Tomorrow’s recall election aimed at two anti-gun rights Colorado state senators and Wednesday’s veto override rally in Missouri have considerable importance beyond the borders of those states, including Washington, where two initiatives to the legislature are in a qualification race with more than three months remaining to gather signatures.
The attempt to recall Colorado State Senators John Morse and Angela Giron has attracted some big money, including dollars from the Pacific Northwest. If successful, it will send a signal that anti-gun legislators are answerable to the people they’re supposed to serve. If unsuccessful, gun prohibitionists – with the aid of billionaire anti-gun New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg – will more heavily push his brand of gun control in other states.
On Wednesday in Jefferson City, Mo., the override rally is aimed at putting that state’s Second Amendment Preservation Act on the books, despite promises that it will be challenged in court, and some predictions that it will be nullified. But Show Me State gun owners want to make a statement that they have had enough.
Evergreen State gun owners have something in common with their contemporaries in Colorado and Missouri. There was one visible signature collection effort at the Puyallup fairgrounds over the weekend for Initiative 591, the simple one-page measure preventing the state from conducting background checks unless they comply with a uniform national standard. They are going to the grassroots – people who attend fairs from all over the map to look at livestock, attend cookware seminars, put their kids on rides, and buy everything from Scones to wood-burning stoves – while backers of a competing 15-page gun control initiative stuffed copies of their petition in the Seattle Times and The Stranger over the weekend, looking for signatures from Seattle residents.
There are thousands of I-591 petitions in the hands of grassroots activists who have yet to turn them in, and next month’s big fall gun show at the Puyallup fairgrounds, sponsored by the Washington Arms Collectors, could see stacks of filled-out petitions come in. The show will be held on the same weekend as the general hunting season opener, and that may conflict with the petition flow.
While these two state level efforts are unfolding, a third grassroots campaign is also underway. This one is a petition to the White House asking for a reversal by President Barack Obama on his decision to prevent the re-importation of vintage M-1 Garand rifles from Korea. These rifles have significant importance to collectors, military historians and re-enactors, and target shooters.
The petition, which may be found here, has been on line for the past two weeks. It needs more than 90,000 signatures and presently has a tenth of that number. The deadline is Sept. 28, and petition sponsors are urging people to log on and sign.
Efforts like the recall, the rally and the petition are important because they provide frustrated gun owners with examples of what can be done by people determined to defend their rights. The initiative drive here in Washington is yet another strategy.
There has long been an expectation that one day, the conflicting philosophies of gun prohibition and gun rights will collide. The first dents of that collision could be in the making in Colorado, Missouri and Washington.