Last month, Washington voters passed I-594 - a convoluted 18+ page initiative to require background checks on all firearm transfers with a few limited exceptions. Now-prohibited transfers include something as benign as simply allowing a friend handle or shoot your firearm. Selling your hunting rifle to a friend whom you've known for decades and who you know is not a restricted person (felon, mentally ill, an addict, etc.) is now a crime. If they aren't extremely careful, even hunter education instructors are in jeopardy when teaching firearm safety to fellow Washingtonians. Most ridiculous of all, some basic firearm safety practices are now illegal!
Gun-owners fighting for their rights were overwhelmed during the campaign by an estimated $6-8 million thrown into the fight by a handful of anti-rights billionaires including Michael "Big Gulp" Bloomberg, Bill Gates, and Paul Allen. Washington voters ignorantly sold their souls to those billionaires.
I mentioned to some gun-rights advocates in Arizona that this anti-gun assault was on the way to the rest of the States. One of them said, "Um no. No it will not." (sic)
He needs to wake up. Having tasted blood, the billionaires have already announced their anti-rights march on the rest of the "land of the free...home of the brave." They intend to keep on doing what works for them -- use lots of money to tell ignorant people how to vote. They already have the needed signatures to get a similar initiative on the ballot in Nevada. They have announced that Arizona, Maine and Oregon are next on their list.
The Arizona Citizen's Defense League (AZCDL) has done some excellent work in the gun-rights arena through the state legislature. But it doesn't have 5% of what the billionaires are prepared spend to criminalize Arizona's gun owners by circumventing the generally rights-friendly legislature and appealing directly to the typical ill-informed and uninformed voter -- just as they did in Washington. Every gun owner in Arizona must immediately join the AZCDL and the NRA and vote like their gun rights depend on it -- then get everyone they know to do likewise and to be smarter voters.
Arizona currently has some of the best gun laws (and resulting low crime rates) in the nation thanks to the AZCDL. The billionaires know that if they crush gun-friendly Arizona by focusing on ignorant voters, the rest of of the nation will fall like dominoes.
Too many non-gun owners think this issue doesn't affect them. They need consider the words of Nazi prisoner Martin Niemöller:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —Except for a few elites (so long as they stay in power) anyone who is unwilling to honor, and fight for, his neighbor's rights will ultimately lose his own.
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.
We need smarter voters.