Gun safety, the NRA & Washington state: ground zero in a national battle?
Danny Westneat, a columnist for the Seattle Times who tends to land on the progressive side of many issues, is in lockstep with some unlikely folks when he says be believes the state of Washington is "the nation’s gun-policy test tube."
Initiative 1639, the ban on the sale of semi-automatic rifles to anyone under age 21 (among various other safety measures), "is the most sweeping gun-control measure ever sent to voters in the state of Washington" and it "sailed through by 19 percentage points," Westneat notes. "It won in the liberal parts of the state, as expected. But it also won in two Eastern Washington counties (Spokane and Whitman) as well as Clallam and Jefferson counties out on the Olympic Peninsula. (It is now being challenged in court.)"
As Westneat points out in his Dec. 9 column, Our state is the test tube for gun policy, I-1639's success has not been lost on the pro-gun side of the debate, which is now girding for the next proposal -- a ban on high-capacity ammo clips -- by the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, the highly effective Seattle-based gun safety organization.
“It’s all hands on deck, battle stations,” warned Alan Gottlieb, of Bellevue’s Second Amendment Foundation, about the possibility of a spate of gun-control measures sweeping the country. This is the “most extreme anti-gun legislative agenda to date,” the NRA said in a blast bulletin Friday about proposals that may come before Washington state lawmakers in January. Said a headline Friday on MyNorthwest.com, a site for talk-radio stations KIRO-FM and KTTH-AM: “Progressives really are coming for your guns in Washington.”
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