On your election ballot in November will be two initiatives dealing with gun control.
I-594 would require background checks on all fire arm sales and transfers – with some exceptions.
I-591 would prohibit background checks unless they were part of a national standard.
These two measures are expected to attract national attention and bring in more than $4 million dollars in campaign contributions both for and against the initiatives.
Come October, your television set will be filled with commercials on both sides of the issue – - so much so that you’ll be glad when election day comes and you can get your TV set back.
Right now – - surveys show that about 60 percent of all Washington residents want stronger control over firearms and firearm sales.
But – - about 45 percent favor national standards.
However – - survey of voters show that one-third of them will vote for both initiatives.
And, that’s what happens when voters make public policy through the initiative process. Voters get confused. When they do, they vote for both initiatives or vote against both initiatives.
The Washington legislature had the opportunity to weigh in on this issue when it was in session, but backed off because gun control is a hot button issue. No matter which side they came down on, they’d lose voters. So they took no action.
The recent survey shows they were right. With the exception of Seattle, voters were willing to turn out their elected legislators if they touched the issue of gun control.
In November it will be up to the voters to decide. If both measures pass, the issue will be sent to the Washington State Supreme Court which would have the final say on gun control. Since the court has a liberal majority, there’s no doubt which side they would come down on.
I don’t like to have the legislature make decisions when the people can do so.
But, in this case, the issue was so hot that they told the voters – - you decide – - it’s too hot for us.