Unbridled by the transparency and accountability that in-person lawmaking provides, Democrats in Olympia enacted their most radical agenda ever in the recent legislative session.
Among the bevy of tax increases, misguided and damaging attempts at counteracting climate change, flawed efforts at police accountability that make one of the world’s most difficult jobs all the more dangerous, liberal lawmakers also continued to erode our right to bear arms.
The Second Amendment couldn’t be more clear — “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
“Shall not be infringed.”
Despite this clear language, our friends on the left would have you believe that times have changed, that the founders never intended for us to take their words literally. The most common weapon at the time was a musket, they say.
You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts, especially when the constitution contains absolute clarity on the matter.
I know those to the left of me are well-intentioned. I am not alleging a diabolical scheme to take away our firearms and make us servants of the state. But I am saying that good intentions don’t justify unconstitutional overreach at the hands of those we elect to represent us.
While there was no shortage of attempts to limit or eliminate the constitutional rights of Washingtonians last session, one deserves a close review as it was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee Wednesday.
It’s now illegal to open carry at public demonstrations and at the state capitol campus.
To some, this must sound like a sensible approach. If there are no firearms, surely there would be no violence.
But this supposes that someone who intends to unleash violence would care about the law in the first place.
“I was going to shoot up the protest, but sadly, it’s illegal, so I can’t,” the would-be attacker would surely say.
It’s as ludicrous as it sounds.
Instead, those who wish to limit our Second Amendment rights rely fully on emotion and a misplaced understanding of what causes shootings. The same can be applied to the argument that additional gun control will end mass shootings. You’ll never eliminate criminal behavior by punishing law-abiding citizens.
Some mock Second Amendment advocates for the simplicity of these arguments, but none can counter the most simple and common rebuttal to their government overreach — “if you criminalize guns, only criminals will have guns.”
I am still waiting for a cogent argument as to how this is not accurate.
There’s common ground to be found when it comes to ending gun violence, but it will never be found if one side of the debate is consistently going after the rights of the other in order to solve a problem with much deeper root causes than the availability of guns.
Sadly, any misplaced effort by Democrats in Washington to “solve” gun violence will be rubber-stamped by a state Supreme Court that simply knows no bounds. These are the same judicial experts who came within one vote of releasing almost every inmate near the front end of the ongoing pandemic.
That’s why I value our local law enforcement, men such as Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza, who this week proposed that Lewis County become a “Second Amendment sanctuary.” He’s not proposing lawlessness. Law enforcement officials have discretion when enforcing the law already. In Washington especially, there are so many laws on the books that we would need a police force five times the current standard in order to enforce them all.
In my mind, it seems Snaza would simply not prioritize the enforcement of laws that punish law-abiding citizens who find themselves afoul of new laws that reach beyond that of the U.S. Constitution.
Do you want deputies arresting domestic violence offenders or a completely peaceful individual who happens to be carrying a gun at a political rally? It’s not always that simple, but it’s a good example.
According to The Chronicle’s reporting, Snaza said his Second Amendment sanctuary proposal would be “nothing more than a statement.”
“And it says, basically, Lewis County will abide by the Second Amendment. And if we want to be upfront, we have to realize we’re continually being challenged,” he said. “Our Second Amendment rights are being chipped away, our First Amendment rights are being chipped away, and when you lose the first two, the rest go.”
That’s a statement I can get behind. I thank Snaza for his clear-headed and dogged support of the Second Amendment. It gives me hope that we’re not all damned by the decisions of those in Olympia who have their legislative sites on the wrong target.
Chad Taylor is the publisher and owner of The Chronicle. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.