While a Seattle-based gun prohibition lobbying group is basking in the riches of wealthy elitist donors to push another initiative to erode Second Amendment rights – this time for young adults they claim aren’t mature enough to own firearms – another genuine grassroots effort is underway to make schools safer without violating anyone’s rights.
Initiative 1639, a 29-page measure sponsored by anti-gunners who want the votes of people aged 18-20, says this about those same citizens:
“(F)ederal law prohibits the sale of pistols to individuals under the age of twenty-one and at least a dozen states further restrict the ownership or possession of firearms by individuals under the age of twenty-one. This makes sense, as studies show that eighteen to twenty year olds commit a disproportionate number of firearm homicides in the United States and research indicates that the brain does not fully mature until a later age.”
I-1639 is backed by the same crowd that spent more than $10 million to gull Washington voters into passing Initiative 594 in 2014. That’s the so-called “universal background check” mandate that so far hasn’t stopped criminals from getting guns and killing people.
From all indications, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility is stuffing its war chest with more riches to sell Evergreen State voters another pig in a poke, ostensibly aimed at making schools safer.
Meanwhile, the grassroots supporters of Initiative 1621 are working for free and scraping by on a shoestring budget. Authored by Tyler Miller, a newcomer to initiatives and activism, the much simpler, five-page I-1621 says this:
“This initiative would amend the current Revised Code of Washington for the possession of dangerous weapons on school facilities to allow licensed concealed carry permit holders to possess a pistol while on public or private school grounds. School employees would be required to inform their senior administrator that they will be carrying a firearm for awareness and accountability purposes only.
“The intent of this initiative is to provide greater flexibility to local school administrators in addressing school security needs, as well as extending the maximum reasonable extension of constitutional rights to parents, volunteers, and other school supporters while on school property…
“The board of directors of school districts may require that any school employee, prior to possessing a pistol on school grounds pursuant to subsection (3)(e) of this section, is trained in appropriate firearms safety.
“School district employees must inform the school principal or senior administrator of their intent to carry a firearm under RCW 9.41.070, but in no way shall this be construed as a requirement to seek permission to carry.”
Bottom line: Instead of treating young adults like criminals – perhaps they should get used to it if they plan to be law-abiding gun owners in today’s America – Miller’s initiative will amend state law to allow concealed carry by administrators and/or staff on school grounds.
“We’re all volunteer,” Miller told Liberty Park Press via telephone. “We haven’t paid anybody. We’ve been barely able to pay for the petitions.”
He’s raised enough money to purchase advertising on the Lars Larson radio show. If some sugar daddy would dump a million dollars into his lap, as happened at a Monday fund-raising luncheon for the other effort in Seattle, Miller would be ecstatic.
“I filed the initiative not realizing what I was getting into,” he admitted. “We’ve got a lot of people behind it, but it just hasn’t exploded yet.”
The campaign website is “Carry1621.org” and visitors can download copies of the initiative petition to gather signatures.
Meanwhile, The Seattle Times is out with yet gun-related editorial, this time urging gun owners to lock up their unloaded guns in the home to prevent suicide or theft by burglars. Reader response appears to be trending negative, with some gun owners explaining that it is none of the editorial board’s business what they do in the privacy of their own homes, and that burglars shouldn’t be breaking into locked homes, anyway.
The newspaper will likely endorse I-1639 if it qualifies for the November ballot. Historically, the newspaper has treated the Second Amendment-protected right to keep and bear arms as a privilege to be strictly regulated by the government. Contained in the initiative is a “safe storage” requirement that carries felony-level penalties.
Perhaps the idea is to discourage gun ownership by making would-be gun owners fearful of prosecution if their firearms fall into the wrong hands. Instead, maybe burglars who steal firearms should be discouraged from breaking into someone else’s home by locking them up for long stretches.