An editorial in the Seattle Times Friday calling for an outright ban on so-called “assault-type” firearms has angered Second Amendment activists in Washington State, leaving some people to suggest this is a signal of what to expect when the Legislature convenes early next month in Olympia.
The editorial has also gotten at least two rebuttals, one from Robert Arco, whose column “The Common Truth,” is widely read by grassroots Evergreen State conservatives. Arco uses data from state agencies to refute the newspaper’s notion that a ban on semi-auto rifles is necessary and would actually accomplish anything.
The newspaper’s editorial board has not been friendly in the past to the concerns of activist gun owners, having supported Initiative 594, the 18-page gun control measure designed to expand the state’s handgun registry and add costs to legal private firearms purchases. A cursory look at several crime stories in the past year by the Seattle Gun Rights Examiner showed how ineffective the measure has been in actually preventing criminals from obtaining firearms.
Hundreds of comments from Seattle Times readers, a majority of which appear negative, have been posted in the newspaper’s reader feedback section below the editorial. Social media is also lighting up with discussion at several gun-related forums.
In its editorial, the newspaper recalled, “An assault-weapon ban was floated in Olympia in 2013, after the Newtown, Conn., shooting, but it was fumbled by proponents who since left the Legislature.”
But veteran gun rights activists recall that was more than a “fumble.” The newspaper, at the time, embarrassingly revealed that the proposed legislation contained a provision that would have allowed searches of the homes of gun owners, which even one sponsor said is “probably unconstitutional.”
It made the proponents – one of whom is now the Seattle mayor, Ed Murray – look foolish when they admitted they hadn’t carefully studied the bill’s language. However, that story lost credibility when it was further disclosed that this was the third time the legislation had been submitted, and all three times that provision was included.
Evergreen State gun owners are alarmed and in no small sense disappointed. They are now legitimately arguing that the editorial pulled away any pretense about anti-gun claims that “nobody is coming after your guns.” The Seattle Times editorial board just declared otherwise.
For more, read the Seattle Gun Rights Examiner.