Washington state considers new round of carry restrictions

(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Washington state was a fairly pro-gun state not all that long ago. Unfortunately, those days are behind us.

Today, the state rejoices in trying to restrict the rights of people who live within their borders. It’s a shame since it’s such a pretty state.

In recent years, they’ve done plenty to infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of Washingtonians, but it seems lawmakers figured they haven’t done enough.

You can openly carry a firearm in Washington, though places to do so legally are disappearing.

Courtrooms, jails, schools and airports have long been off-limits. A few months ago a new law added the campus of the state Capitol to the list. It also banned open-carry at or near public rallies and demonstrations.

Majority Democrats in the House and Senate, who pushed through that law, are working this session to extend prohibitions on open-carry to, in one lawmaker’s words, “wherever democracy takes place.”

Their approaches are noticeably different.

In the House, Democrats are pushing House Bill 1630 to bar firearms and other dangerous weapons from places where government bodies meet, like city councils, county councils and school boards. Weapons also would be barred from election offices, ballot counting facilities and voting centers, and election officials would be required to post signs detailing the restriction.

“I would prefer us as a state to be clear in our intention that these are safe places and they are free of weapons,” said Rep. April Berg, D-Mill Creek. Those locations where democracy takes place “do not need weapons,” she said.

Oh, so if lawmakers declare a place safe and that you don’t need weapons, that just makes it so?

Well then.

If that works, then why not just declare the entire state of Washington a safe place. Then there won’t be murders, rapes, robberies, and other violent crimes to speak of.

What? It doesn’t work like that?

Nawwwwww. You don’t say!

Look, I think we’d all agree that it would be nice if there was never any threat of violence during our election process or during government meetings. It would be nice if I could run to the curb store and not have to worry about whether it’s going to get held up, too.

The world doesn’t work that way.

What’s going to happen is that this law, should it pass, will actually cost lives. Even if it doesn’t happen in the city council meeting or in the polling station, it’ll happen to someone traveling to or from such a place. Or it’ll be the result of someone’s car being broken into while they were inside those places and their gun being stolen from it because they couldn’t carry it inside.

It’s well past time to stop treating law-abiding citizens who are carrying a firearm like they’re criminals. They’re not.

It’s also well past time for some parties to recognize that criminals aren’t going to be dissuaded by laws. Those are the people you need to recognize as a threat. Those are the people that…”encourage” others to carry guns, too.

But those people are going to be left alone, all so Washington Democrats can focus their attention on others. The fact that those who are most likely to carry a gun are Republicans wouldn’t play a factor in that at all, now would it?