Ignorance Is Bliss

And Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Washington lawmakers approved legislation to require proof of training in order to buy a gun. Is that constitutional?

About four weeks ago, lawmakers in my home state of Washington pushed through legislation requiring proof of training to purchase any firearm, along with a mandatory 10-day waiting period (House Bill 1143), and they didn’t stop there.

The same people — they all belong to the same political party — also passed a bill banning the future sale, import or manufacturing of so-called “assault weapons.” Washington became the 10th state to adopt such a ban, and by the time you read this, it’s likely the state will have been sued in federal court by a team of plaintiffs led by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF). The ban measure is House Bill 1240.

A training requirement is the latest in a string of discouraging strategies — call them infringements — mandated for gun buyers in new legislation popping up all over, even for people who have owned firearms for years. The ban on future sales just might be a 14th Amendment violation since it allows current rifle owners to keep their guns but doesn’t allow new shooters to buy similar firearms. No equal protection there!

SAF — which is coincidentally headquartered in Washington State — already had two federal lawsuits in progress against state gun control laws. Add to that, the federal lawsuit SAF and its sister organization, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), have going against the “assault weapon” ban in Maryland. The organization also has a federal lawsuit challenging a gun control law in neighboring Oregon and a couple of lawsuits in California aimed at gun laws.

The Seattle Times story about this legislation attracted hundreds of negative reader comments, so many and some so sizzling, the newspaper’s digital editor had to warn people about their conduct. Honestly, the reader comments were more interesting than the actual news story, which was nicely detailed and a decent read in its own right.

In the midst of all the reporting by various newspapers about this ban, there was one bit of honesty from one of the Democrat supporters, State Sen. Marko Liias of Everett, who admitted during floor debate, “Will they stop every act of criminal conduct in our state? Of course not.”

And yet, he and his colleagues pushed it through. Ignorance is bliss, as they say, and the gun prohibition crowd felt pretty good about themselves. Symbolism always trumps substance with this bunch, all over the country. Predictions of lower violent crime rates have been wrong everywhere you look.

Liias, incidentally, is the guy who wrongly asserted the guns he voted to ban “were never intended for civilian ownership.” He probably ought to consult with folks from Colt, Ruger, Smith & Wesson, SIG SAUER, DPMS, Bushmaster, Daniel Defense, and any other company that manufactures modern semi-auto sporting rifles. All of those firearms are intended for civilian ownership.

The Times story quoted state Sen. Keith Wagoner, a Republican who served in the Marine Corps. It was his observation that the people who wrote the legislation and supported it “don’t own firearms and don’t know anything about firearms.”

It’s the same all over the country, in case you hadn’t noticed. Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, California; wherever you go and the government is “blue,” the “safety” efforts these people champion are not about safety at all but about making it harder for average citizens — you know, people like you and your neighbors — to exercise the rights protected by the Second Amendment and more than 40 state constitutions.

The mistake too many people make is believing all the hype from anti-gunners that new restrictions will reduce crime.

CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, who also founded SAF more than 40 years ago, issued a scathing statement in reaction to the Washington legislative action. He summed things up rather well (and tell me if this doesn’t sound like your state): “The truly sad part about this is that people who have been gulled into believing a gun ban will have any major impact on violent crime are going to find out the hard way they were misled by the gun prohibition lobby. All this accomplishes is that it gives anti-gunners an excuse to celebrate at the expense of law-abiding Washington citizens who have committed no crime, and whose only sin is that they choose to exercise a constitutionally protected right. Where’s the justice, or even the logic, in that?”

Full Disclosure

For the record, I don’t own a modern semiautomatic sporting rifle. Never have, and probably never will.

I’ve fired a lot of them. Most of them were a hoot, and some of them were remarkably accurate, which explains why a lot of people hunt varmints and predators with them. But the platform never got my juices flowing enough to buy one, and at my age, I’m too lazy to pick up all the spent brass for reloading, anyway.

Dave has never owned a modern semi-auto rifle, but he’s fired a lot of them.
He says they’re fun, accurate and throw empty brass all over the place,
which he is just too lazy to pick up!

I briefly had a specimen on loan from Ruger for field testing some years ago. It was so accurate I had a notion about keeping it for several months to shoot prairie dogs in Montana or the Dakotas. Even had a scope picked out. Self-control got the better of me, however, and I returned it to the manufacturer with a thank-you note and then wrote about its flawless functioning.

So, there’s really no self-interest involved in defending their ownership by a lot of my pals. One of them once thanked me for my indifference to owning an AR clone, snickering, “I’ll get your share.” Another of my friends has five of them, and I know two or three women who love them for lack of recoil, ease of loading and cleaning, and for shooting 3-gun matches.

Here’s the bottom line: This argument isn’t about guns, and never has been. It’s about rights and stopping people whose ultimate goal is eliminating those rights. Keep that in perspective and conduct your affairs accordingly.

Meanwhile, In the News

Criminals keep making the wrong choices in the victim selection process. Sometimes it’s the last mistake they make.

Last month in Glendale, Colo., a 31-year-old guy — identified as a parolee — walked into a pawnshop allegedly to rob the place. He didn’t walk out.

According to CBS News, the suspect entered about six minutes after the shop opened. The store’s co-owner told a reporter the guy had a gun in hand and was wearing no mask. His attention was on the salespeople he’d just ordered to open the jewelry case, and that was a big mistake.

From behind came the shop’s jeweler with his own gun, and he fired. Scratch one robbery suspect.

Down in Texas, a 53-year-old grandmother was working in her food truck in Houston when a 23-year-old man drove up, according to the New York Post.

According to the newspaper, this fellow first asked about the menu and then pulled a gun and demanded cash. The intended victim, identified as Keshondra Howard Turner, quickly closed the food truck’s window, but the would-be robber pried it open and stuck his gun inside to fire, but it jammed.

The suspect’s luck went from bad to worse because Turner is licensed to carry, and she immediately fired several shots from her own gun, which didn’t jam. The unfortunate robber reportedly staggered about 50 feet and dropped dead.

For some reason, this subhead in a report from First Coast News in Florida just reads like a very short story with a good ending: “A gunman entered Galaxy Tire and Auto Repair, 540 Woodruff Ave., just before noon Friday and robbed the business. The owner shot him.”

This caper unfolded April 7 in Jacksonville, and the suspect should probably thank all the gods in all the heavens, because he wasn’t killed outright.

Instead, wounded in the lower body, according to the report, the suspect fled to a nearby restaurant, where he collapsed. When Jacksonville’s finest arrived, the wounded man was in no condition to argue. He’ll probably have lots of time in jail to reconsider his occupational options.

A would-be robber picked the wrong auto parts store in Chicago to ply his trade, but it just didn’t work out for him.

He strolled into an O’Reilly Auto Parts store one afternoon in late March carrying a gun, but it was his bad luck the store manager had his own hardware, and he shot the guy, according to Fox 32 News.

Police showed up, the armed robber was transported to the hospital, and that’s where he died.

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