Kamala Harris is currently watching her campaign for president spiral downwards. Stuck in single digits, the California senator has shaken up her campaign staff in an attempt to turn things around, but the problems with her campaign go far beyond her staff. I think she has to look at the problems with the candidate as well.
As Dave Workman notes, when Harris was in Seattle last Friday for what was billed as a “roundtable” to discuss gun violence, Harris ended up surrounding herself with fellow travelers in the gun control movement, without a single 2nd Amendment supporter invited to take part in the discussion.
According to a report in the University of Washington DAILY, she sat with anti-gun Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, March for Our Lives representative Thomas Köhnlein, Democrat State Rep. Kristine Reeves, Robin Little Wing Sigo of the Suquamish Tribe and David Z. Bean from the Puyallup Tribe.
Notably absent was anyone from the National Rifle Association, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, any firearms retailers, range operators or certified firearms instructors.
Now, there were some 2nd Amendment supporters in attendance. I spoke with Sharyn Hinchcliffe, one of the admins for the Seattle and Tacoma chapters of the Pink Pistols, who was at the roundtable in hopes of asking Harris a question or two about her gun control policies. According to Hinchcliffe, the event was “very staged”, with few opportunities to speak to the candidate at all.
“There was very little time to actually ask questions. Only at the very end, and even then it was at a one-on-one at the end of the event, where the front row could get a photo op or a book signed or something like that.”
Harris didn’t unveil any new proposals at the campaign stop, which was followed by a fundraiser at a club called Chop Suey. Instead, she focused on her promise to enact sweeping gun control laws through executive orders, and promoted the idea of “universal background checks” as well.
Washington State already has universal background check laws in place, but according to one recent study, the law hasn’t led to more background checks being conducted, and it appears the law is almost unenforceable as well. Hinchcliffe told me that, to the best of her knowledge, there have only been two cases brought by prosecutors over violations of the state’s background check law, and one of them involved a stolen firearm. In the meantime, Hinchcliffe notes, the newly enacted gun control provisions in I-1639 have led to lengthy delays in processing background checks for many gun purchasers. In other words, criminals aren’t obeying the laws, and the folks who do follow the law are spending days and even weeks twiddling their thumbs instead of exercising their rights.
Harris and her roundtable of anti-gun activists and officials simply refused to acknowledge the reality of the situation; the gun control laws proposed by Harris haven’t made a difference in public safety in the state. In fact, violent crime increased by 16% in Washington State last year, even as crime overall declined. Rather than listen to and engage with the gun owners in the audience at her event on Friday, Harris stuck to her script and her talking points. It might have gotten her some campaign donations, but I don’t think it did anything to raise her profile or her base of support in Washington State. It certainly did nothing to improve the safety, or the rights, of Washingtonians.