Countering yesterday’s announcement by gun control proponent Shannon Watts that Moms Demand Action will be lobbying for tougher gun restrictions this week, the country’s top female shooting competitor has launched a campaign of her own, encouraging mothers to “Take a MOMent” and “talk to your kids about firearm safety.”
Posted yesterday by Julie Golob, world shooting champion, Army veteran and mother of two children, according to a brief Wikipedia biography, this new genuine gun safety effort – as opposed to a thinly-disguised gun control project – began streaking across the Internet after Golob posted it on her Facebook page. Reaction has been positive.
“While some are using Mother’s Day week to push a gun control agenda,” Golob says in her appeal, “I’d like to encourage mom’s to Take a MOMent. Talk to your kids about firearm safety. Help them learn what to do around firearms and have an open, honest discussion about guns and gun safety.
“Please considering sharing my image below on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts to help spread this responsible gun owner reach out,” she adds.
Both the MDA effort and Golob’s response are timed to lead up to Mother’s Day. However, the Golob approach is one that is good throughout the year, and needs no upcoming holiday to give it traction. Proper firearms safety advice is not tied to calendar dates.
Golob points moms to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Project ChildSafe and the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe program as proper resources for solid information about firearms safety. Watts and MDA are on Capitol Hill this morning, lobbying for gun restrictions that have nothing to do with keeping children safe and everything to do with eroding the firearms rights of law-abiding adults.
High on the wish list for the anti-gun MDA, which is supported by billionaire Michael Bloomberg and is part of his “Everytown for Gun Safety” $50 million so-called “grassroots effort,” is the “universal background check.” It is a requirement being pushed by proponents of Initiative 594 in Washington State, an 18-page gun control measure mandating checks on all transfers of firearms, with limited exemptions.
Last night, the Tacoma City Council adopted a requirement that gun shows conducted on city property require background checks on all gun transactions, including those between private parties. The Seattle Times quoted Tacoma resident Leanne Kennedy, speaking in favor of the resolution, who said, “It takes an extraordinary amount of courage to be the parent of a Newtown first-grader who died…to wake up with that kind of hole in their heart.”
City Councilman Ryan Mello, according to the Tacoma News Tribune, contended, “In the face of inaction by state and federal lawmakers our community cannot wait. We have a gaping hole in state and federal policy.”
The real “hole” in both statements is that Newtown gunman Adam Lanza didn’t bother with a background check because, after murdering his mother, he took her legally-obtained guns, for which she passed a background check, and used those firearms in the Sandy Hook attack. This crime happened in Connecticut, which already had some of the toughest gun laws in the country at the time.
Tacoma’s decision is probably legal under a 2006 Supreme Court ruling in the case of Pacific Northwest Shooting Park Association v. City of Sequim. PNSPA sued the city and its police chief, Byron Nelson, alleging “tortious interference” with a contractual relationship between the organization and the city to use the city's convention center for a gun show, claiming that the city's actions violated the state preemption law, the court noted in its synopsis.
PNSPA lost the case when the state high court, in a divided ruling, said the city could exercise discretion as a property owner and mandate certain requirements on the leasing of public property for a business function. This is different than what occurred with the City of Seattle’s attempt to ban firearms from city park facilities, in that this was an attempted general ban on the right to bear arms, which is protected by the state constitution and prohibited by the 1983 preemption statute.
Had Tacoma tried to extend the background check requirement to gun shows held on private property anywhere in the city, there might have been a strong case against the action, as a violation of the preemption law. Federal law currently stipulates that private transfers are not subject to background checks.
The hole in Councilman Mello’s argument gets even larger when one examines the history of recent mass shooters. With the exception of Newtown’s Lanza, the gunmen who launched attacks at the Seattle Jewish Federation and Café Racer, the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard, both Fort Hood shootings, Northern Illinois University, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Colo., and Tucson, Ariz., all passed background checks. Like Lanza, the gunman who shot up the Clackamas Mall outside Portland also stole the gun he used, mooting any argument about background checks. Not one of them obtained his gun at a gun show.
When it comes to moms squaring off over gun safety, Golob’s background gives her the upper hand. As a shooting competitor, Army veteran and legally-armed Montana resident, she probably knows more about true firearms safety than all of Watts’ MDA lobbyists now strolling through the halls of Congress.