Two endorsements this morning, in two Puget Sound-area newspapers – the Seattle Times and Everett Herald – reveal in their closing paragraphs an anti-rights bias that helps tip the scales for their respective editorial boards toward two Democrats, whose elections would help that party retain control in Olympia come January, and thus determine the fate of any gun control legislation for the next two years.
Anti-rights? You bet, according to Arizona author and gun rights advocate Alan Korwin, who appeared over the weekend at the 29th annual Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC) in Chicago. He advised the audience to change their dialogue because owning firearms is a civil right, and those who oppose private gun ownership and want it heavily regulated as though it were a privilege are “anti-rights.” Pretty simple, he indicated, noting that “words are how this debate is won.”
The Times endorses Mercer Island Democrat Tana Senn, appointed to the 41st District last year to fill out a vacancy. As part of its justification, the Times noted, “Senn was a board member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle at the time of the 2006 murder of a staff member by a mentally ill man. She is an effective advocate for better mental-health care and gun control.”
Opponents of Initiative 594, the 18-page gun control initiative that was mentioned frequently over the weekend at the 29th annual Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC) in Chicago, might disagree that the legislature needs another gun prohibitionist. What the legislature could use instead is someone who recognizes that the man who shot up the Jewish Federation office eight years ago had passed background checks and the state waiting period, and that neither of those sanctions prevented him from committing his crime.
In promoting their Democrat, the Everett Herald suggested that high school teacher Mike Wilson, a reported gun owner who “doesn’t see (I-594) as a panacea to gun violence, but will support it” is a better choice than Republican Mark Harmsworth. The newspaper says Harmsworth “opposes universal background checks to purchase a firearm and will vote against I-594,” yet gives him credit for being “a whip-smart former Microsoftie” who is “passionate about fixing education and transportation.”
During the GRPC, several people either referred specifically to I-594 or alluded to it. The prevailing wisdom in Chicago was that it should not take 18 pages to write about background checks, nor should its proponents keep representing it as a prevention against violent crime or bad people getting guns. Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, called it the most Draconian background check in the country, exceeding even the one in California that allows for temporary loans of firearms between hunting buddies or in-laws.
The City of Lake Forest Park announced today that it is holding a public hearing on Thursday, Oct. 9 beginning at 7 p.m. relating to I-594. It does not mention I-591, so presumably, the discussion will only concern whether the city will endorse that measure. That might be an interesting meeting to attend.
Tonight in Ellensburg is the last of three currently-scheduled meetings sponsored by the National Rifle Association that provides information to grassroots activists opposing the measure. That meeting is slated at 7 p.m. at the Hal Holmes Center, 209 North Ruby Street.