Washington State is ground zero in gun control advocates’ campaign to “expand” mandatory government background checks to all firearms purchases and transfers (including gun shows and family gifts). Come November, Evergreen State voters will either OK or torpedo Initiative 594. Quite how this increased government surveillance would reduce firearms-related crime is anybody’s guess. It certainly hasn’t had any measurable impact in Massachusetts or California. Regardless, billionaire Steve Ballmer’s donated $600,000. Bill Gates has chipped in $1m to the pro-Initiative 594 campaign. Not be outdone, billionaire ballistic bully boy Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety has also ante’d up a cool mil. seattletimes.com reports that the group spending the money is . . .
The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, which has now raised about $7 million total. [They] issued a statement that read, in part: “We are grateful that Everytown’s coalition of Washington mayors, moms and 45,000 grassroots supporters is with us in the fight to pass this sensible measure.”
On the other side of the battle . . .
Opponents of I-594 have raised considerably less money so far. A National Rifle Association (NRA) independent-expenditure group received about $25,000 from its parent organization, according to state campaign-finance records. Another group, Washington Citizens Against Regulatory Excess, has received $63,000 in funding, almost all of that from the Citizens Committee.
Up to now now, gun control advocates have been moaning about the NRA’s war chest, suggesting that the organization has been outspending opponents in political battles in a [successful] effort to buy support for its “extremist” position on gun laws. Clearly, that’s not the case here. So . . .
Can the antis’ big bucks convince Washington Staters to invite the government into private firearms sales, creating a de facto registration scheme, with all the slippery slope confiscation potential that implies? We shall see. If Stevie, Billy and Bloomie’s bucks fail at the final furlong, victory will be extremely sweet. If they succeed, the antis’ will be emboldened and energized. Watch this space.