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Ten things to do and watch for in 2014

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They have already rung in the new year in Australia and other distant places, according to the Seattle Times, and tonight’s festivities in the Pacific Northwest might be shy one celebrant unless she makes bail for allegedly pulling a gun on her boyfriend, who was reportedly trying to prevent her from driving under the influence.

Watching how things will shake out for Erin T. Quintasket, 35, may be the first order of business in 2014. She faces charges of first-degree assault/domestic violence and illegal possession of a firearm because of a previous criminal conviction, according to published reports. According to the Times, quoting the Vancouver Columbian, "The possible charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by an ex-convict stems from Quintasket’s conviction in 1993 of forgery when she was a juvenile, said Deputy Prosecutor Jennifer Nugent."

The suspect was in court Monday and faces arraignment on Jan. 10, according to the Times and Columbian. She allegedly was intoxicated and when her boyfriend tried to prevent her from getting behind the wheel, she reportedly retrieved a handgun out of a bedroom closet and allegedly threatened him with it.

The newspapers reported that she plans to retain private counsel.

Also on the “to-do” list for 2014:

Get acquainted with your local state legislators and your congressional representative. Find out their views on Second Amendment issues including so-called “universal background checks” to bans on so-called “assault weapons.” Ask them about concealed and open carry, and state preemption. Attend the “town hall” meetings in your district when these people come begging for your support, and be wary of any candidate or incumbent who says, “I support the Second Amendment, but…”

Watch for a push by Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) into Washington and Oregon. With Michael Bloomberg leaving office today, protected by armed security, he’s going to have idle hands, and he wants to push his gun control agenda across the country. MAIG’s Mark Glaze sent an e-mail appeal this morning, urging people to contribute to support their activities.

“With your help,” Glaze writes, “in 2014 we'll continue growing our national network to match and beat the gun lobby, we'll pass life-saving laws in more state legislatures, and we'll send a simple message to Congress from millions of Americans: we're not going to stop until our children and our fellow citizens are safe!”

Make a contribution to the Second Amendment Foundation, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, National Rifle Association and the Protect Our Gun Rights/Initiative 591 campaign. Join these organizations. To paraphrase Mr. Glaze: With your help, these groups will continue to fight against extremist gun control efforts. They’re not going to stop until our rights, and our children’s rights, are safe and secure for all time.

Become active in precinct politics. The late Tip O’Neill (D-Mass.) once noted that “all politics is local.” Work at the grassroots level to counter the gun prohibitionists in your community. Learn to fight back with facts.

Take a novice to the gun range. Introduce someone to safe, responsible gun ownership. You get extra points for taking youngsters and their parents. Be careful and avoid mishaps like that incident in Mountlake Terrace yesterday. There are indoor ranges in Bellevue, south Everett, Tacoma, Spokane and lots of other communities. Locate them and use them.

If you’re a hunter, practice with your rifle during the “off season” to maintain personal firearms familiarity and accuracy. If you’re a hunter in Washington State, push for expanded and later general rifle seasons for elk, and restoration of hound hunting for mountain lions and black bears.

Visit a gun show. The Washington Arms Collectors sponsors monthly shows in Puyallup and Monroe. You may discover that anti-gunners think the Second Amendment is a “loophole.”

As you read this, check the expiration date on your concealed pistol license. Keep that CPL active. Carry with confidence and do it discreetly. This column knows open carry activists who carry discreetly, as well. Most of the time, nobody even notices that sidearm, and that’s how it ought to be. (If you want to make a political statement, rent a billboard.)

Drive carefully. Far more people – including gun owners – are killed in traffic accidents than are murdered in the United States. As this column has noted, gun prohibitionists have been cooking the books for years, lumping suicides, accidents and even justifiable acts of self-defense in with murder victims to create the impression of a massive “gun violence” problem.

Have a safe New Year. Happiness generally follows.

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