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St. Helens anniversary not the only thing erupting Sunday

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UPDATED: Today’s 34th anniversary of the Mount St. Helens eruption might have been slightly overshadowed by some fireworks on the radio as gun rights advocate Alan Gottlieb was the guest during the first hour of Tom Gresham’s “Gun Talk” program, and gun prohibitionists gathered in Bellevue for a strategy session.

Gresham confirmed Gottlieb's appearance via e-mail Saturday. It proved to be a lively segment.

Gresham’s program airs on scores of radio stations at 11:05 a.m. (PDT) / 2:05 p.m. (EDT) today, and Gottlieb — who got into a verbal brawl with Dudley Brown over Brown’s allegation that Gottlieb was leading the charge for a new gun registration scheme — was Sunday's lead-off guest. Gottlieb heads the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA). Brown heads the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR).

There is no small amount of irony that the gun control planning session, which is a somewhat secretive “RSVP” affair that only registered attendees were allowed to have the address, is being held in Gottlieb’s community. The offices of SAF and CCRKBA are located at Bellevue’s Liberty Park, and Gottlieb lives in the city.

Today’s Gun Violence Prevention Summit is one of a series in which four sessions still remain. There is one in Tacoma June 8, in Vancouver on June 14, Spokane on June 22 and Seattle, July 13. Organizers are the Center for Gun Responsibility and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and they must be fearful of attracting opponents, else they would not be so secretive. E-mail RSVP invitations went out May 9.

Last week, Washington CeaseFire and Brady Campaign President Dan Gross held a forum at Town Hall Seattle, where fewer than 50 people attended. Still, despite the fact that Town Hall is a so-called “gun-free zone” and is posted as such, the anti-gunners met under the protection of an armed security officer. Gun rights activists have been chuckling about that all week, suggesting that these folks are demonstrably frightened of citizens with guns, yet they feel it necessary to have an armed guard.

Gottlieb’s radio appearance Sunday touched on things other than his spat with Brown, which Brown started with a fund-raising e-mail appeal last week. Since Gottlieb responded with a blistering statement of his own late Thursday, the Colorado-based Brown has been quiet. Gresham and Gottlieb got past that controversy, touching on international gun rights activities, SAF court cases and legal strategies as well. They even touched on Washington's "dueling initiatives" situation, which no doubt will be discussed on the air at some future date.

Washington voters are being asked to consider two measures, the 18-page Initiative 594 gun control proposal and the single-page Initiative 591, which prohibits government gun confiscation without due process and requires background checks to comply with a uniform national standard. I-594 pushes so-called “universal background checks,” and is seen by critics as reaching far beyond that, laying the groundwork for a de facto state gun registry.

To find a local station that airs Gresham’s show, click here. Many, if not most, of these stations can be listened to on-line. Weigh in below after the program and share your thoughts.

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