Today’s edition of USA Today asserts that the biggest issue politicians are not bringing up in this year’s campaign is gun control, while Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association contends that gun rights is a politically toxic subject that is better left alone.
The issue of gun rights and self-defense is very much on the minds of Washington citizens, while it is staying pretty much in the background. Democrat Jay Inslee brought it up briefly during an Oct. 11 debate with Republican Rob McKenna, demonstrating his fallback on ignorant generalities that earned him an “F” rating from the NRA during his time in Congress.
Then there were two cases last Friday that illustrate the difference between self-defense and no defense. In Seattle, a man was stabbed to death in a Belltown confrontation with four men that appeared to have started as an argument.
In Indianapolis, a man identified as Clint Anderson was fatally shot by a former girlfriend who had once taken out a restraining order against him for stalking and abuse. He crashed into her home one last time.
USA Today laments in its editorial that even in the wake of the Batman Massacre in Colorado and the Sikh Temple shooting in Wisconsin, politicians will not make statements about tighter regulations on firearms. LaPierre counters that the pols keep their mouths shut because they know the subject could hurt them at the polls.
LaPierre is right to a degree, and USA Today misses the target. The Batman Massacre and Sikh Temple shooting happened in “gun free zones,” that is, establishments where firearms carried by private citizens are prohibited, same as the spa in Brookfield, Wis. The gun free zone is an imaginary panacea cooked up by the gun prohibition lobby that deludes people into thinking they will be safe. What it really does is create a risk-free environment for killers.
Where LaPierre may have missed the mark a bit is where he observed that “Americans love their Second Amendment freedom!” That’s boilerplate and not nearly as visceral as it could be. Americans firmly believe in self-defense, and they have been demonstrating for quite some time that they are willing to fight back.
Look at the national trend toward licensed concealed carry. Some estimates go as high as 8 million citizens are licensed to carry in 49 of the 50 states. Barack Obama’s adopted home state of Illinois is the holdout, and recent murder statistics from Chicago and Cook County show how well that’s working out for Prairie State citizens.
This column checked with the Department of Licensing Monday and learned that there are more than 382,000 active Washington Concealed Pistol Licenses. That’s up from 378,000 just a few weeks ago.
Here’s where LaPierre nailed it: “They (American gun owners) have no interest in more political schemes that limit their access to that freedom while doing nothing to affect violent criminals.” He’s right about armed citizens. They’ve seen that all of the ambitious ban-the-gun programs of the 1970s, 80s and early 90s were abject failures, which explains why so many more Americans today are armed.
Here in Washington, where NRA members vastly outnumber Washington Ceasefire members, people hear Inslee spouting off about not allowing terrorists to “get access to gun shows as they can today,” and they know it is mindless rhetoric.
It is common sense to defend one’s self and family, and one’s home, and to defend the right that makes it possible. It is nonsense for a general circulation newspaper to argue that politicians take a tough stand on a civil right when all they need to do is take a tough stand on lawbreakers.
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Second Amendment Foundation
Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
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