If you are a gun owner, regardless of where you live, you should be following what is happening in Washington State right now over their battle for new gun laws. Why? Because it is being watched by almost every other state to see if they can or should make changes based on the decisions being made by voters in November.
What’s the issue? Good question. While it might seem pretty straight forward, it really isn’t. The two initiatives, I-594, is asking for an extensive expansion of background checks for gun owners. While that might not seem like a bad thing on the surface, opponents are pointing out the maze of confusion and real impacts it will have on gun owners. The other initiative, I-591, is essentially saying to leave things alone as I-594 does really nothing to protect people and simply causes more confusion and possible legal actions against unknowing and unsuspecting gun owners.
But the real question that will be asked is, “Can you buy the results of an election around gun control and gun laws with “Big Donor” Money?” This is more evident than ever in this particular initiative because I-594 has sought out some of the best known billionaires to donate money to the campaign. Is it that they really understand the issues, or their staff was convinced to donate to something that supposedly “reduces gun violence” in the state…which no one would want to go against. So the totals today are $7 Million supporting I-594 and only $1 Million for I-591.
Money doesn’t mean one initiative is better than the other. It just means a few with lots of money are backing it and giving it massive media attention because of the dollars being spent. Based on the input from the Seattle Times readers (the major newspaper in the state), many are against I-594 and support I-591 regardless of the huge difference in the money. This is perhaps the biggest issue being decided by this election, more so than the changes in gun law. Other states, including ours, is most certainly watching this election to see how it progresses and turns out.
The question that will ultimately be decided will be whether big corporate money will win out over the individual gun owner voter. Most gun owners don’t go out of their way to make their gun ownership known to everyone, for a whole host of reasons. This is truly a “quiet majority” and many believe they will come out in force come election time and overturn I-594, despite all the money being spent to promote it. This is truly a battle between a community of gun owners and big advertising money. One group has passion about their hobby of gun ownership while the other group has money…November we will tell which one will have the biggest vote. Stay tuned…it will definitely be something every state will be reacting to one way or another.