U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Something never before proposed by any candidate for public office has surfaced in Washington State, where the aunt of a victim in the 2014 Isla Vista murder spree just authored an Op-Ed in an effort to pass a law that would not have prevented the California mayhem.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Joshua Freed, the former Bothell mayor who has raised more campaign cash than any of the other four declared candidates, said on social media he would establish a “Public Safety and Gun Rights Commission.”
“Our 2A rights are constantly under attack especially following an incident in which a gun is involved between two criminals like what happened recently at McDonalds in Seattle,” Freed wrote. “Law abiding citizens are part of the solution to increase public safety and defend the vulnerable.”
That idea clashes with a Sunday Op-Ed in the Everett Herald, authored by retired elementary school teacher Jane Weiss. Her niece, Veronika, was among the victims of Santa Barbara killer Elliot Rodger, and she has become a gun control activist. Weiss’ 711-word column called for passage of House Bill 2947, which calls for a ban on so-called “high capacity magazines.” It would limit magazine capacity to 15 rounds.
However, there’s a slight credibility issue with what Weiss wrote.
“By the time his rampage ended,” Weiss stated, “the gunman had killed seven people, injured 14 others and terrorized an entire community. The Southern Poverty Law Center considers it to be the first ‘alt-right’ killing.
“The shooter who killed Veronika was armed with three guns and more than 400 rounds of ammunition,” Weiss added. “He used a semi-automatic pistol to shoot Veronika and her two sorority sisters. He fired 15 shots in just a matter of seconds.”
Rodger actually killed six people that evening, three of them with a knife. He used two of his three handguns in the shooting deaths, and investigators found only California-compliant 10-round magazines in the gunman’s crashed car after he took his own life, according to details found at Wikipedia.
It appears Rodger may have been planning this attack for about a year. He reportedly saved $5,000, bought three handguns at three different locations, went through three separate California waiting periods and background checks, all measures adopted by lawmakers in Sacramento to prevent such crimes.
While it is understandable Weiss would want to “do something” in reaction to the death of her niece, doing the wrong thing or something that would not have prevented the crime had it been in place—a magazine capacity limit that actually was in place in California at the time of the Isla Vista crime—doesn’t accomplish anything but provide a false sense of security and accomplishment, say gun rights activists.
Freed, meanwhile, is in a race to replace anti-gun Gov. Jay Inslee, now vying for a third term after the crash of his vanity campaign for president last year. He’s been able to raise a fair amount of money in the Republican field, but he’s got a long way to go if he hopes to match Inslee’s campaign war chest.
Washington has been under Democrat control for more than three decades. However, there is a growing grassroots movement involving gun owners and conservative taxpayers who are furious over the Democrat Legislature’s tax-and-spend approach to problem solving. At least some Democrat lawmakers in “swing” districts could be vulnerable in November.
Some of those lawmakers just might make themselves even more vulnerable by supporting another piece of legislation—Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6288—which would establish a State Office of Firearm Violence Prevention within the state Commerce Department. Activists see this as a taxpayer-funded gun control bureaucracy, and they are fighting it vigorously. It has already passed out of the Senate and is now in the House.
While a state agency to prevent firearm violence—whatever that is—may sound menacing to rights advocates, Freed’s proposed commission idea is not being wholeheartedly embraced, either. Some gun owners weighing in on social media have already panned the idea, complaining that Freed’s concept of appointing volunteers to serve would automatically disqualify anyone who disagreed with the candidate if he becomes governor.
On the other hand, the proposal probably would get no support from the Seattle-based gun prohibition lobby.
In her emotional Sunday plea for a magazine capacity limit, Weiss reminded readers that in January, “a 50-year-old woman was killed and seven others were injured when gunfire erupted during rush hour. One of the suspects was prohibited from purchasing a firearm, but easily and legally bought a high-capacity magazine just hours before terrorizing our community.”
What Weiss neglected to mention is that the magazine allegedly purchased by accused gunman Marquise L. Tolbert was a 12-rounder for a .380 ACP-caliber Glock pistol that held a maximum of 12 rounds, according to court documents obtained by Ammoland News. Even if the legislation supported by Weiss is adopted, it still would not have prohibited the magazine Tolbert allegedly purchased.
It is this sort of deceptive advocacy that has finally awakened grassroots rights activists in Washington State. The Legislature is winding down to the end of its 60-day session, and activists hope to stop these gun control bills in their tracks.
Gun owners contend their rights are being eroded with legislation that penalizes them via a process involving half-truths and false advertising, based on emotion rather than fact. They are looking ahead at a national election that will undoubtedly pit a gun control advocate against an incumbent who has appointed pro-rights judges and justices to the federal bench. It’s an election that could swing Capitol Hill to control by the “party of gun prohibition,” as they were called by Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, or flip the U.S. House back to Republican control and retain the Senate, where judicial nominees are confirmed.
What is happening in Washington State could be a preview of what might happen in “the other Washington” depending upon how the November elections go, and gun owners know it.
About Dave Workman