It’s not just FBI Uniform Crime Report data that goes against the narrative launched earlier this week by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson in his push for a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” public reaction is decidedly negative.
An unscientific poll on KOMO’s Facebook Page underscores Ferguson’s problem. The KOMO opinion poll showed a whopping 81 percent opposition Friday morning, and only 19 percent support. An article in Wednesday’s Seattle Times has garnered almost 1,000 comments, most of them appearing to be negative. Likewise, a piece at MyNorthwest.com, the KIRO Radio news site, had more than 450 comments Friday morning.
Ferguson may not realize that his announcement effectively put the lie to the mantra from people like Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton that “Nobody is coming to take your guns.” Not right away, of course; they will go through the motions to make it look like the taking is something reasonable and accepted by the public.
His insistence that he “supports the Second Amendment” falls on deaf ears of gun owners and especially those who own modern sport-utility rifles. They don’t “support the Second Amendment,” they exercise it. They argue that once banning a certain type of firearm is acceptable, it’s easier to ban something else, and that bothers them considerably.
On the flip side, when such an announcement is made, the public reacts with its wallet. Watch gun sales spike for modern sport-utility rifles built on the AR-type platform.
Washington gun owners are especially interested in what Californians have to say about the evolution of gun control in the Golden State. One look at what happened there and one can understand why Evergreen State gun owners are opposed to Ferguson’s proposal.
The proposed ban, by Ferguson this week and earlier by Washington Ceasefire and Ceasefire Oregon, is just the beginning. They understand it will probably fail in the state legislatures in Olympia and Salem. But that opens the door to big money initiative campaigns, a ’la Initiative 594 – the so-called “universal background check” measure in Washington that hasn’t stopped a single violent crime, including the July triple homicide in Mukilteo that Ferguson used as a reason to launch his effort – because wealthy elitists have decided that if they can’t beat the constitution, they will buy it.
Gun owners all over the country are watching the Pacific Northwest because of Ferguson’s announcement. The subject is under considerable discussion on at least three popular Pacific Northwest forums, and on two different discussions on the Calguns forum.
But Ferguson and the Ceasefire groups have a credibility problem right out of the gate. As reported earlier this week, according to FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, rifles of any kind are used in a small number of gun-related homicides annually in the United States. In 2014 for example – the most recent year for which final data is available – out of 8,124 homicides involving firearms, only 248 involved rifles of any kind.
In Washington State, according to the FBI report for that year, rifles of any kind were used in only six homicides in the entire state. There were 172 slayings in Washington that year, of which 94 involved firearms. More people are killed annually with knives, feet, fists and blunt objects.
Anti-gunners look at the long game. This year it’s “assault weapons.” Next time around they may go after state preemption and push to end “shall issue” for concealed pistol licenses.
Then may come an attack on shotguns, the weapon of choice of Washington, D.C. Navy Yard killer Aaron Alexis three years ago. He killed a dozen people and wounded several more with a Remington pump shotgun that he had purchased in Virginia, after passing a background check.