If the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again while expecting different results, then the state Capitol building in Olympia, Washington should be designated as the state’s newest mental health facility. Over the past decade, lawmakers and voters have enacted new gun control laws almost every year, and violent crime continues to rise. Homicides in King County and Seattle have doubled over the past five years, even as lawmakers have continually predicted that the next round of gun control laws will make a difference.
Anti-gun politicians have enacted “red flag” laws, bans on so-called assault weapons and large capacity magazines, “universal” background checks and other restrictions aimed directly at lawful gun owners, and the failure of those laws when it comes to reducing crime only serves as a call for even more restrictions the next time the legislature gavels into session. This year lawmakers are back at it again, with anti-gunners like state Sen. Manka Dhingra proclaiming that it’s “important that we continue making progress.” I guess the “progress” she’s referring to is the continual targeting of the fundamental right to armed self-defense, because there’s been no progress at all in terms of making the state a safer place. Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact.
It’s crazy to think that going after legal gun owners is going to bring down violent crime, but once again that’s exactly what lawmakers are trying to do.
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell is urging the Legislature to adopt several gun control measures, including the gun permitting bill and a proposal to ban guns in places such as parks, zoos, libraries and transit stations.
- The mayor also wants the Legislature to stop bulk sales of firearms by letting dealers sell a maximum of one gun to the same person in a 30-day period.
- Those bills are scheduled for public hearings this week.
Of note: Last year,Seattle matched its previous record of 69 homicides, set in 1994, the Seattle Times reported.
- Many of those homicides involved firearms, although Seattle police couldn’t immediately confirm exactly how many.
What they’re saying: Democratic leaders told reporters last week that they’re interested in finding additional ways to reduce gun violence, after passing a law last year banning the sales of so-called assault weapons.
- “It is important that we continue making progress,” said state Sen. Manka Dhingra (D-Redmond), who chairs the Senate Law & Justice Committee and is a deputy Senate majority leader.
Yes, but: Lawmakers are less likely to advance another measure sought by Seattle’s mayor, which would allow cities to enact their own local gun control measures.
Are criminals going to abide by these proposed “gun-free zones”? No more than they’re going to limit their gun thefts to one per month. Once again the Democratic majority is treating lawful gun ownership as a problem that needs to be solved while turning a blind eye to actual perpetrators of the increasing number of violent crimes.
Under the legislation, public libraries, zoos, aquariums, parks, transit stations and state or local public buildings would be added to the list of designated areas where weapons are prohibited. Senate Bill 5444 is sponsored by Sen. Javier Valdez, D-Seattle, and co-sponsored by five other Senate Democrats.
Valdez noted that he introduced the bill because he wanted to continue the work in the Legislature to keep communities as safe as possible and to reduce gun violence. “We’ve made progress over the years such as prohibiting weapons in schools, government buildings, airports, polling locations, (and) courthouses, but we know we have so much work to do,” Valdez told committee members. “Our public needs to know that we are taking every step we can to keep them safe from gun violence.”
But they aren’t. They’re doing everything possible to negate the right to carry, but that clearly hasn’t made a dent in violence across the state.
Then there’s HB 2238, which would impose an 11 percent tax “for the privilege of using ammunition.” Last time I checked, the ability to keep and bear arms was considered a right in both the U.S. Constitution and Washington State’s framework of government, which states “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.”
Ironically, the stated reason for the proposed tax is the “persistent health and safety threat” posed by “gun violence”; a threat that has only gotten worse with each new round of gun control enacted in Washington State. Washingtonians are already paying a price in terms of public safety for the legislature’s repeated attacks on lawful gun ownership, and now those same lawmakers want legal gun owners to financially subsidize their repeated failures as well by forcing them to cough up more cash before they can exercise their right to keep and bear arms.
Blame the law-abiding for the acts of the lawbreakers, seek to control legal gun owners instead of curbing violent crime, and proclaim the failures of previous policies is just more reason to add even more prohibitions to the books. It’s crazy, but it’s unfortunately par for the course for the gun prohibitionists in Washington State.