Sunday’s editorial in the Seattle Times regarding a newly-created Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility plays a dangerous game of semantics to fool the public into believing that this group knows anything about true firearms safety, and is no threat to a fundamental civil right protected by both the state and federal constitutions.
The very name of the group is deceptive, as it would be more appropriate to call itself the Seattle Alliance for Gun Control. That’s what this group really is, and they know it.
Naturally, the editorial panders this group of gun prohibitionists as having “a serious infusion of talent, energy and resources.” They include Seattle City Councilwoman Sally Bagshaw, former Councilwoman Tina Podlodowski. Author and public television host Eric Liu, Seattle-King County health director David Fleming and Zach Silk, a campaign manager.
Noticeably absent is anybody described as a certified firearms instructor, or even a gun owner; anyone who might have a remote idea of what true firearms “responsibility” entails.
The editorial contains this gem: “Promoting sensible, responsible gun ownership does not trample on Second Amendment prerogatives to own firearms.”
Does anyone see something wrong with that statement? The Second Amendment doesn’t refer to a “prerogative” to keep and bear arms, it refers to a “right.” That right, according to two successive Supreme Court rulings, is an individual one, not some “collective” right of states to organize militias. It is right that shall not be infringed.
Washington State's constitutional provision protects and affirms the right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the state. It’s such a solid provision that when Arizona became a state, its constitution copied Washington’s language. Washington's tenet says the right shall not be impaired.
According to the Times, this new anti-gun alliance is presently focused on HB 1588, the controversial background check bill. As this column reported Saturday, that measure — which had input and cooperation from gun rights advocate Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms — is now in trouble because a police administrators’ lobbying group is refusing to make a concession on a pistol registry of questionable value and use.
Of course, the editorial is attracting remarks from the peanut gallery of anti-gun extremists; the “it’s-for-the-children” crowd exploiting the Sandy Hook tragedy to dust off its perennial anti-gun agenda.
They want to close the so-called “gun show loophole” with a “universal background check,” yet a rundown of the most infamous recent mass shooters reveals that none of them obtained their guns from gun shows, and those who bought their guns at retail all passed background checks. Two of them stole the guns they used.
Adam Lanza, Naveed Haq, Ian Stawicki, Jared Loughner, Robert Hawkins, Jacob Tyler Roberts, Major Nidal Hasan, Kyle Aaron Huff, Sueng-Hui Cho; the current legislation now being debated in Olympia would not have stopped any of them.
And now a group of Seattle liberals, amongst whom there is not one indication that any of them have ever taken, much less taught, a course in firearms safety and responsibility, is now being touted by the Seattle Times as the purveyor du jour of gun “safety.” Does anyone seriously believe this "alliance" of anti-gunners can competently guide firearms responsibility in the Evergreen State? Does anyone seriously believe their agenda is not ultimately aimed at gun control so restrictive that it deliberately discourages firearms ownership?
Perhaps a newspaper whose editorial board doesn’t know the difference between a “prerogative” and a civil right.