After failing to secure gun control at the Supreme Court, the U.S. Congress, and the vast majority of state legislatures around the country, are millionaire and billionaire-funded state-level initiatives the next phase of gun control?
Think about it: Just days after the December 14, 2012, Sandy Hook attack, Democrats began pushing ammunition magazine capacity bans and an “assault weapons” ban that included a ban on numerous shotguns and other firearms. They soon found a willing gun control advocate in Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), who formulated legislation adding expanded background checks and a ban on private gun sales to the other gun control measures.
The mainstream media quickly jumped on board and were vocal in their advocacy for Democrat gun grabs.
But voters told their senators another story. Together with the NRA, they reminded lawmakers that the Second Amendment protects rights that “shall not be infringed.” As a result, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) “assault weapons” ban, the magazine capacity ban, and Senator Manchin’s gun control legislation all went up in flames.
Simultaneously, gun control advocates found limited success at the state level. In fact, with the exception of Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, and a few other isolated legislatures, 2013 become a year in which gun control was largely rolled back. Thus, on January 8, 2014, Breitbart News reported that 2013 had proven to be “The Year of the Gun.”
Even in Colorado–where gun control was heaved upon the backs of the people via a Democrat-led legislation–the people rose up and successfully recalled state Senators John Morse (D-Colo. Springs) and Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) and pressured a third gun control senator into resigning from office.
All these federal and state-level gun control losses followed losses at the Supreme Court in 2008, District of Columbia v Heller, and in 2010, McDonald v Chicago.
So now the push takes a different turn; wealthy gun control proponents, such as Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Nicolas Hanauer, and Michael Bloomberg, are bypassing the state legislature and pushing Initiative 594 to secure universal background checks and universal gun registration in Washington state.
If I-594 passes, will circumventing state legislatures in such a fashion be the method of choice for gun control proponents?
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.