Buried in the Seattle Times’ coverage of Tuesday’s passage in Washington State of gun control Initiative 1639 is a quote from anti-gun state Attorney General Bob Ferguson that strongly suggests political hypocrisy.
According to the story, “State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, an I-1639 supporter, said he would defend the measure in court if need be. ‘We’ll have a job to do and we’ll do it,’ Ferguson said.”
So, where is the attorney general’s office when it comes to enforcing Washington State’s 35-year-old preemption law against the cities of Seattle and Everett, and King County? All three have adopted so-called “safe storage” ordinances in open defiance of the state preemption law, yet Ferguson hasn’t lifted a finger to stop them.
Ferguson’s support of the anti-rights initiative, which critics say clearly violates the 14th Amendment equal protection rights of young adults who have just been stripped of their constitutionally delineated right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment, takes on more clarity. After all, I-1639 contains a provision to remove language from a state Department of Fish and Wildlife pamphlet that reminds gun buyers of the state’s preemption law.
That’s a strong signal that Seattle-based anti-gunners may go after preemption in Olympia now that Democrats have a stronger majority in the Legislature. They want to turn Washington into California, say Northwest Second Amendment activists.
But nothing more clearly demonstrates the failure of gun control in California than Wednesday night’s carnage in Thousand Oaks, say those activists. According to an Op-Ed bylined by Alan Gottlieb that appeared in Friday’s edition of the Asheboro, N.C. Courier-Tribune, “California has incrementally enacted increasingly restrictive gun laws over the past several years.”
“How many of those laws,” he challenges, “were violated by the murderer? Even the ones he obeyed did not prevent the tragedy. He reportedly purchased the .45-caliber Glock pistol legally in Ventura County. To do that, he had to pass California’s restrictive background check and endure the state’s waiting period.
“Bars are gun-free zones,” Gottlieb noted. “The pistol reportedly had an extended magazine banned for sale. Unless the suspect had a carry permit, he was illegally armed. It’s against the law to shoot people.”
Underscoring the futility of California’s restrictive laws was the comment from a survivor of the Wednesday night shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill that appeared in several publications, including the San Diego Union-Tribune. Survivor Matthew Wennerstrom told a reporter that during the shooting, “All I could think about was how helpless I was.”
The mother of a Thousand Oaks victim was on Fox News demanding “gun control.” In her obvious grief, she overlooks the fact that California gun laws are among the harshest in the nation already.
Gun control laws, including I-1639, disarm the wrong people, critics—including Gottlieb—maintain. He pulls no punches in his opinion piece, in which he asserts that Democrats are promising more gun restrictions when Congress convenes in January only to “have a chilling effect on honest people who want to exercise their rights.”
“It’s time for the proponents of so-called ‘common sense gun laws’ to drop the charade and admit that what they really want is to ban privately-owned firearms,” Gottlieb says. “But that troublesome Second Amendment—incorporated to the states via the 14th Amendment by the Second Amendment Foundation’s successful Supreme Court McDonald decision—won’t allow that.”
Evidently, the billionaires who backed I-1639 don’t believe that. They apparently believe the Bill of Rights is for sale, and that constitutionally-protected rights are subject to a popular vote.