Following Donald Trump’s stunning victory last week in his race to the White House, Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, offered a sobering prediction about how the gun prohibition lobby would react.
“While America’s hard-working gun owners can celebrate the victory they helped make possible,” Gottlieb warned, “we must remain mindful that the gun prohibition lobby, which is largely funded by elitist billionaires like Michael Bloomberg, will almost certainly double down on their efforts to erode our Second Amendment rights at the state level, whenever and wherever they can.”
Tomorrow evening in Washington, that’s exactly what the anti-gunners at the Seattle-based Alliance For Gun Responsibility are planning. They’re conducting a conference call to “discuss our legislative advocacy program for 2017 and concrete steps you can take to make your voice directly heard with your legislators in Olympia.”
Likely agenda items: a ban on so-called “assault weapons” or at least a move for registration, erosion of state preemption and shall-issue concealed carry. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has already announced his plan to push for a ban on semi-automatic modern sporting rifles, as has Washington CeaseFire.
It is virtually guaranteed that idea will go nowhere in the Legislature, but that’s not the point. The wealthy elitists bankrolling the Alliance could use that as an excuse to launch another well-funded initiative campaign to pass the ban by public vote. With billionaire backing, they have plenty of money.
If, or more likely when they do, gone will be any contention that “nobody wants to take your guns.” Banning an entire class of firearms amounts to taking them from people. Nobody knows how many such firearms are owned in Washington State, which is as it should be, gun rights activists argue.
Proponents of the ban will have a credibility problem from the outset. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2015, last year rifles of any kind were used in only three of the state’s 209 homicides. Only five other slayings involved shotguns of any kind. By contrast, 18 people were stabbed or slashed fatally, 36 were killed with “other weapons” and 14 were beaten to death.
Alliance backers are thumping their chests over last week’s passage of their second gun control initiative, the “extreme risk protection order” measure. This one was opposed by gun owners, mental health activists and civil liberties advocates over due process concerns.
“But there’s still so much to do, and we won’t back down,” an Alliance e-mail said.
The conference call is something of an invitation only affair. It requires an RSVP, for which participants will receive a “unique conference dial-in number and PIN.”
This is happening as New York Magazine is lamenting the possibility that Donald Trump will push for national concealed carry reciprocity. The magazine complained, “For groups like the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation, allowing gun owners to fearlessly carry their firearms across state lines is the “civil rights” struggle of our time.”
Gottlieb is also founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. He championed suicide prevention legislation earlier this year and it became law while gun control got no momentum in the Washington State Legislature. The gun prohibition lobby was not happy about that.
Evidently, since they can’t erode gun rights in the Legislature, elitist anti-gunners aim to buy those rights, one initiative at a time.