By The Seattle Times editorial board
Yep… it’s apparently blame the guns time… again. Those pesky high-capacity guns are capacityingly highly and that just cannot be allowed! Think of all the murder (while ignoring that handguns account for most of the murder)! Think of it!! But not.. like.. objectively or critically or anything, you might start putting threats into context then.
Gun violence killed more than 20,000 Americans in 2021, according to the Gun Violence Archive. It was a deadly year across the country, and early data suggests that Washington was no exception, building on what was already a record-breaking 2020.
Imagine a year where drastic social upheaval and shutting down livelihoods resulted in an increase in crime and violence due to the much higher stress on everyone. Throw into that mix a contentious election, riots endorsed by political figures, and very high racial tensions due to shoots and slayings by law enforcement that caused additional pressure on an already stressful pandemic situation. Imagine… oh wait, that was reality. A complex social mix that got a violent shift to a “new normal” with wildly shifting rules and a massive dose of government distrust from all political groups. The government provided a shining example during this period of just how biased they were to their particular teams and that they had no intention of providing a coherent leadership plan if it would possibly aid the other team.
There are no easy answers to address the surge, but the Legislature must show that it can be part of the solution by passing common-sense bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Wait… there is no easy answer, but let’s just ban these things without corroborating data that it will solve the problem? That would make this an easy answer then, common sense right? But there is no easy answer, just do it anyway? Because, ‘AH SCARY!’
For an unbelievable five consecutive sessions, lawmakers have failed to act on these viable proposals, with legislation dying before even reaching a floor vote in the House or the Senate, both controlled by Democrats.
That seems to indicate that they weren’t viable. Viable: capable of working successfully; feasible. Perhaps the biological definition is more accurate here. Viable: capable of surviving or living successfully, especially under particular environmental conditions.
It didn’t make it, it wasn’t viable.
Assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, commonly defined as magazines holding more than 10 rounds, have been used in some of the deadliest U.S. shootings, including at a Las Vegas concert in 2017, where 60 people died, and the 2019 El Paso Walmart shooting that claimed 23 lives.
And in Chicago where.. oh, wait we ignore those murders. Those don’t count. Also don’t point to any shooting where a shotgun was used, a handgun was used, or anywhere another method of injury was used, like arson or a vehicle. Definitely don’t say the name Timothy followed by McVeigh.
Never point out the illogic in that banning ‘these’ items does nothing to move the needle on available methods of injury for mass slaughter should somebody choose to exercise that drastic and devastating agency of their will.
“I just don’t understand when people say, ‘well, that’s not going to really get at all the gun violence.’ Of course, it’s not,” said Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. “But it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel if we can’t even get bills like these across the finish line in Olympia.”
Bob, it isn’t going to get any of the gun violence. None. Your entire premise is that if we banned one method of injury someone chose in the past, and will again in the future, you will somehow, in some unfathomable way, prevent a person intent on mass murder from choosing any number of other viable methods of injury.
Just say you want to ban all guns, Bob. Just say it. Stop lying.
Ferguson has been pushing for these bans for years and believes that restrictions on high-capacity magazines are within reach this session. He points to the changing makeup of the Legislature, including the exit of legislation opponent Sen. Steve Hobbs to become secretary of state. There is also the recent decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld California’s ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines.
After the Ban was struck down. Don’t forget that the ban was and is on life support. It has only survived due to politically friendly courts, not common sense. This will probably end up in front of SCOTUS, they’ve gone this far with it and SCOTUS is not likely to rule favorably (to their opinions)
Nine states and the District of Columbia already ban high-capacity magazines, and seven federal courts of appeal have upheld the laws. There is no reason for Washington not to follow.
Appeals courts have a long history of not rocking the boat in their regions when it comes to firearm law. They tend to try and let the issues quietly tie themselves up in court.
High-capacity magazines are often used in mass shootings because they reduce the need for the shooter to stop and reload. No outdoor fun, no afternoon at the gun range, will be disrupted by prohibiting devices that have little function beyond making it easier to kill.
Says a group clearly not familiar with any form of competitive shooting or firearm proficiency training. A group clearly no familiar with ‘an afternoon at the gun range’. Certainly a group not familiar with the time economy of a mass casualty event or the relevant injury factors to make an informed comment.
Washingtonians have consistently shown they support gun reform. In 2014, almost 60% of voters authorized expanded background checks. In 2016, almost 70% voted to allow family members and law enforcement to petition a court to remove guns from troubled people. In 2018, nearly 60% supported Initiative 1639’s set of firearms regulations, including raising the legal purchase age of a semiautomatic rifle to 21.
The support is still creeping lower, and cherry picking the attitudes after emotive events like a mass casualty event isn’t the wisest idea either. Should we look at the American attitude towards Muslims after 9/11 to gauge how we should respond to them? Or should we, just perhaps, take samplings from cool heads with enough knowledge on a topic to have an informed opinion.
While Republican lawmakers share some of the responsibility for why these proposals have failed, continued Democratic control of the Legislature makes it harder to blame the GOP.
Yep. But those Democrats like remaining in their seats. Gun control is not a winning proposition, not since the pressure changed after Clinton’s Crime Bill (and isn’t that an ironic title) and gun owners kept caving hoping the fearful would stop at a reasonable point. The fact is there is no reasonable point, the reasonable points are already law. Murder, singular, multiple, or mass, are all as illegal as they can be. No amount of banning some weapons kinda if their scary is going to move the needle on murder. Not like an economic upswing will, not like an improvement in mental health and treatment availability will, and not like a greater and returning respect for our fellows will.
But we do like to spend a lot of time demonizing the other team. A demonized an ostracized population is easier to hate. They are easier to regard as lesser people. They are easier to convince your fellows that they would be better off without and that societies woes would start to disappear if only ‘those people’ weren’t around or would be reasonable.
That isn’t the attitude that has led to every catastrophic human rights abuse since the dawn of time though, is it?
Democrats have so far avoided forcing some of their colleagues in swing districts to make a tough vote, but lawmakers can’t be allowed to hide forever — not when their inaction could cost people their lives.
They aren’t hiding, they just aren’t as stupid as you believe they are. Even progressive and liberal leaning people are starting to see that the right to armament in the defense of yourself and your community is an apolitical one. Sure it has been embraced by individualists more than collectivists, but those collectivists have had two years and two presidents to see that perhaps the government is not the entity of stalwart reliance that they wished it was.