When the Seattle Times editorialized Saturday in support of the proposed ban on semi-automatic modern sport-utility rifles, the editorial board underscored its bias and, many will argue, a total lack of knowledge about the firearms it wants to prohibit.
It’s always easy to advocate taking something you don’t like from someone else who does.
In their predictable diatribe supporting Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s proposed ban on so-called “assault weapons,” the newspaper cites two partisan sources whose information is at best suspect. The editorial refers to information from anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, and from Washington Ceasefire.
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In a feeble attempt to balance their editorial, the Times acknowledges that “so-called ‘assault weapons,’ fitted with high capacity magazines, are used in a small fraction of America’s gun homicides.”
The editorial headline acknowledges that this is “one of America’s favorite weapons.” In so doing, the editorial board can’t see the forest for the trees. Millions of these firearms are now in private hands, yet they are used in a miniscule number of criminal homicides. Translation: The overwhelming majority of these rifles are not used in crimes, but are owned by responsible citizens who have done nothing but exercised their constitutionally-protected civil right to keep and bear arms.
The editorial argues that, “No matter how many times the gun lobby says it, more guns won’t make Americans safer.”
Yet the FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics and background check data over the past several years strongly suggest otherwise. Gun ownership has risen, more people are licensed to carry, and yet firearms homicides are down.
Had the situation been reversed, with crime skyrocketing, one can safely presume the newspaper, and the gun prohibition lobby, would be literally screaming bloody murder, linking the rise in gun ownership with the rise in slayings.
Public reaction to the editorial is overwhelmingly negative. What this suggests is that the editorial board is woefully out of touch with the people it wishes were subscribers. They miss the mark by forgetting that people will not pay to support a business that discriminates against them and wishes to erode their civil rights. The firearms community sees the Times as using the First Amendment to attack the Second.
The National Rifle Association is already encouraging its Washington State members to flood Ferguson’s office with criticism.