ervin said, “Let’s show the League that we stand with them – and against these shameful intimidation tactics.”
But Gottlieb is having none of it. It is becoming a game of “put up or shut up,” and he’s called it a “propaganda stunt” that “misses the target.” The story is getting lots of attention on the CCRKBA Facebook page.
“Experienced gun owners have questioned whether or not this was actually the work of anyone even slightly familiar with firearms,” Gottlieb said. “Rather, it seems more likely to be a stunt perpetrated by proponents of 594 seeking attention. It’s the kind of juvenile prank that only anti-gun elitists would find credible. I’m betting they won’t offer the reward.
“I’m sure pro-gun activists would happily loan a lawfully owned firearm to any of their volunteers or workers who genuinely felt threatened; however, the measure they’re backing would actually prevent us from doing that,” he added.
CCRKBA is part of a grassroots coalition — Protect Our Gun Rights — that backs an alternative measure, Initiative 591 that does not have big-money support. Gottlieb noted that I-591 is supported by rank-and-file law enforcement, target shooters, hunters and gun collectors. Also, two statewide law enforcement groups, the Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association and Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs support I-591 and oppose I-594. They represent about 4,500 members.
Today’s Times noted that a second target has been found tacked to a tree a couple of blocks away from the League office on Capitol Hill. Whether this target is related to the first target has not been established. The first target appeared to have been shot with a small-caliber firearm or a pellet gun.
POGR treasurer Phil Watson today told Examiner that he is suspicious about the timing. On July 3, he sent an inquiry to the League, asking why they would want to set up a debate about the two initiatives when they had already apparently endorsed I-594 and opposed I-591. Two days later, the first target was allegedly discovered at the League office.
There are apparently no suspects, and one experienced shooter said the first target found at the League office was a rather old style format that he has not seen used in years. Wherever the target came from, and whoever shot it, Gottlieb and Watson both said the marksmanship was rather poor, in more ways than one.