For those of you who don’t know, a serious fight kicked off last January in Washington state. Lately I have volunteered my time to speak at gun shows and other events and let me tell you something, I am terrified. Out of the people visiting their local gun show you would expect at least 90% of the people to have at least heard about what’s going on, it’s more like 50%. Most have no real knowledge of either of the initiatives or their real legal impact and what it means for them as gun owners.
Recently gun owners accomplished a great feat in Missouri and everyone is all ecstatic, thing is strategically Washington has a lot of ground to cover and is quite likely to cause failures in other states. Not to mention they had no opposing ballot initiatives in their fight.
For those who don’t know, Bloomberg and his “Everytown” group have pledged 50 million dollars to aid in pushing Initative-594. Bloomberg has been stating he wants to crush the NRA, what better way when the NRA doesn’t even bother to show up, I’ll explain in a bit. Quite literally this is the biggest fight going on between gun owners and Bloomberg.
There is also an opposition bill, I-591, which Washington gun owners want to pass that will prevent the state from confiscating firearms under a declared emergency.
Current State of the Fight
First off, current polling data I’m getting through the grape vine, remember this fight began in January we’re 8 months in with 3 to go.
The news is, frankly, bad. We’re 8 months into a 11 month fight and running out of time. According to my sources, the numbers are running against us on the anti-gun I-594 stealth gun registration scheme, with voters polling over 2:1 in favor.
On I-591, the Gottlieb sponsored initiative banning gun seizures and forcing Washington to refrain from background checks at least until a consistent federal standard is passed is doing better – about half of voters polled support it. We can win 591 if folks get off their flabby… and start volunteering and writing checks.
The War Chests (The core data showing something’s wrong)
Now lets talk war chests and who’s been providing support and where:
- CCKRBA has pushed $280,000 to support I-591 through Protect Our Gun Rights.
- Washington Arms Collectors has put in $500,000 to support I-591 through Protect Our Gun Rights.
- GOAL has put in $100,000 to support I-591 through Protect Our Gun Rights.
Data for the contribution statistics above can be seen here.
The good news is there have also been a pile of individual donors so the total contributions thus far are in the $1 million range.
What about those pushing for I-594?
What does it actually look like?
Total raised: $3+ million dollars, including a single $30k contribution from MAIG.
What about the NRA?
The NRA has showered this fight with a whopping, wait for it, $25,000. You read that right, MAIG has actually put more money into this fight than the NRA.
What’s being done with the war chests?
It isn’t always about how much money you raise, it’s about how you spend it. Here’s how each group, on our side of the fight, has spent their contributions to the war effort.
- Created POGR
- Created I-591/594 Campaign Art
- Created I-591/594 Bumper Stickers
- Created I-591/594 Yard Signs, currently in productions
- Staff for the Washington Arms Collectors, Falcon, Knodel, and other gun shows regarding I591/I594
- Reference section regarding 591/594
- Comped tables for anyone associated with POGR at any WAC show
- Comp’d tables through CCKRBA for the NRA
- Public Representation
- Law Enforcement Networking*
*Quite honestly that is probably the biggest thing WAC, or anyone has done in this fight. You would think the NRA would have been able to do this but it was WAC. What am I talking about?
WACOPS declared support of I-591 noting that it protects background check uniformity, allows the background check debate to continue on the federal level and allows WA state standards to change if, or when, federal standards change.
At the same time WACOPS noted the many flaws of I-594 and made clear their opposition to the measure as an organization.
- Two field reps, who are forbidden to support I-591
- No campaign materials
- Outdated self-promoting material
- Complete lack of coordination in working with any of the above for the common goal
- A committee with an unknown name and no resources to actually be allowed to call itself such.
I wish I was making the above up but I am not. I have met both of the lovely young women who are working as field reps for the NRA, they expressed frustration at the way the NRA seemed to be dragging its feet. Even more importantly how they are restrained from being fully effective. The reps are being constrained from being effective by the NRA.
What exactly is the deal with I-591?
If you are a Washington state resident you want it to pass, doubly so as it creates a very interesting legal problem if I-594 passes as well. This is a part of a legal chess game and honestly this all goes back to 2013 when I wrote this earlier article. Gottlieb saw 594 on the horizon and was trying to cut it off at the pass, destroy the Washington state pistol registry while really giving them nothing. The key to screwing our enemy is make them think they have a win when they actually get nothing. Well it was done so well that the NRA that sounded that alarm, portrayed Gottlieb as a traitor and move their residential members to have the bill struck down.
Now we find our selves facing 594, and 591 was created as a response to try to help gun owners, as usual though the NRA doesn’t like it, presumably because they didn’t come up with it and their committee to form a committee hasn’t come back with an agreement yet.
Interestingly the NRA doesn’t even seem to be really reaching out to their local members except to call up and ask for more money. Tell me, why would I give a contribution to the NRA to “Help fight Michael Bloomberg” when in the biggest ongoing battle with him you’re nowhere to be found? <- Seriously they called me last week wanting me to donate money and I was starting to dig up this information. I’m about ready to say I will not be getting the life membership I was thinking about getting this December as a birthday present, much less renewing.
Does the NRA hate Washington State?
It certainly feels that way. I have heard through the rumor mill that the NRA has a serious dislike for Gottlieb and they view this as a “let’s screw Gottlieb” moment. The catch is they’re screwing over every gun owner in the state of Washington over petty personal politics.
No one has been able to figure out why the NRA hasn’t endorsed I-591, it’s only a page long and so simple even a child can understand it.
If the NRA feels that 594 is too likely to pass so why bother investing in the fight, why not then endorse 591 to give the best possibilities in a legal challenge? Preventing a total victory for our opponents.
There is, as with any battle, a list of tactical consequences that come with defeat and it is no different in this political fight. There are implications both nationally and locally.
First, despite the NRA seeming to think they do not have a dog in this fight, should 594 pass and 591 fail, MAIG, Every-town, and every other wholly owned subsidiary of Michael Bloomberg Inc. will declare this a victory over the NRA. The NRA has been portrayed to be the big evil nasty villain that is impossible to conquer. This fight, the opposition may do exactly that. That gives the opposition momentum. Momentum creates opportunity and allows for more losses.
Which brings us to similar types of initiatives being brought forward in Nevada, Arizona and elsewhere shortly there after should they win.
And then the local fallout. Expect to see attempts for a semi-auto and magazine ban in the state of Washington most likely in 2016 when there is also a presidential and gubernatorial election and the Peoples Republic of Puget Sound will be out in full voting fury.
There is no doubt this fight is a big deal. A bigger deal than most people realize. Implications are reaching far and wide and it seems that the largest most effective group with the largest reach is sleeping at the wheel.
We have a fight on our hands, if you’re a gun owner in the state of Washington, be sure to educate your friends and family about I-594 and I-591, the implications and facts behind them. If you’d like to volunteer in some way hit up this contact form. If you’d like to donate to Protect Our Gun Rights, go here.
And I will say it again, “Where the F*** is the NRA?” Feel free to ask that the next time they call asking for money.
*It should be noted that my main complaint here is that the NRA is more than happy to take my money but then is no where to be found when things actually go sideways. While some would say, “quit complaining and do it yourself,” well that’s exactly what I am !@#$ing doing. As such I’ll be taking my money with me, cause obviously I need it for the fight they’re not willing to take on.
TMM is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.
Many know his private name and information however due to the current political climate, many are distancing themselves due to the abandonment of Due Process.
Ah, interesting. Didn’t think the polling numbers were that bad. I know the two measures were conflicting and easily misrepresented, but that’s… not good.
Yes, that WOULD seem to call for a but of voter- education funding.
I wouldn’t be so concerned if it wasn’t for my time working behind a booth at a WAC show. Quite honestly it was very sobering.
The basic problem is one of messaging. Background checks are “sold as reasonable” and NICS is sold as being successful. It seems that no group has found a way to illustrate the real purpose of BC is to provide registration information.
Non-gun people and even many gun people do not understand how ineffective BC are in keeping guns from people who should not have them. In fact, we as a nation really do not have a good definition of who should or should not have them. We always wait until a public mass killing happens and then say “these people” should not have had guns, after the fact.
If I were in charge, the first think I would want done is a serious study of all existing gun laws and remove all of them that can not be shown (with real evidence) to have saved lives of non-criminals.
Next, I would want to establish guidelines on what conditions would be necessary for a persons civil right to own and bear arms can be restricted and how do we protect these restricted people from criminal violence.
Next, I would want to look at NICS and provide a “sunset” clause to remove outdated and irrelevant information, maybe after 5 years information on any individual is removed if no additional offenses are reported.
Next, I would want to look at method where private gun sales could be tracked for crime investigation without forcing a seller or buyer to pay for a BC or go to an FFL. Maybe, as simple as making NICS access available via a free web site and a secure and private means of 4473 storage or just the information currently on the FFL bound book entry.
Next, I would add to the ATF responsibility to ensure that new guns sold would have any safety problems documented. For example, if a gun does not have a positive firing pin lock to make it drop safe, the buyer should know that as part of the sale.
Just as ammo boxes, should contain the information on the test gun, speed, expansion, and weight of the bullet for factory ammo. In other words, make gun related items more consumer friendly.
The majority of that, while true and on my list of “crap to do” more than you probably realize.
The big problem is what you pointed out right at the beginning, messaging. There is no doubt this is the problem and it’s a matter of getting out the message effectively to as many people as possible. The reason 594 is polling as well as it is is because the title is “Background checks”. I listened to multiple people testify in Olympia, who’s family member or assailant went through a background check to get a firearm. Nothing changes regarding background checks, if they can pass one today, they will pass after this goes into effect.
Again, all messaging. The NRA was more than happy to flip off the handle at Gottlieb because of the title of a bill and now is no where to really be found. Couple that with idiots telling me I’m not doing anything just bashing the NRA, and the additional apologists going they have bigger fights elsewhere. If that’s the case, they don’t need my money because quite honestly 594 will do one thing very well, destroy the gun culture in Washington state. It’s kind of hard to grow the culture when you’re made a felon for doing so.
Where’s the NRA? They’re studying the spreadsheets that say how much money they need to stay in business. They know that if I-594 passes, they’ll have unlimited opportunity to send out fund-raising letters all over Washington State. If it doesn’t… then not so much.
You need to understand: the NRA isn’t bothered by anti-gun legislation. In fact, it’s one of the nicest things that can happen to them. It gives them something to rally the troops over.
And in this case, the gun culture in the state of Washington will be effectively destroyed. It makes training a felony because of the transfers involved unless you’re lucky enough to fit a very narrow set of circumstances which are not fully defined and thus don’t technically exist.
If the NRA is willing to throw us under the bus to make more money, they don’t need any of my money, my business, or my time.
The gun culture will be destroyed when your last neuron stops firing from blood loss. Apparently, people like Barron, are cowards who will obey gun laws, gun confiscation,etc. If you have and love guns, you need to understand and be prepared to do the unthinkable if it comes down to it. I would hope that the gun culture in Washington will only be destroyed when there is physical death and destruction of every gun loving resident in that great state and not before that point. I guess people in New York and CT have harder balls than people i Washington.
Interesting, where did I say I was going to comply? Where did I say that I wasn’t going to continue to fight? What the hell is this other that one big giant troll.
You don’t know me, you don’t know my attitude regarding this. You don’t even know my line in the sand you worthless troll. Tell you what, since we’re not going to follow the law anyway, why bother fighting it right? Because none of us will comply why bother. Gun shops will still be around, the ATF won’t close those for violating state or federal law right? Training will still be readily accessible right since that will be a felony too right?
But please, tell me more about how the gun culture will easily grow and flourish when all of that is shoved underground into a hidden gulch and black market.
Please do the world a favor and use your head before you start running your mouth, or even better just shut your mouth and let the adults talk.
Soldier: Please stop thinking. You’re obviously not any good at it.
I am not in Washington State, but the NRA has pulled some amazing stunts where I live in backing anti-gun sheriffs and refusing to put their weight behind abolishing gun laws on the books. That is why I am a member of the GOA these days but not the NRA.
Have you reached out and asked the goa for help? They have tiny fraction of the budget and probably only 1/10 as many members, but they don’t compromise. They also are becoming a lot more powerful thanks to the Internet.
Over the past eight years I have given the NRA several hundred $ in membership fees & donations, despite being neither a US citizen, nor resident in the US.
I’ve done this because I saw the NRA as THE main bastion against globalised gun control.
I’m beginning to think those $ would have done more good elsewhere & I too will be reconsidering the renewal of my 5 year membership in 2015, along with any further donations.
The NRA needs to cease deliberately ignoring this issue if it wishes to have the continuing support of myself & many others with whom I have discussed it.
I’ve already seen the pro-594 bill over a half dozen times on nbc in the last 3 days and I’m not a tv watcher. I’m an NRA endowment member, and haven’t seen or heard a single word about this. Sickening. I watched what happened in New Orleans, and I’m not going to comply with any “law” like this. I thought about being a police officer at one point in my life, and am pretty much spotless. I got a ticket in 1994. I guess I’m going to be a criminal…
This is also why 591 is so important Legion. It specifically makes what happened in New Orleans illegal within the state of Washington. I had the joys of listening to a State Senator argue 591 was unnecessary as the state has never confiscated weapons under an emergency powers act.
Seriously I’m disappointed with how little the NRA has been doing to educate its members to better enable them to spread the word and take up the fight. Instead it’s been a handful of us leading and finally after chatting with the locals trying to help in the fight I was starting to say WTF. After the NRA called last week asking for money I did a quick lookup and saw those numbers I found. Hence why I wrote up what I did.
It should be noted that I once thought about joining the ranks of law enforcement, I cannot and will not bring myself to subject my integrity to such destruction. I value my word, my integrity, and my character more than what being a law enforcement officer would bring me.
I live in Washington and the NRA is in our county putting out the message at local fairs, etc. about a No on 594.
I think it is early yet to chastise them on money spent or not spent, they will be out spent but it appears in my county they are making a real effort to get the word out.
I’ve been working with the same people who are working those booths. I know things you don’t and while that is a start, is by no means rubber actually meeting the road.
Not to mention if it’s a bit early for me, as a member to chastise them. Maybe you should call up the Seattle PI and bitch them out for pointing out yesterday what I pointed out Monday morning. Again, if they don’t want me calling into question their commitment to Washington state, they shouldn’t be calling up asking me for money while not really doing a damn thing.
I believe you have every right to chastise or criticize and I didn’t mean to imply otherwise that was only IMHO on the timeliness part.
And if a squeaky wheel gets more oil for the effort all the better, because the effort will need every bit it can get.
594 is really bad and right now looks to be a landslide of a win for the bad guys in our state, even most of our side has not been made aware of how much a Trojan horse it really is.
From what I am seeing in my county there will be a reasonable effort made by the NRA and hopefully that will be reflected thru out the state.
On our side money is needed but even more importantly what is needed is to mobilize the good guys to fight the bad guys.
And as you know most all of the media in this state is hopelessly bias against us, we will not get any help there but we are & will get a lot of slanted coverage.
Word of mouth is where it is at, at every gun shop & range to start, once we solidify that then the reaching out must begin. There enough gun owners in this state, if they get motivated, they could move mountains another IMHO!
We have about two months to do it, the ball may be rolling late but it is rolling, let’s all starting pushing in the same direction and if we fell lets start pointing fingers then but now those of us who love liberty must all join this fight & try to win or else it will be.
Linked to this over at Not One More Gun Law. Just trying to do my small part to spread the word.
I’m honestly concerned — though not totally surprised — that people haven’t yet learned a basic truth of legislation: If it’s too long to read in one sitting, it probably contains something you won’t like. (For examples, see: Affordable Care Act, Nat’l Defense Authorization Act, etc.) I-594 says it’s about “background checks,” but why the hell do they need 18 pages just for “background checks”? My gut instinct and experience tell me that means there’s likely something buried in there that a) isn’t getting reported in the mainstream press, and b) I wouldn’t approve of.
At least I-591 is short, to-the-point, and easy to understand.
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Based on my recent interactions with core members of the NRA I do not believe that they are competent to stand up for gun rights since their base membership is too narrow minded and short sighted to be able to see the wider implications of legislation that isn’t necessarily focused on guns specifically and is too easily outfoxed by lawyers and judges who make rulings that many in the NRA Duck Dynasty support but are too dim witted to understand how those rulings will later be used to restrict or remove 2nd amendment rights.
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