When a well-financed Washington State gun prohibition lobbying group moved quickly to exploit last Friday’s tragic Cascade Mall shooting in Burlington, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms quickly noted that this incident is more evidence that gun control laws backed by anti-gunners don’t work.
The argument is amplified by a Seattle Times editorial Monday that argues about “easy access to guns” while avoiding reports that the suspect allegedly stole the murder weapon. They also carefully avoid mentioning the firearm, which has been identified by Seattle’s KING5 News as a “.22 Ruger,” which is a .22-caliber rimfire rifle. It’s not a so-called “assault rifle” by any stretch, and is commonly owned in the Pacific Northwest and across the country.
What alarmed CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb was the speed with which the gun ban lobby fired up its e-mail machine, telling people, “we remain steadfast in our commitment and actions to end the epidemic of gun violence tearing our communities apart. Gun violence is preventable and our communities deserve better.” It was signed by Renee Hopkins, executive director of the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility.
That’s the same group responsible for spending some $10.2 million to pass a so-called “universal background check” initiative two years ago. So far, it appears that law is not being enforced, and it has not prevented any of the wrong people from getting firearms. Now with the Burlington mayhem, gun rights advocates are saying the measure, like other gun control laws, is an abject failure.
CCRKBA’s Gottlieb took off the gloves in a Sunday statement to the news media:
“Before the anti-gun rights lobbying organizations beg for one more penny to support their demonstrably-failed agenda, they should explain just how they think one more gun control law might have prevented Friday’s mayhem. Two years ago, they pushed a poorly worded and ridiculously complicated background check measure into law. But it appears the suspect stole the gun he used, so how well did that work? Published reports say the suspect has a record that includes domestic violence charges and that a judge ordered him in December not to possess firearms.”
That seems like a fair challenge. Historically, when a gun control law that was pandered as a panacea to violent crime fails, the gun prohibition lobby is invariably mute about acknowledging that their plan failed. Instead, they simply propose another invasive gun control law. The background check requirement is irrelevant when a gun is stolen. Anti-gunners know this, but they routinely dodge the problem.
This year, the Alliance is pushing Initiative 1491, the so-called “emergency protection order” measure that is raising alarms about due process, which is mentioned in the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments, but not the Second.
The suspect was apprehended Saturday and was scheduled to appear in court this morning in Skagit County. He could face five charges of first-degree murder.
The Times editorial did quote Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee, who stated ad a press conference, “We don’t have the answer to this violence. But I do know this: Passivity in the face of this scourge of violence is unacceptable. Inaction in the face of this violence is unacceptable.”
Self-defense advocates would agree, but for different reasons. Instead of being passive, many people including Brevard County, Florida Sheriff Wayne Ivey, who spoke to the Gun Rights Policy Conference Sunday in Tampa. His advice: Get armed, get trained and fight back.
“If you are a citizen that has a concealed carry (license), carry your gun with you to every potential venue that you can,” he said. “Be prepared to protect yourself.”
He encourages other law enforcement agencies to spread that message.
Gottlieb, who championed a suicide prevention bill earlier this year that became law, added this in his press statement: “Exploiting this tragic event to press for more ineffective laws that simply erode the rights of honest citizens is dishonest.” A fair number of people reacting to the Times editorial evidently agree.