As an observer once eloquently noted, politics ain’t beanbag. If you’re going to participate, you have to be willing to throw some punches — sometimes below the belt — and take a few, too. But the level to which partisan combatants are willing to sink seems to have dropped to new, unplumbed depths in recent years. Just ask Steve Scalise. Or Rudy Peters. Or Brett Kavanaugh.
Now, though, it’s apparently happening in Washington, too, where proponents of the I-1639 gun control ballot measure have reportedly been stealing signs from the yards of Evergreen Staters who oppose more Second Amendment infringements. Because of course they are. Because we now live in a world where no one brooks any disagreement with their political positions.
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms wants the world to know that they’re aware of it and prepared to prosecute anyone caught stealing anti-I-1639 signs. They’ve issued the following press release:
DESPERATE ANTI-GUNNERS STEALING ‘NO ON I-1639’ SIGNS; CCRKBA WILL PROSECUTE
BELLEVUE, WA – Following reports of disappearing yard signs that urge voters to reject anti- rights Initiative 1639 in at least three Washington State counties, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms announced today that it will press charges against anyone caught removing such signs.
CCRKBA has learned of sign thefts in Whatcom, King and Yakima counties. The signs, produced by the National Rifle Association – which has joined forces with CCRKBA and the Washington Arms Collectors – are being placed at key locations around the state by hundreds of grassroots volunteers.
“This is not the first time we’ve faced this kind of activity from anti-gunners,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “In October 2014, we actually sought leniency for a former Bellevue councilwoman who was caught removing our campaign signs for Initiative 591. She was a supporter of the competing gun control initiative, and she was publicly embarrassed by the incident.
“However, this time around, we’re not going to be so magnanimous,” he promised. “We are encouraging grassroots volunteers to watch for any sign removal or vandalism and report it immediately to the local police or sheriff’s department and we will pursue charges.
“There is no excuse for stealing someone else’s property,” Gottlieb said, “especially when it is done in an effort to suppress an opposing viewpoint. Our allies at the NRA have been spearheading the grassroots campaign against I-1639 and we’re all on a shoestring budget compared to the multi-million-dollar war chest amassed by the gun prohibition lobby in Seattle. Theft of yard signs represents a significant financial loss, and we’re not going to just roll over and take it.
“We realize that gun control is an emotional subject that can incite some people to do stupid things,” he observed. “But that doesn’t justify theft or destruction of yard signs, campaign posters, billboards or other forms of opposing political speech. While we can’t imagine that the I-1639 campaign would sanction such activity, we call on them to publicly discourage their supporters from such actions.
“We live in a Republic,” Gottlieb concluded, “but it’s not a banana Republic. This kind of childish vandalism doesn’t help their cause, and only suggests to us that some I-1639 supporters are feeling desperate, especially since law enforcement lined up against their measure this week.”
With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (www.ccrkba.org) is one of the nation’s premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States.