Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I-594: Gun Banners stand exposed, an indictment of the initiative process?

I've been blogging about I-594 for a while.  I'm not going to rehearse the evils of that initiative. The links are on this page, in case you still need to research it.(My posts on the subject are tagged I594.)

I am still flabbergasted every time one of the statist swine supporting this dreck either denies what it clearly says ("only effects gun shows and internet sales") or that "No one will prosecute the more onerous parts" or that "Well, legislation can be tweaked after it's passed."

Maybe I shouldn't be. Maybe I'm naive. Maybe I'm stupid. I suppose that I shouldn't be after all this time. After all, they wasted no time at all, running to dance in teenaged blood last Friday.

Washington State Ballot Initiative 594 is bad law, poorly written, vague, ill-defined, and full of processes without specified authorizations or definitions. It criminalizes innocuous acts by otherwise law-abiding citizens. It stands as a primary example of what happens when amateur activists write a law...

...Unless, of course, you believe that it was written this way deliberately, to confuse and entrap the innocent and gullible. Certainly, there have been precious few examples of simple, clear and understandable laws written in Olympia, let alone Washington Dee Cee, in recent memory.

Whether one believes that all the billionaires pumping  big bucks into the I594 campaign really believe this is The Humanitarian Cause of the Decade, or are afraid for their fortunes and want the hoi polloi disarmed, or have been blackmailed into supporting tyranny, I don't really care.  I am somewhat tickled that posters have started appearing on lampposts in Seattle like this:
So far as I can tell, I was the first to brand I594 "The 1%'s attempt to disarm us"
Washington State Ballot Initiative 591, on the other hand, is an excellant counter-example of  a well-written initiative, with a title that clearly and directly addresses what it is about, and has less than a full page of actual text.  Some argue that it is unnecessary, as the first part ("no background checks other than in accordance with a federal standard") is in place, and the second half "addresses an issue that has never happened in this state." 

The first half of 591 was written specifically with I-594 in mind. The second half was written with the post-Hurricane Katrina gun confiscations in mind, and hopefully addresses a situation no American community will ever be in again. 

But "hopefully" is no reason not to address the issue. If there should be another disaster, of any sort, the public safety structure will be over-strained dealing with it.  In normal times, "When seconds count, the police are minutes away"; if the police are dealing with dyke-building, or evacuation from a volcano or earthquake, you are responsible for your own safety and security. Leaving you unarmed, at the mercy of the Lord Humongous and his colander-wearing horde, is immoral.

The effort against I594 has been largely a grass-roots one. I hope it works.  I have seen enough failures to get the word out that I am worried. People who were thought to be fully on-board were unaware of events like sign-waving or the No on 594 rally at Westlake Plaza two weeks ago. These things have been in the local gun blogs, and on Facebook, but if someone's busy...

OTOH, a few weeks ago I had a co-worker, an avid hunter, ask me about the legal process for selling his muzzleloader. And, yes, I worked "No on 594" into the discussion, but it was hard not to work "you stupid Fudd" in there, too.
Then again, I have to say that I am also a it disappointed by how little play this is getting in the national gun- and libertarian/conservative blogosphere. Barron and Joe and Anette and Ray and I have all been blogging and posting on forums about this, and... nearly nothing.

Look, if I594 passes here, you can expect to see it where you live, if not next year, then in the next 5 years or so.

If 594 passes here, we can expect to see further "assault weapon" and "high-capacity magazine" bans here, as well. Just because the Second Amendment Foundation and  Alan Gura have been successful fighting bans on ownership and carry of handguns, does not mean the fight is over.

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