Is Washington state’s establishment media fearful of the impact on Initiative 1639 by reporting how law enforcement opposes the measure? (Screen snip, YouTube, CBS)
Is Washington State’s establishment media ignoring the massive law enforcement opposition to gun control Initiative 1639, and if so, why?
That seems to be a question among rights activists who are working vigorously to increase the grassroots opposition to the 30-page, billionaire-backed measure that will be decided in November. They are putting up yard signs and even small billboards—often paid for with their own money rather than from a campaign fund—circulating frequently clever advertisements on social media, ringing doorbells, working phone banks and otherwise burning their candles at both ends.
The fight over this Evergreen State initiative is the gun control battle of the year. If I-1639 passes, activists across the country suspect, it could “spread like a cancer” to other states. Proponents of the measure have already said as much in their fund raising appeals.
There is an impression among Second Amendment activists that those in a First Amendment profession simply aren’t interested in their opinion about the gun initiative. But why wouldn’t the press be interested in what law enforcement professionals think about I-1639? Many in the gun community suspect that if lawmen and women came out in strong support of the initiative, that would be Front Page above-the-fold news in every daily newspaper in the state. (Likewise, many suspect, perhaps sarcastically, that if initiative guru Tim Eyman’s name had been on I-1639 when it went before the state Supreme Court, the nine liberal justices would have crushed it into oblivion.)
With at least two newspapers already endorsing the measure to strip young adults of their Second Amendment rights while requiring buyers of handguns and so-called “semiautomatic assault rifles” to waive their medical privacy, maybe the press is reluctant to quote the Washington State Patrol Troopers Association (WSPTA), Washington State Sheriff’s Association (WSSA), Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs (WACOPS) and Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association (WSLEFIA). But the public has a right to know what law enforcement is saying about I-1639.
“Local, County and State law enforcement officers from across Washington are united in opposition to I-1639. Concerns include the inability to enforce “feel good” provisions within the proposal. Unenforceable gun control laws are not effective. Individual accountability, stiff penalties for firearms violations and consistent, swift court sentences are far better deterrents than adding additional restrictions to law abiding firearms owners.”—Jeff Merrill, WSPTA president
The statement from the WSLEFIA is rather lengthy, but here’s an excerpt that so far hasn’t been quoted by the establishment media, even though it is on the home page of their website.
“I-1639 creates both a literacy test and the equivalent of a poll tax–they call it a fee–to exercise a right guaranteed by both State and Federal Constitutions. You wouldn’t accept this for voting or any other right and neither have the courts.
“I-1639 will not stop a single crime or shooting. Criminals are not subject to any of the requirements; only law-abiding citizens go through background checks and they already do so.
“I-1639 wrongly burdens our most law-abiding citizens while doing nothing to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals.
“The WSLEFIA finds that I-1639 is an attack on civil rights and is an attempt to marginalize all firearm owners, including law enforcement officers. I-1639 will impair public safety, embolden criminals and impose burdensome restrictions on our most law-abiding citizens.”—WSLEFIA
Or how about this excerpt from a letter from WACOPS Executive Director Teresa Taylor:
When an overwhelming majority of county sheriff’s opposed the earlier Initiative 594, sponsored by the same Seattle-centric gun control lobbying group, the establishment media either ignored or downplayed the importance. Grassroots activists learn to distrust the press this way.
What initiative opponents are doing now is a massive effort to get out the vote. Three weeks should tell if they’ve been successful.