Tuesday’s Seattle Times editorial lauding Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s challenge of President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban should open the editorial board up for another round of criticism for liberal hypocrisy.
While suggesting that “Washingtonians should be proud of state Attorney General Bob Ferguson” for his action to protect the rights of foreigners, the newspaper hasn’t criticized him when it comes to infringing on the rights of honest Evergreen State citizens. His effort to ban so-called “assault weapons” or at least regulate their ownership into extinction suggests a double standard when it comes to which rights they worry about.
Over the past weekend, Ferguson’s name was proverbial mud at the Washington Arms Collectors gun show in Puyallup. Nobody had anything nice to say about the legislators sponsoring bills that seek to curtail ownership of modern semi-auto sporting rifles and full-capacity magazines.
The Times editorial lauds Ferguson for “making America stronger and more secure. Not with half-baked, fearmongering orders…”
Back in September when he first proposed the ban, Ferguson stated, “Military-style weapons are designed for killing people. These weapons have no place in civilian use.”
Evidently, one person’s fearmongering is another person’s acceptable rhetoric.
Does Ferguson think that such firearms should also be prohibited for use by the police? They are, after all, civilian law enforcement. They are not the military.
Washington has, by some estimates, around 200,000 to 300,000 citizens who own such firearms. If there was a major problem with these guns in private hands, it would be obvious. But there really is no problem, and both Ferguson and the Seattle Times know it.
According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, rifles of any kind are used in a fraction of homicides, in Washington and nationally. In 2013, out of the 86 firearms-related murders, none were credited to rifles. In 2014, when there were 94 gun-related slayings, 6 were associated with rifles. In 2015, there were 141 Washington homicides reported to the FBI and only 3 of those involved rifles.
Nationally, roughly 2-3 percent of murders annually involve rifles.
Last year, the slayings of three teens at a party in Mukilteo and the five people killed at the Cascade Mall in Burlington involved rifles, but only one of those incidents involved what Ferguson and other anti-gunners call an “assault rifle.” The fact that it really isn’t gets lost in the discussion. More people died in the mall shooting, where a common .22-caliber rimfire small game rifle was used.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments on Trump’s travel ban. If that ban is reinstated, where will that leave Ferguson and the Seattle Times?
On the wrong side of an argument about rights once again.