This morning KOMO News reported that there will be an 11 a.m. launch of a ballot initiative to create so-called “extreme risk protection orders” in Washington State, but a Tuesday report from Baltimore underscores why an earlier gun control measure pushed by the same activists really doesn’t prevent the wrong people from getting guns.
This new measure, according to KOMO, would “empower family members and police to intervene if they see someone as a threat to themselves or others so that person cannot access a gun.” It comes just days after formal legislation pushing the same idea died in the House Appropriations Committee.
Maybe anti-gunners are a bit jealous, since HB 2793, the “Safe Homes” bill that promotes suicide awareness education and prevention, and is the result of a quiet, year-long effort involving gun rights advocates and mental health professionals, passed the other day 93-4 in the House and is now in the Senate. Failure to get traction in the Legislature can always be assuaged by buying legislation at the ballot box.
The suicide prevention legislation is supported by Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. He was personally involved in the effort behind the bill from the beginning. CCRKBA was a major player in the effort to oppose the earlier gun control initiative.
Now might be a good time for Evergreen State voters to begin questioning what the previous effort accomplished, other than inconvenience law-abiding gun owners and expand the state’s pistol registry. The Alliance for Gun Responsibility, which spent more than $10 million to pass Initiative 594 in 2014, quotes a story in the Spokane Spokesman-Review on its website that the measure “has worked in Washington.” Out of 5,466 background checks the story says were conducted on private sales from March to December last year, 102 were not approved.
But there’s a caveat to this in the report: “A hundred people who weren’t supposed to own guns were not allowed to buy guns, at least at one point of sale. It’s not many, but it’s not nothing.” Depending upon to whom one talks about this, it may actually be less than nothing. Where were the 102 arrests and prosecutions? Where’s the evidence that these would-be buyers didn’t get their hands on a gun, anyway, at another “point of sale?”
In Baltimore, an arrest earlier this week may help answer those questions. According to published reports, a man identified as Corey Rodgers was pulled over on a routine traffic stop that turned into something else almost immediately. Rodgers reportedly got out and began to run but was quickly stopped by a cop. During the chase, he apparently tossed a loaded handgun away, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Inside his minivan, police reportedly found five loaded guns, what was described as “armor piercing ammunition,” and soft body armor. Rodgers, according to the story, “has more than 20 prior arrests in Baltimore City” including one in December on a gun beef. The story described the suspect as “a prohibited gun offender.”
The newspaper account said at least one of the guns was “taken from Virginia.” The story said it is not clear what Rodgers was planning to do with the firearms, which investigators are still trying to trace. What was not spelled out is that this case provides one more example of gun control failure. A guy who allegedly should not have had firearms still reportedly had them.
The I-594 campaign spent more than $10 million to garner just under 60 percent of the popular vote on a measure that proponents claimed was supported by 80-90 percent of the public. With that kind of alleged support, it shouldn’t have cost even a fraction of that figure to pass with a larger majority.
How much will they spend this time? In 2014, there was a spirited opposition and an alternate measure. This time there is, at least so far, no alternative proposal. That doesn’t mean there won’t be opposition.
MEANWHILE, outrage is building over the announcement that President Barack Obama will skip the funeral service for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Instead, it has been reported that the president and First Lady will pay their respects on Friday where the late justice lies in repose in the Supreme Court building.
According to NBC News, there was an interesting exchange between White House press secretary Josh Earnest and a reporter. Earnest was asked whether the president’s Saturday plans included golf, the press secretary dodged the question. NBC and other news agencies merely reported that “Earnest stressed instead that the president believes it is important to honor Scalia’s life and service.”
But that’s not what Earnest said in its entirety. A Fox News clip shows Earnest saying this: “I don’t have a sense of what the president’s plans are for Saturday. The president obviously, uh, believes it’s important for the institution of the presidency to pay his respects for somebody who dedicated three decades of his life to the institution of the Supreme Court.”
That’s interesting. A White House press secretary “not having a sense of what the president’s plans are” just a few days in the future might be accused of being asleep at the wheel. The Sunday news programs will likely reveal where the president is Saturday, and what he’s doing.
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