Skip to comments.Biggest gun rights story of 2010 based in Bellevue, ignored by local press(WA)
Posted on 12/30/2010 6:25:58 AM PST by marktwain
The biggest constitutional civil rights story of 2010, maybe of the decade, was based right here in Bellevue, yet as the on-line Seattle Post-Intelligencer is currently beginning its Top Stories reviews, should we expect to see a single word about the Second Amendment Foundations landmark gun rights victory before the U.S. Supreme Court? Dont hold your breath.
Local news agencies have less than 72 hours to prove this column wrong.
Were this any other civil rights ruling by the High Court, the SAF victory in McDonald v. City of Chicago would have been big news. But this one involved gun rights, and the incorporation of the Second Amendment to the states. It followed on the heels of a State Supreme Court ruling in State v. Sieyes, in which former Justice Richard Sanders wrote the majority opinion that held the Second Amendment already applied to the states via the 14th Amendments due process clause. We discussed the Sieyes ruling here.
SAF and the Illinois State Rifle Association filed the Chicago lawsuit that produced the landmark ruling, yet when the 5-4 opinion was handed down, the important local angle seemed pretty much ignored. Making matters worse, too many lazy reporters simply blew this off as a victory for the National Rifle Association, which actually had filed a separate case against Chicago. When NRA's case was not accepted for Supreme Court review, NRA successfully petitioned for some of SAF attorney Alan Gura's argument time. Gura and NRA attorney Paul Clement did their jobs, and the split decision reinforced gun owner oppostion to the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor to the court in 2009. She came down on the losing side, opposing Second Amendment incorporation.
Like it or not, 2010 was a pretty good year in Washington State for gun rights. But SAFs big win before the Supreme Court that extended Second Amendment protections to state and local governments will be felt for a very long time. It has already been used as a launch pad for lawsuits against onerous gun laws and the way they are administered, in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina and Chicago, and one can safely bet more such actions are on the horizon.
Here are the other top gun rights stories:
SEATTLE PARKS GUN BAN: The City of Seattles illegal city parks gun ban was struck down by a King County Superior Court ruling in February, with Judge Catherine Shaffer writing that The court finds that the plaintiffs have a clear legal or equitable right to carry firearms under the federal and state constitutions.
The case is now on appeal, but the smart money remains with the plaintiffs in Chan v. City of Seattle, supported by SAF, the National Rifle Association, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and the Washington Arms Collectors.
Seattles ban is clearly in direct violation of the state preemption law, which is clearly written to prevent cities, counties and towns from adopting their own more restrictive gun regulations.
BRADY CAMPAIGN v. STARBUCKS: Here was a textbook case of failed political demagoguery, with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and Washington CeaseFire ganging up in an effort to coerce the Seattle-based coffee giant to enforce social bigotry against law-abiding firearms owners, as we noted here. Starbucks held firm in refusing to deny service to legally-armed customers, whether they carry openly or concealed, and gun prohibitionists lost a major public relations battle to turn a private corporation into their surrogate. The Brady Bunch tried to make this a national campaign against Starbucks but the public didn't buy it. They bought coffee, instead; lots of it.
The icing on that cupcake came later in the year when Starbucks announced a huge spike in profits, which this column discussed here, suggesting that more people drank Starbucks coffee than the Brady Camps Kool Aid.
BAN STOPPED COLD: A heavy turnout of gun rights proponents at a showcase hearing on legislation written to ban so-called assault weapons in the Evergreen State had a considerable ripple effect. The crowd was so big that many people had to be moved into a back-up hearing room.
In the midst of this crowd were dozens of Open Carry activists, including Seatacs Jim Beal, who has become a remarkably effective spokesman for the movement. This mild-mannered Vietnam veteran has devastated anti-gunners with his low-key, common-sense grandfatherly approach to a constitutionally-protected practice.
The most important point made in Olympia that morning happened outside the hearing room, when a State Patrol trooper advised one of this states most vocal anti-gun hysterics that open carry is perfectly legal, and that troopers had no legal justification to either disarm or check to see if anyones firearm was loaded. Carrying firearms on the Capitol Campus is legal.
The hearing also brought some hot water for Bellevue Police Chief Linda Pillo, who appeared in uniform to testify in favor of the ban. Rank-and-file officers might be in big trouble if they appeared in uniform to testify in opposition to a gun control measure. This column detailed the events here, here, here and here. (Pay attention to the last entry in that series as you review them.)
BELLINGHAM COPS PAY: An open carry activist in Bellingham scored a coup late in the year when that citys police paid him $1,500 and agreed to train their officers on the legality of open carry following an incident about two years ago.
Primarily thanks to the efforts of activist Gray Peterson who also happens to be one of the plaintiffs in the Seattle parks gun ban case Evergreen State police agencies are pretty much on board with open carry, and it is the subject of many department-issued training bulletins. Peterson has, for years, done his homework on the issue, and his all-volunteer labors have paid off, with some disappointing exceptions in Vancouver and Spanaway (discussed here), but Peterson is not about to throw in any towels.
GUNS IN NATIONAL PARKS: The law became effective in February, and so far there have been none of the (typically) predicted gunfights over campsites, or other dangerous confrontations between legally-armed citizens and unarmed visitors in national parks. We discussed the change here. Carrying firearms for personal protection was signed into law in 2009, and armed park visitors may carry openly or concealed, so long as they are in compliance with the laws of the state in which the park is located. This law was championed by the NRA, Bellevues CCRKBA, the Virginia Citizens Defense League and other gun rights organizations. Americans also regained the ability to travel with firearms on Amtrak, discussed here.
GUN SHOW ARRESTS: It was the story that really wasnt. Federal authorities arrested an Olympia-area resident in November over allegations of illegal firearms transactions. The defendant in this case, a now-suspended member of the Washington Arms Collectors, allegedly told an undercover informant for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that he had sold the gun used to murder Seattle Police Officer Timothy Brenton on Halloween 2009. That transaction was not part of the investigation, because it was conducted legally. At issue, however, are alleged gun transactions that were done at the suspects home and at a gun show in Centralia, but not at the WAC gun show in Puyallup, which is heavily self-policed by the organizations own security detail. Local headlines that tried to link the arrests with the Puyallup gun show were disingenuous at best. This column discussed the case here.
CRIME DOWN, GUN OWNERSHIP UP: Violent crime continued to decline around the country and here in Washington State, where concealed carry license applications and renewals hit a new record this year and gun sales are up sharply. The situation is more proof that the gun prohibition lobby is all flash and no substance in its predictions of rising violent crime, anarchy, gunfights at fender benders and other nonsense. We discussed this phenomenon here, here and yesterday.
“Biggest gun rights story of 2010 based in Bellevue, ignored by local press”
“Biggest gun rights story of 2010 based in Bellevue, ignored by Leftist press.”
Time for people on the Right to start their own newspapers if they want the biggest gun rights story of the year to show up in the newspaper.
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Thanks for the post marktwain.
With so many spirit-sapping headlines coming out of my home state it is nice now and again to hear of something positive emanating from here.