Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump flew into the heart of enemy territory Tuesday – Washington State is taken for granted as a Democrat stronghold where Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton only visit to work the Seattle ATM – and promised two things that make anti-gun liberals grit their teeth.
“We will appoint the proper judges to the United States Supreme Court,” Trump vowed to an energetic, standing-room-only crowd in Everett.
“We will protect and save our beautiful Second Amendment,” he added to wild cheers. It happens at about 47 minutes into the speech, offered online by KING5 News.
It’s the kind of promise that the Seattle-based gun prohibition lobbying groups abhor. It makes their stomachs churn. It causes their skin to creep. They drag their fingernails across blackboards.
And it’s just the kind of rhetoric that might cause Evergreen State gun owners fill out their ballots this fall and stick them in the mail. A strong Republican turnout in November could derail efforts announced by Washington Ceasefire to push a ban on so-called “assault rifles” in the Legislature in January. It might also shift power in Olympia, thus threatening a possible attempt by anti-gunners to once again try to erode or repeal the state’s 34-year-old preemption statute on gun regulation.
Trump’s promise came near the end of a 48-minute speech at Everett’s Xfinity Arena before a standing room only crowd. Washington gun owners are mindful of a ballot issue seeking to advance the gun control agenda through so-called “emergency protection orders.” They are also aware that Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton told a private fund raiser almost a year ago that, in her opinion, the Supreme Court “is wrong on the Second Amendment.” Polls show Trump trailing Clinton badly in the Evergreen State, but the election is more than two months away, and in presidential politics, that is an eternity.
The next president will fill a high court vacancy left by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. He authored the landmark 2008 Heller ruling that affirmed the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right to keep and bear arms. If Clinton is elected, she will undoubtedly nominate a new justice with views on gun rights more akin to her own. A Trump victory could fill Scalia’s empty seat with a conservative more closely aligned with Scalia’s views on the Second Amendment.
A heavy turnout of gun rights activists in November could jeopardize passage of Initiative 1491, which opponents contend is a threat to due process. It also places the burden of proof on the defendant, rather than on the state. One prominent I-1491 posted an argument online that should be required reading for all voters.
Prior to Trump’s visit Tuesday, some reporters and pundits were questioning why he would bother to visit Washington. Popular opinion on the Left is that Clinton, like other Democrats before her, has the state sewn up, due to the Seattle/King County and I-5 corridor vote.
But there are more than a million gun owners in the state, somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 members of the National Rifle Association, and well over a half-million citizens licensed to carry defensive handguns. There’s a strong military and retired military presence in Pierce and Thurston counties.
The flag-stomping, gun-hating far left crowd turned out to protest Trump’s visit. They don’t like it when someone comes to their bailiwick to encourage what they consider to be sedition (i.e. smaller government, more individualism, less bureaucracy, strong military and “beautiful” Second Amendment).
Some hint that Trump may return to Washington in October. Could it be he knows something the anti-gun Seattle elites don’t?