Op-Ed Agrues I-1639 Effectively Criminalizes Self-Defense

A ballot initiative in Washington state probably shouldn’t even be on there, but it is. Despite the questionable nature of it, Initiative 1639 is there, and it needs to be defeated. Just why, though?


Well, as Alan Gottlieb notes, it basically makes self-defense impossible for many people.

I-1639 is not about so-called “assault weapons.” I-1639 targets all semi-automatic rifles, including commonly owned rifles used for self-defense, home protection, hunting and target shooting.

I-1639 places Washingtonians at risk by restricting access to firearms for lawful self-defense while doing nothing to increase security in schools or target violent criminals.

The strict mandated requirement of this initiative will force individuals to lock up their firearms and render them useless in a self-defense situation, or face criminal prosecution.

It goes even further to state that if an offender does break into your house, and they steal your unsecured firearm, you may be held liable for the criminal’s actions, victimizing you twice — once by the criminal and again by the state.

This initiative would also prohibit all of Washington’s law-abiding adults aged 18 to 20 from exercising their constitutional right to self-defense. Current law already restricts them from purchasing handguns, and Initiative 1639 would restrict them from rifles as well, even though rifles are very rarely used to commit crimes.


He’s not wrong about how the law effectively makes it impossible for a whole segment of legal adults to defend themselves lawfully. If they’re not allowed to own any firearm, then people who are considered adults are barred from exercising their constitutional right. That criminalizes self-defense for these people.

I-1639’s mandate that all firearms be locked away looks like a reasonable measure to those unfamiliar with firearms or self-defense, but the problem here is that if guns are locked away, they’re not available when needed. It also doesn’t take an individual’s situation into account. For example, I have a buddy who lives near some questionable neighborhoods. His isn’t that bad, but those neighborhoods are only a short walk away. As a result of the potential threat, he has firearms stashed all over the house. That way, no matter where he is, there’s a firearm nearby.

A law like this would make such a thing impossible for him to do lawfully.

While plenty of people may want to argue with my friend about the wisdom of his plan, it’s still his right to do so. If I-1639 were to pass, people like him would be forced to secure all their guns, making their plans irrelevant all because someone might come and steal their firearms.


Folks, there’s been a lot of talk about “victim blaming” of late. Commenting on how to help prevent a woman from being raped is now forbidden because it’s “victim blaming,” but creating a law that will criminally prosecute people who have firearms stolen–you know, the victims of a crime–is somehow acceptable?

Then again, this is from the kind of people who are constantly trying to stigmatize gun owners anyway. They want us to become second-class citizens, and they’re convinced they’re morally just to do so.

Which just means I-1639 needs to be shot down. Hard.

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