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The ‘other half’ of gun control story bears repeating

Gun control proponents, possibly including the mainstream press, are only telling half the story about the dueling initiatives.
Gun control proponents, possibly including the mainstream press, are only telling half the story about the dueling initiatives.
Dave Workman

The Seattle Times reported Saturday morning about Friday’s arrest of a Southern California UPS driver on an indictment issued Wednesday, alleging that the suspect stole dozens of guns that were sold “on the black market.”

That’s the same Seattle Times that Geoff Potter, communications director for the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility (WAGR), wanted to remind everyone had endorsed Initiative 594, the 18-page gun control measure pushing so-called “universal background checks.” I-594 will be on the November ballot, supported by big money from wealthy Seattle-area elitists, and by Michael Bloomberg’s $50 million “Everytown for Gun Safety” lobbying group.

“This is great news, and it's a big deal for the campaign,” Potter declares in the e-mail message to supporters.

Of course Potter wouldn’t share the other news about his initiative that’s not-so-great. That’s the news — so far ignored by the Times and other Evergreen State news agencies — that I-594 is opposed by two major statewide law enforcement organizations representing some 5,500 rank-and-file police officers and sheriff’s deputies, and retired law enforcement. Why this has not been widely reported is a question that can only be answered by the mainstream press.

The Southern California arrest and gun theft case, whether anyone realizes it, explains why I-594 and every other gun control effort will never live up to its promise. Criminals do not obey the law, even in a state that already has the kind of restrictive gun laws that the gun prohibition lobby wants to pass in Washington this fall.

Those laws did not prevent Santa Barbara gunman Elliot Rodger from murdering three people with a knife before he killed three others with handguns two months ago. He passed three separate California background checks, went through three different waiting periods, and only used politically-correct ten-round magazines.

According to the Times report, Curtis Hays of Rancho Cucamonga allegedly stole guns bound for a big sporting goods store. Those guns were “passed” to a Moreno Valley man “who sold them illegally.” That man, identified as Dennis Dell White, Jr., is charged with conspiracy, firearms theft, possession of stolen firearms, and other charges that include — and this is important to the gun control debate — being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.

Pennsylvania hospital shooting suspect Richard Plotts is another guy who should not have had a gun because of his criminal history. The Pottstown Mercury reported yesterday that authorities are trying to trace the revolver he allegedly used before being shot several times by Dr. Lee Silverman, who carried a .32-caliber Seecamp and reportedly emptied it in the gunfight.

The hospital is a “gun-free zone” as described in multiple reports. Authorities are crediting Silverman’s action has having saved lives at the facility, so it remains to be seen how hospital administrators will handle this political hot rock.

The Times has another story of interest. This one reveals that the “projected impact” of Colorado’s onerous gun laws, passed last year, “was vastly overstated in a key budget report.” Colorado officials were expecting to make a bundle on fees for background checks, but the numbers have fallen short, suggesting that either Coloradoans aren’t buying, selling or loaning guns to one another, or that they are ignoring the gun laws and carrying on as they have traditionally for generations.

(Editor's Note: WAGR's Potter invites everyone to click here and post their "news" to Facebook. Anyone who does that is invited to post a link to this column with the simple notation" "The other half of the story.")