Oregon state senator Ginny Burdick (facing the camera) is a rabid opponent of gun rights of any sort. Long guns, handguns, toy guns, airguns or paint guns, Senator Burdick hasn’t met a gun she doesn’t want to ban. I’m only joking. A little. She’s such a tireless enemy of the 2nd Amendment that her campaign bumper stickers ought to read “Trying to Turn Oregon’s Citizens Into Subjects Through Disarmament Since 1997.” Luckily for Oregon gun owners and CCW holders like myself, Senator Burdick has had a very bad week.
As a single state senator from a left-leaning district in an overwhelmingly centrist-conservative state, her best-laid plans of civil disarmament and pacification gang aft agley. It doesn’t matter that hordes of patchouli-stinking unwashed Portland hippies vote for her time after time, because outside of her own district she’ll never convince The Rest Of Oregon to join her in her delusional gun-free, mass-transit, locally-grown vegan pacificist paradise. That doesn’t necessarily stop her: when the legislature itself hasn’t been sufficiently compliant with her schemes, she has reportedly retaliated against public employees who publicly disagree with her.
Poor Senator Burdick two two on the chin last week, when the Oregon senate defeated one of her favorite bills, and then passed another pro-gun bill which she desperately opposed. The defeated bill would have banned weapons from school, college and university campuses, and the 15-14 party line vote was a squeaker for gun-rights advocates. This bill was an attempted legislative end-run around last years Oregon Supreme Court decision allowing the otherwise-lawful carry of firearms on Oregon’s college campuses.
The winning bill prohibits the public disclosure of Oregon CCW holders’ personal information, and it passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. In fact, it was so unpopular that its only supporters were Burdick and four other leftist Portlandians. It faces an uncertain fate on the desk of left-leaning Governor John Kitzhaber, but with such broad political and geographic support it will probably become law in some form. Eventually. I think.
All was not rosy in the land of the Rose City, however: while the Oregon legislature was protecting gun rights, the Oregon State Board of Higher Education was taking them away by passing rules prohibiting gun possession on the campuses of Oregon’s seven state universities. The only upside is that this administrative fiat only covers seven campuses; it doesn’t affect K-12 schools, community colleges or private schools.
The Oregon Firearms Federation is likely to sue over this administrative end-run, but a legal challenge faces long odds because the recent Oregon Supreme Court decision specifically recognized that the Board of Higher Education has the authority to issue this rule.
Meanwhile across the river in Washington State, both chambers of the legislature overwhelmingly passed a measure to allow assisted-opening knives in The Evergreen State. This bill now awaits Governor Christine Gregoire’s signature, which is cool for me since I’m awaiting some soon-to-be-legal assisted opening knives for testing and evaluation.
After last year’s common-sense law finally allowing shooters to use federally licensed suppressors, this latest bit of “why-didn’t-they-think-of-that-before” legislation leaves only two legal PITAs for Washington shooters: the vagueness of the ‘Unlawful Display Of A Weapon’ statute and the brain-dead blanket ban on SBRs and machine guns.
This week’s regional political scorecard shows three points for common sense, and one point for the forces of “We Know What’s Good For You” statism. A bad week for Ginny Burdick is a good week for Oregon, and for Oregon CCW holders like myself.
Here’s hoping for more.