Growing up, one of the places I most wanted to live was the Pacific Northwest. The lush, green forests and the mountains all called to me. It looked like paradise, an earthly manifestation of the Garden of Eden.

Today, I can’t help but feel sorrow for the political climate in that area. It’s not just I-1639 in Washington or Oregon’s new gun control bill that’s bothering me, either.

It’s that they get politicians like this guy.

Washington state’s lieutenant governor says he won’t preside at Gov. Jay Inslee’s State of the State speech because he’s concerned people might bring concealed weapons into the joint session of the Legislature.

The Daily Herald newspaper of Everett reported that Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib said no threats had been made, but he’s concerned because the state House of Representatives, where the speech will take place, does not have a policy banning concealed weapons.

In other words, there’s no specific threat against him. There’s not some maniac out there saying he’s going to kill Habib the moment he steps foot in the chamber. There’s no security personnel demanding he skips the event out of concerns for his safety.

No, this is a political stunt designed to use fearmongering to try and manipulate people into adopting a position he supports.

It’s pathetic.

The truth is, people lawfully concealing weapons are not now and have never been a threat to their fellow law-abiding citizens. Frankly, as guns are allowed in the building, a rule change would accomplish nothing. All it would be is words on a paper followed only by those inclined to follow the rules in the first place.

The truth of the matter is that Habib isn’t concerned about that. Instead, he’s grandstanding. He’s trying to undermine the idea of concealed carry, to plant seeds of doubt in Washingtonians’ minds about the safety of armed citizens.

Never mind that those same armed citizens have saved countless lives in the state. Never mind those armed citizens would risk their lives for Habib, despite his politics.

What it does is prove that Habib’s nothing but a coward.

He’s terrified, too scared to carry out his duties, all because someone might be carrying a gun. Not that someone made a threat against him, either. It’s that someone with a gun on their person might exist in a time and place where they would be close to his person.

I hate to tell him this, but there are guns all around him on a daily basis. He doesn’t know where they are, and it’s not a threat to him then, so why is it now?

It’s because now, he can capitalize on his pants-wetting cowardice to try and work against the rights of ordinary Americans to keep and bear arms in the House but in the state as a whole as well.

Honestly, this is so pathetic I’m surprised no one on his staffed talked him out of it.

Maybe his cowardice runs that deep.