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I-594 in Washington State is a horribly written initiative.  It consists of 18 pages of legalese that seems more intent on trapping legal gun owners than on reducing violent crime. Yet, it passed with almost 60% of the vote. How did this happen? David Kopel did a thorough analysis of what happened. There is a long history of disarmist initiatives that have started with strong majority support in the polling, only to find on election day the support has evaporated and they lose by large margins. I had some hope that this might happen in Washington State with I-594. It did not. Here are the reasons that I believe that Second Amendment supporters lost this fight . . .

1.   The disarmists had millions of dollars to use, funded by Michael Bloomberg’s  Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Sense, along with millions more donated by Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Paul Allen, and Nick Hanauer.

Data reported by the Public Disclosure Commission indicates that these five men, and their spouses, contributed more than half of the total $10.3 million raised to pass I-594. Other wealthy Seattle-area elitists have added considerably more to the pot.

This bought saturation of the airwaves and mailboxes with highly deceptive ads. It was a very well-designed and effective campaign, aimed at the majority of people who do not understand the law well.

2.  The old media were all in for this campaign. They were extremely one-sided and partisan. If a contrary message was to get out, it would have to be done outside the old media. Here is a report a month before the election:

Today’s Daily Olympian carries a story asserting that controversial Initiative 594 “doesn’t create a gun registry,” while yesterday’s Everett Herald endorsed the 18-page gun control measure, and Saturday’s Seattle Times carries an op-ed piece touting I-594’s passage.

That doesn’t count the KCPQ true/false critique of television advertisements that labels an advertisement for Initiative 591 “mostly false” while saying a competing ad for I-594 is “mostly true.” Perhaps the negative reaction from readers to all of these is a strong indication that a growing number of Evergreen State voters are crying “foul” about what they believe is biased press coverage of the dueling initiatives campaign.

To reinforce this view, David Workman characterizes this report by the Seattle Times as an October Surprise:

The Seattle Times recommended a “No” vote on I-591 back on July 5, while endorsing rival Initiative 594, the 18-page gun control measure. Today’s story on the I-591 campaign claim that I-591 is supported by law enforcement in the form of two major organizations, the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs (WACOPS) and Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association (WSLEFIA) is dubbed “half true” by the newspaper’s “Truth Needle.”

The old media was careful to avoided mentioning law enforcement opposition:

The I-591 campaign has been running at a severe disadvantage, outspent nine or ten-to-one, overwhelmed by the I-594 $10.1 million war chest. But they have active-duty law enforcement overwhelmingly on their side, a fact that the gun control crowd has danced around, and most of the mainstream press has almost religiously avoided reporting.

After a year and a half of promoting I-594, once it had been approved by the electorate, the major media changed their terminology, finally calling the initiative what it is: gun control:

After 18 months of reporting and editorializing, and not until the day after the election, did the headlines acknowledge today what gun rights activists have been saying so long about Initiative 594: It’s a gun control measure, as affirmed by the Seattle Times and Seattle

3.  The strategy to defeat I-594 centered around offering a substitute initiative, I-591. Most of the pro-gun effort was spent on promoting I-591. That did not correct the deception that was being promoted with I-594. Only about $600,000 was spent on getting out information debunking the I-594 ads. That was about 6% of what was spent promoting I-594, which doesn’t count the millions in unpaid support it was given by the old media and it was nowhere near enough. Most voters never heard or read any of the opposition. Here is a personal report from commenter, Difranco:

Dave. After spending two weeks doorbelling in southern Thurston county then spending 22 days in eastern WA hunting for deer and elk. Almost every hunter / gun owner I spoke to didn’t know it was a gun control initiative. This was especially true of the over 50 crowd who don’t spend much if any time on the internet.

The NRA dropped the ball on this. They should have started back in early summer. Not focused solely on the Puget sound, and dropped at least $1 million on TV spots the last three weeks running up to the election.

Here is another form a commenter on

I live in Washington state. There was no effective advertising against 594. I saw no ad stating the facts about the law, or the restrictions or the way it can turn a normal citizen into a lawbreaker or even a felon. There were MANY ads showing peoples faces that were killed by a person that had domestic abuse history and should not have had a weapon. Of course they never said that an accusation of domestic abuse does not have to be proven in court. Nor did they say whether the gun was purchased or loaned. It is a typical liberal law. It makes people feel good, but does not correct the problem (like laws make evil unable to to be perpetrated).

The amount of confusion created by the dueling initiatives and the lack of any effective messaging to confront the deceptive I-594 ads can be shown from the fact that  10% of the voters who voted for I-591 also voted for I-594.

4.  The disarmists that ran the I-594 campaign ran a very effective get out the vote and targeted campaign. They used sophisticated internet tools to identify voters who could be swayed and to shape their message to them.  I did not see anything like it on the opposition side.  This sort of effort takes considerable money and expertise. It works best with voters who are relatively ignorant of the issues. If, through information gathered from sources such as Google, you can determine who is a single mother living in an urban center and can then send targeted, emotional messages based on that information, it’s a powerful campaign tool.

5.  Eighteen months of priming the population to support “universal background checks” in the national media did not hurt.  UBCs were always touted as having the support of 90% of the voters.  If so, with the tremendously one-sided media campaign, I-594 should have won with at least 85% of the vote. Clearly the 90% figure was simply the result of a push poll, or an ambiguous question that could be taken many ways. In this election, with much in their favor, I-594 received a little less than 60% of the vote.

6.   There was a school shooting just days before the election. While I-594 would have done nothing to prevent that shooting, it played directly into the deceptive ad campaign run in favor of I-594. We cannot know how much the shooting added to the I-594 victory. One of the campaign supporters, Nick Hanauer, briefly put on his facebook page “we need more school shootings!!!” before retracting the statement.

The victory of the disarmists in Washington State has emboldened them. They see that they can buy an election with enough money and the support of the old media.  They expect to export this technique to other states. An effort to get on the ballot for 2016 is well on the way in Nevada.  Oregon, Maine, and Arizona are are also facing planned initiatives.

If Second Amendment supporters are to succeed in fighting these efforts, a different strategy needs to be employed. A lot more money will be needed than was used in Washington state.  Plans will have to be made to counter the ad barrage and the old media bias. A significant and sophisticated get out the vote campaign will be needed to counter the one used by Bloomberg’s paid experts.

The time to consider how to fight these efforts is now. It would have been best if a strong, coordinated effort had been mounted in Washington State. It was not, and now we have to deal with the results. The next fight is likely in Nevada. Who will lead the fight there? We will find out if the initiative has enough signatures to be turned in on Tuesday and it may take a few weeks to verify them.

Can Billionaires buy elections? If there is little opposition, and the old media is on your side, the answer, apparently, is yes.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

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  1. 25+ years migration of Komifornia slimy into the Puget Sound (Microsoftland) area gives you Komifornia North. The rest of the state is mugged and dragged along (see also Co, Il, NY etc). When the marxist progressives march no man’s freedom is secure.

    • The problem is its just a string of numbers. I follow this stuff and I still can’t tell which one was which. The gun rights groups should have buckled down and just advertised no on whatever number instead of making a whole nuther number string to memorize. No is a whole lot easier to remember then yes on nearly identical number and no on the other.

  2. Local radio host Dori Monson, KIRO 97.3, stated on his show Wednesday morning that he voted for/Yes I-594 because he had to have an extended background check when he aquired his Cancelled Carry Permit, believed that everyone wanting to buy a gun should have to do the same. Why worry about background checks, I’m pro second amendment, you all know that.

    There was a lack of knowing, and a lack of wanting to know, what was really in !-594.

    A shame and sad.

    Keep fighting. Nous Defions !

    • Dummy doesn’t stop to think…. OK, so he wants the Mother May I Card to carry.. THAT is not the same as loaning a gun to a friend when shooting in your own backyard. Many states have it worked out so anyone with the CPL (Mother May I Card) can avoid the background check to buy a gun by simply showing that card. Not in Washington. I now have to get a BGC to try out a friend’s gun, then HE has to get another one to get HIS gun back when I’m done trying it.

  3. The NRA or other established groups needs to built an anti 594 style working group that’s whole goal is to develop a plan and initiatives to defeat bad initiatives like this. If they wait until it’s too late like with 594 then we are going to lose ground in these areas.

    • +1. And get SAF and GOA to agree to back it, with brain power, behind the scenes, and PR, together. Not just to oppose it, but better, to shape it as part of a longer term strategy, like national reciprocity, unified training standard, building on the concealed carry movement success.

      Personally, I think UBC is coming, so why not have it our way, and simplify and reduce regulations on the law abiding…not compromise, but driving the bus, to do it right.

      And get rid of ALL gun registration while we are at it. Long gun registration didnt work in Canada, and California is wasting more timd and money on same. Lets gut that, and the varios state duplications of ATF abuse of FFLs and citizens all at once.

      Remember F&F and what is was, a conspiracy, and a lie foistef upon the American people by a small minority of power abusing elites. Exactly what the Second Amendment was written to protect. The People still dont fully understand, and right nowcis the time to make it clear, using the Gun Grabbers own PR money against them, raising the issue again, in the light of day.

      Lots more coming out of that FOIA data dump, and even if Holder is pardoned, by a Lynch memo covering POTG a$$ for one last desperate coverup, the Truth will out, if we press on, and educate about TTAG.

      • “Personally, I think UBC is coming, so why not have it our way, and simplify and reduce regulations on the law abiding…not compromise, but driving the bus, to do it right.”

        gottlieb said exactly this YEARS ago. everyone called him a traitor for it. now, people should be looking at his predictions as prescient.

        we either control the UBC message or it’s going to control us.

        • UBC is not necessarily coming, unless WE lay down and let it. UBC leads, inexorably and directly, to the construction of a database, otherwise known as registration.. And we ALL know where registretion leads: consider the hustory of gun confication during the past century. Thus we MUST resiet and defeat any attempts at starting down this road, meaning NO UBC.

          Can anyone here please list ONE major shooting where 594, had it been law, WOULD have prevented the shooter from getting the very gun he had and used? I mean, a UBC law with teeth….. the Lakewood Coffee Shop Cop Murderer was a cinvicted felon already, in violation of his parole, and under indicement on neew charges. He was a prohibited person, and KNEW it. He got his gun from a relative.. cousin or anut, I believe, who supplied it KNOWING he was a prohibited person… already a Federal level felony. Had 594 been law then, does ANYONE with a full deck upstairs really think the two of them would have gone over to the local gun shop and initiated a BGC on the shooter? Certain DENY code, and probable phone call to LE to charge them both with attempting a prohibited sale. 594 would NOT have stopped that shooting. OH, the secind gun he had, the one he fired at the Seattle cop a couple days later, was stolen from one of the cops he murdered. Again, BGC was NOT a barrier.

          Come on, someone, tell me HOW requiring me to get a BGC when I LOAN a gun to a friend in my own backyard to fire a few rounds to try it will stop ONE CRIME, ever? This is a fantasy land nightmare. Then we have to go and get ANOTHER pair of BGC so we can return the guns we owned continuously to the one who owns them after we’ve swapped for ten rounds. THIS is 594. THIS is tyranny, stupid and must NOT be allowed to stand.

          Best case scenario would be to get EVERY FFL in the state to REFUSE to run these private “transfer” BGC for the state. Yes, you read that right.. if every FFL in Washington would refuse to run the 594 checks the law would be nullified. No BGC, no private transfers of any kind, clear and unacceptible infringement. Law fails Constituional muster.

    • If you go back and check out the Congressional Archives on the 1935 NFA you can read the testimony of the NRA’s legal consultant. It was his testimony that produced the regulations we have to deal with today. Back in the 30’s there was an Anti-Violence movement against Gangs and guns. Back then the weapon of choice was the Thompson A-1 .45ACP SMG. You could actually order that from the Sears Catologue or down at the local Hardware Store.

      But Congressmen and Senators held Congressional Hearings at which the NRA Lawyer explained that the Feds could not ban guns like the Thompson but they could make it harder to get and that is what happened along with Short Barreled Shotguns. The Law has never been tested in court for its Constitutional rigor, there have been many suits all around that claim but it was never sent before the Supreme Court on its own. All of the Cases that the Supreme Court has dealt with recently only nibble around the edges but never go at the heart of the NFA. If someone had the funds and the guts it might be defeated. The original case that would have gone before the Supreme Court never got there since the plaintiff died and the lawyer for the plaintiff was not going to get money for taking it all the way so he let it die.

      Maybe the NRA needs to get more of a spine in ALL 50 states to fight back more of these anti 2nd Amendment issues.

  4. I live in Idaho 30 min away from Washington,I grew up in Washington, and I still work there. One problem I don’t think is being discussed is that eastern wa is for the most part conservative and loves firearms, however the west side of the state is full of far left hippies. Since the majority of the state lives in the west side the rest of the state has almost no say in what goes in state law. This I think is the primary reason why 594 passed.

        • And the lesson learned is focus your message, facts, and education in THOSE areas.

          No offense to one poster but blaming the NRA for “only hosting one raffle in a rural area” might be an example of how the naive NRA basher is missing the point about where you spend your time. Its about leverage, both in eyeballs per dollar and effectiveness of message. We dont have that info but the obvious conclusion is Gates spent more, and had the active participation of the local media in spin and misinformation.

          What I find surprising is how 60% of rural voters went yes on 594. Confused? Not paying attention and misled by ballot description? This needs more analysis, based on facts, before finger pointing. I’m expecting some frank feedback, from NRA and SAF thru the appropriate channels. You dont need to show your glaring weakness to the enemy, while educating base about ding it better next time. And I want a national discussion on the facts, the whys, and history, on pro’s and con’s on UBC and registration….obstructionism and name calling without it only plays into the anti’s hands.

          Some lessons learned on how to beat that in Rise Of The AntiMedia, and An Army of Davids.

      • This map is rather misleading, because it doesn’t show how much any given country was leaning. For example, King County voted “yes” on 594 overall – yet 25% of the voters in it actually voted “no”. In a more interesting piece of information, the Eastern Washington Yakima county voted “no” – but only barely, 53% vs 46%. Generally speaking, the support for I-594 was quite significant even in rural countries. You can look at detailed data here:

        I couldn’t find a single county with a “yes” vote on I-594 below 30%. And some places are just crazy – e.g. Asotin voted “yes” on both I-591 and I-594, 61% for the first and 52% for the second – go figure.

    • I live on the western side on Puget Sound. I feel that this state should be broken in two right down the Cascade mountains to make a new state. I know a lot of people on the eastern side have felt this way for many decades now. I hoping that this maybe the final straw to get get this ball rolling. Olympia does a lot of lip service to the people of eastern Washington. But in the end treats them like a bastard step child.

      My message to you in Eastern Washington is don’t move to another state. But start the process of making a new state that reflects your values and needs. Taking back what is yours and leave the western side become little a California.

      One thing that was not pointed out in the list of reasons was the F-you vote. I talked to several people who voted yes on 594 as a way to just to piss off the gun people. There are many around these parts that are irritated with the “in your face” gun culture. This vote was a was to “get back at them” while not affecting something they care about.

      • I know, stupid west side liberals, subsidizing their schools, and roads, and providing them with massive support to market their agriculture, that’s the real definition of one sided tyranny there….

        • So you are suggesting that everyone will think dividing into two states is a grand idea, right? A win-win situation?

        • They will, actually. If you ask random people on the street in Seattle, they will be rejoiced at the notion of getting rid of the “rednecks” on the other side of the mountains.

          I’m probably one of the tiny minority of people that actually like the current arrangement. As it is, because of the split, the state house is majority Democrat (55-43), but senate is majority Republican with a slim margin (26-23). Because of this, the legislative effort has a nice balance where particularly crazy ideas from either side cannot pass, and force parties into discussion and compromise (and unlike Congress, it actually works). So citizen initiatives like this one are basically the only way for the democratic majority to get what they want, but they’re slow and expensive, and so aren’t routinely used.

          Even then, parts of the voter base even in Western Washington are leaning somewhat libertarian, and basically vote for Dems in elections over social issues but little else – and when it comes to initiatives, may not necessarily vote the party ticket, and can be large enough that, in conjuction with Republican minority, will defeat the initiative. E.g. all the referendums on income tax have not passed, and WA is still one of the few states that has no state income tax whatsoever. And notice how close to a 50/50 split the numbers actually were on I-591 and I-594 – a significant minority in Western WA also voted “no”. On the other hand, that overall left leaning gives us social policies on issues like abortion, drug legalization and euthanasia that have evolved beyond the Stone Age.

          If the state splits, Western WA will be dominated by mainstream Democratic supermajority that will completely dwarf the libertarian Dems, and will quickly become the second NY (not CA – CA is its own thing because of large immigrant communities and Republican-but-not-really local politics), while Eastern WA will become another flyover Jesusland state. I feel like this country has no shortage of either kind of places already, so it would be nice if it stays in one piece, and remains what it is.

      • It’s not even East vs West, it’s Puget Sound vs the rest of the state. The non Puget Sound counties in Western Washington rejected I-594 as well, but the population of the Puget Sound counties is overwhelming.

      • “There are many around these parts that are irritated with the “in your face” gun culture.”

        One wonders how they feel about the “in your face” First Amendment culture. Or the “in your face” Fourth Amendment, Thirteenth Amendment or Twenty-Sixth Amendment cultures……

        • “One wonders how they feel about the “in your face” First Amendment culture.”

          It seems like every other week some group is having a “protest” there. One of the more memorable ones is the bike group Critical mass that just take over the streets with bicyclist. They block in cars and screw up traffic to get their point across. Sometimes people in cars feel a little uncomfortable about being swarmed by hundreds of bicyclist.

          Seattle Critical mass bike event – July 2008
          On July 25, 2008, Critical Mass prevented a motorist from driving from a curbside parking space into cyclists in Seattle’s Critical Mass on East Aloha. The motorist made statements to Seattle police that he drove away, hitting bicycles and riders (one of them an attorney), and told the press that he “freaked out and overreacted” when bicyclists threatened to tip his vehicle. According to some witnesses, the motorist drove into at least two cyclists and tried to flee.

          A group of riders caught the vehicle, broke its rear windshield, slashed the tires, and assaulted the motorist when he got out. Damage to the car was estimated at $1,500. The motorist was struck in the back of his head by a bike lock and later hospitalized. Two cyclists were arrested for vandalism to the car. Seattle police did not charge the motorist.

          oh, and don’t get me started about the WTO protest and the mayor of Seattle letting anarchists stay in city of Seattle building leading up to the protest. The first amendment is alive and well if your talking about $15 minimum wage, plastic bag ban, crude oil train ban, coal train ban, online gambling ban, gun ban, or police brutality. Other wise shut the hell up.

      • I too live on the West Side of the Cascades. You fail to take into account the several counties that would be completely wiped out by dividing the state along the Pacific Crest line…..
        Remove King, Snohomish, Pierce, and the rest of the state suddenly makes more sense. THose liberal socialist whackjobs remaining in the Prius and city bus clogged big cities can have their UBC and no guns nowhere. The rest of us can do better without them.

        But that is the theorietica basis of the two-chamber representative government system. It works, sort of…… sometimes.

      • Right on T-dog, your idea which is not original to divide Washington state into 2 states is a excellent idea ,
        let the goofballs along the coast most of whom are refugees from Kalifornia anyhow now and not real
        washingtonians anymore . leave them to themselves .
        Theres more than enough resources in eastern WA to have your own state, which would have as a new state
        , 2 US senators by the way , and a number of congressmen .
        Its entirely possible that the eastern part of washington could with solar , wind and biolass and nuclear power have electric power too cheap to meter and no need for unattractive business taxes .
        Its a excellent idea , dividing the state of WA, it also needs to be done in Oregon to the south , and many
        other states also.
        The fact is residents in eastern WA have no poiitical voice and effectively not represented anymore .

    • It’s not even the (entire) left side of the state; it’s the I-5 corridor (Seattle to Olympia) that is screwing it up for everyone else.

    • i live on the west side, in Pierce County… I’m not a hippy or a tree hugger. I carry, and I voted this down.

      It was mostly Seattle (King County) that screwed us? They always do

      • But it ISN’T a valid answer. Because only 60% of the voters who DID turn out voted for it. 48% of a population is a more viable sample size than the original survey and it shows how incredibly scewed that original survey is.

    • I just want to once again call shenanigans on this 90% figure that the anti’s keep bantering about. I have YET to see a full data set on this report. The only one I’ve ever found gave a percentage that don’t even give how big the sample size.

      • Yeah, I called bullshit after Manchin-Toomey failed and the Washington Post (same paper that produced the 90% poll) came out with a poll that said only 47% were unhappy or very unhappy that it failed.

        • On December 13, 2014, over 5,000 gun owners are expected to turn out for a rally by I-594 I Will Not Comply. We will be sending a strong message to the legislators, the media, law enforcement and anyone else interested that we will not buckle under to an illegal, unconstitutional law. We are not asking anyone’s permission, and will not comply with this law, Just because a small portion of the population fell for the backers of a camouflaged Trojan horse that they took great pains to portray as a common sense effort to plug a (non-existent) loophole, does not make it constitutional. Since it is unconstitutional, it is not a law, and we will not obey it. We would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.

  5. Yes this really sucks, and if it can happen here in relatively “gun friendly” WA state, it can and WILL happen elsewhere.

    I will be interested (to say the least) to see if Alan Gottlieb of the SAF will take this to court. He’s had many successes lately, but also has received a couple good body blows…like this. Maybe he doesn’t want to be seen backing another loser.

    As an initiative, it was voted in directly by popular vote. It can be overturned, amended, or edited like any other law. WA, an initiative cannot be modified for at least 2 years. At least 2 bad years.

    It’s truly astounding how many people cried out “WE ARE THE 99%!,” and then a year later lock-step voted for an initiative back by plutocrats whose interest on their interest on their interest is more money than most folks will make in a lifetime. These people deserved what they get…but now I get what I don’t deserve.

    • Yes, it sucks, but its a very useful lesson-learned, and sometimes te best lessons have to come with pain. I suspect theif will be pain in WA but it will take time to sink in, and the sooner the better, so keep pushing on the sore spots, and educating why it matters, to more than just ‘gunnies’, patiently among the moderates.

      If this plays out as badly as the 7500 Sheriffe and PD Chiefs said, they will understand dollars and cents, and more crime first. And give to SAF to fix it in court, first, and chang out politicians, county by county, if need be, later. Like CO, if enough locals get p.o.’d enough to care. And remember, it was a plumber who started it, in CO after over-reach and arrogance by progtards….so, its up to WA POTG at this point. Call Brandon and Gene at CGF for what worked in CA.

      And please no circular firing squad enabling trolls, here. Zzz.

      In the meantime, I am interested in the reason enabled by facts argument for why no BGC, in the well-lit room of TTAG. So I can explain it better, and simpler to non-gun smart moderates and independents, and the security moms. See, the other lesson learned about WA, is the tide went against 594, well before Marysville. So it wasnt about blood dancing or even money, but about education.

      And thats where TTAG can help.
      I’ll be ignoring the FUD from the FUDD and slave and traitor label slinging trolls, too.
      Just the facts, Ma’am.

      • Like CO, if enough locals get p.o.’d enough to care. And remember, it was a plumber who started it, in CO after over-reach and arrogance by progtards

        You’re referring to last year’s recall elections, in which two anti-gun-owner Colorado state senators — John Morse (Democrat-Colorado Springs) and Angela Giron (Democrat-Pueblo) — were defeated and replaced with two Republicans. Democrats won those seats in last week’s regular mid-term elections.

        John Morse (D) was defeated by Bernie Herpin (R) in 2013, who lost last week to Michael Merrifield (D), “who once worked for Bloomberg’s anti-gun group”.

        Angela Giron (D) was defeated by George Rivera (R) in 2013, who last last week to Leroy Garcia (D).

        Victory for gun-owners in last year’s recall elections was short-lived, and ultimately futile and pointless. Both Merrifield and Garcia won by a 10% margin last week.

        • CO State Senate still flipped to the Republicans.

          Per “The Denver Post” ( ):

          “A GOP blindside in Adams County and gun-control efforts also played a role in Republican victories in both chambers.”

          “And in the end, recall efforts because of gun control legislation also played a factor in Democrats losing the Senate majority.”

          “Gun activists then attempted to mount a recall against Sen. Evie Hudak of Jefferson County but before they turned in signatures to force an election she resigned her seat to ensure the Senate stayed in Democrat hands. A vacancy committee elected Arvada City Councilwoman Rachel Zenzinger to Hudak’s seat.”

          “But Zenzinger lost to Republican Laura Woods, backed by the strident gun group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. Hudak had won re-election in 2012 so her seat wasn’t even supposed to be on the ballot in 2014.”

          “Another gun-group backed candidate, Republican Tim Neville of Littleton, defeated Sen. Jeanne Nicholson, D-Black Hawk.”

          So, you are wrong that the recalls were not worth it.

      • there is NO argument that can be made against BGC that will resonate with enough voters to matter. none. POTG are going to have to accept that.

        pick your battles. fight the ones you can win, strategic losses where you cannot.

        AWB, magazine limits, etc. do not have the wide support that “UBC” does. save your resources for those battles.

        most people vote for/against a bill out of self-interest. unless you can make a gun bill a self-interest issue for the majority of voters, you are going to have a tough battle. it’s all about sales pitches, marketing.

        • What are the prospects of the magazine limits in WA right now?

          I would be careful assuming that it will be easy to draw the line on UBCs. With enough money one can generate enough scare about the magazines and “assult weapons” too.

          The big picture question is what one can hope the gun rights to look like in 25 years. It is possible that there will be more background checks, licensing, etc, while the core right to keep and bear would still be recognized and possible for a regular person to exercise. But it will not be easy to achieve that state of affairs, it is certainly not what the antis want as the end result.

        • Magazine limits were floated in state legislature shortly after Newtown, but got shot down very quickly, and Republicans presently control the state Senate, so anything on that front is dubious.

          Submitting it to initiative process could happen, but I don’t think it’d pass. As noted, magazine limits are generally far less popular than universal background checks, and I-594 passed 60% vs 40% – I wouldn’t call that a landslide.

    • Actually, it can be modified, but it takes 2/3 of the legislature to do it. I was just talking to a “dry side” state rep about this yesterday.

  6. These tyrants won Washington for the moment, I think. WA is full of low information voters and Progressives, so it does not surprise me that much that it passed. But, look how much the anti-2nd amendment folks had to do to fool the low information voters. And consider what happens after these people realize they were fooled. I have friends who went from diehard Democrat Party loyalists to people who will never vote for another Democrat ever again. This election, we lost the “Alamo”, but when the wheels start coming off, it will be one hell of a battle cry.

    • This is very true. Full of low-information voters and Progressives. I have lost good friends over this battle (No vs Yes on 594) and I’m sure some of them voted Yes just to stick it to the gun owners. Bottom line is that they believe in civil rights for everyone except people who disagree with them.

      No matter how many times or how many ways I explained the badness in I-594, the disingenious “expand background checks” title guaranteed its passage. “Stop Gun Confiscation” (the tag line for opposing I-591) makes all the gun owners sound like paranoids.

      There are LOT of people in the Seattle Metro area that believe society should just evolve beyond the need for guns and would have voted Yes if the bill said “round up the gun owners and jail them for 20 years”. In general, people can’t be bothered to do research or think for themselves. They believe whoever tells them what they want to hear, then vote how they would have regardless of any other ads, facts, or credible arguments.

  7. Excellent after-action, Dean. I note you have been on the ground in the concealed carry movement, for years, particyularly in the Southwest, so I am listening closely.

    A loss reaches you even more, in life, in business, in war, if you are smart and humble enough to look closely, when the dust settles and readjust and adapt.

    Clearly, voters in WA got sold by big money, and clever google geek point marketing, aided by collaboration in the progtard community organizer and old media Cult. WA voters will need time to see just how bad it is, as it plays out on the ground, but I think long-time experienced NRA and SAF and state gun rights groups can agree that errors were made, and they will nnleed to adapt quickly in other states, where the Gates and Bloomberg money is already in work. NV and AZ both have political power centers with liberal leverage over rural and moderate voters. That education campaign has to be mounted now, and KISS, imho, to work.

    I591 made sense, technically. But it was too hard to explain to non 2A voters, and the gun grabber marketers took advantage of that, too, by making it simple for most voters…594 for bgc,and 591 against.

    And for most voters, bgc seems entirely reasonable. Hell even for this fairly well read 2A guy, they seem reasonable, when all the ‘gun nuts say is Hitler!’…and dont mean to give offense. Jsust to remind tha to most voters, especially the young, they barely know WW2 history, much less Concord….

    So the big 2A money, and brains, and that means, you NRA and SAF, are going to have to huddle up, fast, and listen to outside talent maybe in the digital targeting area, and understand the local ground, better. There was a LOT going on, nationwide, and kudos for the successes….

    Now, watch your backs, and learn, for my take is the anti-gunners copied what worked for us, and focused, with digital smarts, enabled by big bux….and we can do same, if we learn from them.

    Back to the batting cage. Re-read Rise of the Anti-Media, then read Army of Davids. I’ll do my part and spread the word about how fVcked you can get, like in CA, if you sleep too long…

    but also how fighting smart, with right lawyers works….than you Chuck Michel and Alan Gura and Paul Clements, and CGF…and I am sending more money to SAF and NRA but will stop if you waste time in finger pointing….

    better you should hire Dean instead to give you the ground level take….

    • the SAF and the NRA need to start cooperating. this means gottlieb is going to have to stop slamming the NRA publically all the time. and NRA members are going to have to start calling and demand that they start working with the SAF.

      only a united front, cooperation and coordination between gun rights groups, is going to survive the bloomberg onslaught.

      we won’t win by outspending the gun grabbers. we need to win with members, tactics, and smarts.

        • And thats a good point reinforcing why SAF and NRA need to hear freedom m its members, to team up, udng each entity’s strengths…SAF haes hired the best strategists c, smart lawyers and the results are paying off. NRA has people on the ground in every one of the 50 statehouse, both getting out the word to local groups, key intel you just cant afford to replicate, but can use at SAF and GOA and Calguns, if people are smart and disciplined to you it, and not abuse it.

          And all can benefit from better messaging…NRA listened, after criticism of LaPieres bombastic foot in mouth, post Sandy Hook. The videos on youtube take time to percolate out, but they are very wll done, and having an impact, imho. The diverse NRA spokespeople make for a bigger tent, and that directly undercuts the progtard plantation thought police…and the Millenials are getting it…

          Blogs like TTAG go around the top down SFM™, and become another channel for education, info, and links elswhere. No one has THE answer, orcall the answers, bug if you speak the truth, that is rare, and the innertubz makes you agile, and assymetric in this info war. An Army of Davids.

  8. All that it takes to pass anti gun legislation is to bombard the less informed and gullible with lies as they are easily mislead. The problem is there are more less informed voters than intelligent voters. Bringing these issues directly to the gullible people is the easy way for the gun grabbers to win. WA will be a model for the rest of the country.

    • …and the fact that the initiative process is essentially law by popularity. That’s why WA was the guinea pig, because Bloomberg’s $hit probably wouldn’t work with a thinking, breathing legislature. Unfortunately, the money I contributed did not get spent on anti-594 ads like it should have. We only have ourselves (pro-2A) to blame. We are not very organized to fight this type of gun control. Yup, we’ve totally got the data on our side, but that’s not what wins in voter-sponsored initiatives.

      The interesting bit will be who’s going to enforce it. I work with LE and they have no interest as it takes away manpower from real crime.

    • This is why you saw TV ad after TV ad, run at key hours, and containing emotional fear spin. If you understood what was being said you were likely offended. BUT…These TV ads spoke to the uninformed impressionable people. And this is why 594 pouring millions into TV ads. This is a medium perfect for the picking of tender naive fruit.

  9. I think we, as 2A supporters, need to broaden the audience that we appeal to and communicate a better pro gun argument than we do now. I think that many on this board don’t realize how close we are to going from the winning to losing side nationally.

    Most of the current success stems from the Heller SCOTUS decision. That was a 5-4 decision. What happens when a conservative judge leaves the bench? Will a pro 2A president be there to nominate a strong 2A judge? Not right now. What happens in 2016? If I were making a bet on the successful presidential candidate, I would not put my money a candidate that is pro 2A. How are they going to win without any of New York’s or California’s electoral votes? Bush proved it could be done, but he had the advantage of runing against Gore and Kerry. Not exactly two compelling candidates.

    I don’t agree with all of Dean’s explanations for why we lost in WA. I think we lost because the state is fairly anti gun and we didn’t change their minds. If we don’t find a way to change the minds of our more urban citizens, I think we will ultimately be out bred.

    The NRA needs to put their best minds to thinking how we are going to attract the folks in the city. They need to make people of color part of their board as well as their spokespeople so they have a credible voice in minority populations. They also need to find a way to get the urban population out shooting. Nothing will make converts to the pro 2A cause like a day of shooting.

    • Agreed.

      What has to happen, with apologies to OFWGs, is that the OFWG image has to go. Look around your typical college campus and you’ll see a lot of women and immigrants. Ask them what a US gun owner looks like, and the answer is along the lines of “Elmer Fudd”. It needs to be ” Comp Shooter Tori Nonaka”.We need to appeal to the Prius and Latte crowd, because they’re the ones in the drivers seat of the voting process for the foreseeable future.

      Two: the NRA needs an image makeover. Get a minority woman out in front of the cameras. Keep the old white guys in the back office, out of sight and out of mind of a press already against us.

      Three: go on the cultural offensive.Start producing YouTube series about real life self defense -and not by light skinned people in the Kentucky hollers. Well see how far CNN goes when a guest speaker cites case after case on YouTube of people avoiding sexual assault and death due to lawfully owned guns. Think a TV show like “20/20″, but with people who normally only get press in the ” It Happened to Me” column of Guns and Ammo. With re-enactments and all. When leftie gun haters watch a show demonstrating how a RayBan wearing hipster beat back a home invasion two doors away from their own in Downtown NYC/Baltimore/Chicago/LA , it’ll change a lot more minds then a legal brief or an NRA email blast.

      • “What has to happen, with apologies to OFWGs, is that the OFWG image has to go.”

        That’s already happening.

        Lots of the youth play COD and the like. They see guns not as evil but as tools.

        Even more telling they have a strong mistrust of government.

        And that is a Martha Stewart ‘Good Thing’…

        • I’m in that industry and I know a lot of the COD-playing 18-30 crowd. While some of them have a interest in actual firearms, most of them are people looking for entertainment, distraction, and have no interest whatsoever in shooting an AR-15. They would rather spend 8 hours shooting the digital version than an hour in the woods actually doing something real. I invited some work friends out shooting, the response from one was “we can be just like that Uzi girl”. Tasteless and idiotic.

          Those of COD crowd that can be bothered to vote will be much more likely to vote anti-gun. Because guns are only used for violence in their world plus they saw someone sharing MDA’s anti-gun message on their Facebook feed. In their world, anyone who disagrees with that message must be a racist doomsday prepping conspiracy theorist spouting off NRA talking points because there can’t be any REAL facts that support a pro-gun position.

      • the NRA does need an image makeover. it needs to stop being perceived as obstructionist. it needs to put forth bills which target perceived ills such as “background checks” and “safe storage”. it needs to start being perceived as interested in public safety, not just by arming citizens, but by punishing criminals and promoting responsible gun ownership.

        every shot up road sign, every wildfire caused by shooters, every ND, every gun stolen by a minor ending up in some tragedy. is fuel for the anti-2a crowd. gun owners want to be perceived as the good guys, they need to start acting like one.

        • I can’t think of any gun control organization that feels the need to be friendly to gun owners. If the NRA gets too conciliatory, it will be managing decline, not fighting for gun rights. If the country changes enough in the coming years, that willl happen regardless, but I would be careful going into the “managing delcine” mode on a national scale right now unless one is pretty sure that there is no alternative. The other side will not stop with UBCs.

        • Let me guess, you’re going to suggest that we need to draft our own UBC bills before the antis do, so that we get to decide what gets put into them?

          Your writing style and points seem familiar, I suspect I’ve read your posts before on both arfcom and waguns.

      • The reason why it lost is because the state is pro-UBC in general, and most people voted for the title of the initiative. There are a few people to whom I reached out explaining the nasty details who lean strongly liberal, and they voted “no” on I-594 (and also “no” on I-591, because they do want UBC after all, just not this particular kind of it).

    • All good points.
      One thing to remember is the old maxim; “all politics is local”.
      To a lot of Seattle voters, NRA is the out of town big money. Not defending NRA just reminding what makes sense to WE here at TTAG or nationwide, doesnt necessarily translate, especially top-down…

      That means more grassroots work is ahead, like it or not, which can be leveraged by NRA money, talent, and SAF legal talent in court. But the vote come from the ground up, and if Caesar Gates just threw more bread in the Coliseum, then find better bread…or you’ll be the christians dying with the gladiators, for a long time in WA.
      Speaking from bitter experience, here in CA.

  10. The foundation of the problem is social approval of background checks for every sector of life. Show of hands-how many of us reading this needed to agree to a criminal BG check to get our jobs?

    When the average Joe sees ‘background checks’ and ‘guns’ in the same box, the socially acceptable inclination is to agree. Why not without counterpoint?

    Forget charts, graphs, and Constitutional lectures. An Excel spreadsheet makes for boring radio and even worse TV. The modern voter ain’t got time for that stuff. What we need is emotion: and relateable emotion. Less “Protect the Constitution” and more “Don’t Deny Suzy Single Mom the right to pass on her dads gun to her daughter”.

    • Absolutely. Voters respond to narratives, emotional narratives….and promises of free stuff. Corporations and poor folks alike prefer free stuff.

      591 probably confused people. “But read our proposition!” Ain’t gonna happen. Easier just to watch TV.

      • most people don’t even bother, they just read the title of the initiative and go from that. first rule : have an appealing initiative title, even if it’s deceptive or misleading. that’s half the battle right there.

  11. There’s something fishy going on here. I was part of the effort on the ground here in Wa that fought 594. In a lot of ways, it was lost from the beginning, and we knew it. We saw how much money was being spent by King and Pierce Co progressives, and we saw the blatant bias on the part of almost every newspaper and TV station on the west side of the mountains. I/we just kept hoping that the NRA and the 2AF had some kind of a plan. That there was some spending blitz or media campaign coming to fight the pro-594 people. It never came.

    I blame the NRA. I blame them because there was a small army of volunteers trying to get out and door knock, or call, but the support on the ground from the NRA was 2 people. 2 PEOPLE! 2 very nice, very well meaning, but completely unprepared ladies. They were unorganized, they were inexperienced, and they had very little in the way of support. I was there when person after person kept asking how they could get involved or volunteer, and I watched those 2 drop the ball over and over.

    Bottom line, the NRA was making a point about not supporting 591 or the 2AF. Bottom line, the NRA let politics get in the way of fighting this travesty of a bill. I am DONE with the NRA.

    I am still waiting to see if 2AF is going to challenge this in court, and I keep hoping that the laughable campaign that they put forward to fight 594 is based on plans that they have to fight this in court. Maybe their plan all along was to let the pro-594 crowd spend a bunch of money, and then destroy it in court.

    WA patriots. Keep your eyes open for a better run pro-2nd group. It is in the works, and it will be different. We aren’t done fighting, and we certainly haven’t been beaten. This sh!t ain’t over by a long shot.

    • I’m interested in what the NRA and SAF have to say, in response. I expect it will take a bit of time, and some of that, beyond admitting some lesson learned for everyone, may even involve NOT getting into pi$$ing contests, in webforums, or tipping the hand on tactics going forward, legal in court, or on PR in the court of public opinion, until ready, as CALGUNS learned the hard way, a few years back. The anti’s are listening, and some of it is just gonna take a LOT of patience…so setting expectations doesnt work…”two more weeks”…

    • bloomberg views the NRA as his top priority. he wants to destroy it. that alone is reason enough to stay with the NRA. if you leave the NRA, that’s exactly what bloomberg wants you to do.

      the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

      NRA members need to start demanding that they start cooperating with local gun groups like the SAF.

      and gottlieb needs to stop badmouthing the NRA at every opportunity. whatever his problems with the NRA are, he needs to resolve them. we won’t survive the bloomberg onslaught without the SAF and NRA coordinating efforts.

    • Devil, respect for your work, and your opinion. And I am sure there was lots going on, on the ground…
      But looking in from the outside, a month or so prior, I didntvsee much from local state groups, other than some lgs, and a pretty barren website….I know SAF did a lot of work, hosting 591, and theres all sorts of deep analysis on strategy, etc…..but frankly, if it wasnt KISS and clear enough for me, a 2A reader then maybe it was to easy for the opposition to spin it, former r clarity, even tho wrong, for the LIV and independents, who were loking at a bunch of thongs, election day, and only had top-of-mind, what they heard last, that sounded reasonable to go on, in making that check in the block.

      See what I am getting at? Stop thinking about this as a knowledgeable gun owjer, and instead put yourself in the shoes of the average Seattle voter, and think about what makes sense for them….

      This is a very hard exercise, establishing especially in the occasionally OCD about calibre mindset of gun forums.
      Thats why you hire expert help. And might be time for SAF and NRA to ask same….where did we go wrong?

      Was this even winnable…sometimes a strategic defeat, though bore bld for they people on the ground, sets up the conditions for win, that is more powerful, as in the courts…

      I dont have thecanswer, but I am agnostic eniugh to he willing to ask the really hard questions, without losing resolve for pressing on.

  12. It’s pretty simple, make commercials that show some sort of little old man in a jail cell between some thugs, have them ask “what are you in for?”, and have him reply “I went hunting with one of my oldest friends, he held my rifle while I climbed into my blind… it’s hard to believe they send you to jail for that now.”

    • ^ This!!!!!!

      And take it up a notch. Rather than showing an old man in prison, show a young husband and father. And then show how the rest of the young husband/father’s family lost their home because they also lost their father’s income when he went to prison. And show the young husband/father’s children crying at their birthday parties because their dad cannot be there. Finally, show that all of this happened because the young husband/father borrowed his friend’s rifle when out hunting.

      • The problem with such “hunting” ads is that they would not be entirely accurate. I-594 has a specific exception:
        (4) This section does not apply to:
        (f) The temporary transfer of a firearm
        (v) while hunting if the hunting is legal in all places where the
        person to whom the firearm is transferred possesses the firearm and the
        person to whom the firearm is transferred has completed all training
        and holds all licenses or permits required for such hunting

        Maybe a better example would be the father who takes his 10- and 18-year-old sons out target shooting. He hands a firearm to the younger son – perfectly legal. He hands a gun to the 18-year-old – violation. The 18-year-old hands it back – violation. Then show the younger, no-dad, no-house, no-older-brother kid at his 11th birthday party.

  13. The biggest inconvenience to most gun owners from I-594 will not be in the background checks for sales, but in the draconian regime for even the shortest-term transfers and loans. Basically, if you take a friend or even your own child who is over 18 to a range, they can either shoot their own guns, or the guns rented at the range, but not your gun.

    Some percentage of people who are for mandatory background checks for sales between strangers might have been persuadable on the grounds that this bill went way beyond background checks for sales.

    Unfortunately, the opponents of I-594 weren’t able to get that point across. They seem to have tried, but the other side obfuscated and ridiculed them, with the help from the media. Here is one example of what they were up against:

    • One part reads:
      “Don Pierce, an I-594 supporter and a former Bellingham police chief, said police officers deal with imprecise language in a variety of laws.
      “We trained our officers to use common sense and learn what the intent was,” Pierce said.”

      So what “common sense” is this?
      “Seattle’s elected prosecutor said Monday he’s dropping all tickets issued for the public use of marijuana through the first seven months of this year, because most of them were issued by a single police officer who disagrees with the legal pot law.

      In a briefing to the city council on Monday, city attorney Pete Holmes says he is moving to dismiss approximately 100 tickets issued by the Seattle police department between 1 January and 31 July. His office also said it would be seeking a refund for 22 people who have already paid their $27 ticket.

      Through the first six months of the year, a single officer wrote about 80% of the tickets, writing on one that he considered the pot law “silly”. The officer was temporarily reassigned, and the department’s office of professional accountability is investigating.”

      • The language of I-594 is not imprecise, it is very precise as to what immediate transfers are excepted, and by extension, which ones are not.

        • But 594 has ONE major problem: it REDEFINES the term “transfer” as used in 18 USC and all BATF documents. In ALL of those places, and everywhere else in federal law and regulation, “transfer” means not a change of possession, but of OWNERSHIP. And THAT is one of the fatal flaws of 594, and the ONE that should be used to turn it on its head. That, in and of itself, creates “vague and confusing” language, grounds for overturning.

    • You need to IGNORE those requirements. When somebody organizes it, I stand ready to drive from TX to WA (in the summer, of course) and participate in tens of thousands of people passing firearms back and forth in front of the legislature, on TV, over and over and over until this stupid law has been violated MILLIONS of times in one day, by people from many states, daring anyone to do anything about it. With designated spokesmen to explain to the press how idiotic, repressive, and unconstitutional the law is. Anyone who goes to a gun store to get a NICS check so he can give his son a firearm is part of the problem.

      • Under I-594, you can give a gun as a gift to your son without a background check, but you can’t loan him one for a trip to the range. This law is a piece of work.

    • There won’t be inconvenience in practice, because police officers are just going to ignore that interpretation, so it will be effectively unenforced. Until such time as someone is actually arrested by an overzealous cop, and convicted by an overzealous prosecutor (which might happen eventually, but will take time), most everyone will just ignore the law for these kinds of transfers.

      You know what the actual inconvenience is, though? The law completely ignores C&R FFL, and requires background checks for those. No more Mosins shipped to your door.

      • The law should be corrected now, either through the courts or the legislature. The police may ignore it for now, but they won’t ignore it forever. It’s the nature of gun control laws to be enforced mildly and reasonably at first, but more and more stridently as times goes. It’s best to have a law that doesn’t give that type of “flexibility” to the government.

  14. A LOT of gun owners in Washington are typing about how NRA didn’t do this or NRA should have done that. And, for the ones who got out and talked to their neighbors about 594 and the ones who volunteered at the tables at gun shows then more power to ya. And I wish NRA had done more too.
    BUT 53% of the voters stayed home for that election and that is the real problem, With 53% (a bit higher in the rural areas that would have gone our way) staying home all the talk about NRA sounds a little bit like externalizing. Don’t wait for large organizations, talk with your friends. Post on social media. Help distribute signs. Work hard, organize your friends and get your freedom back. -Boyd Kneeland Washington Arms Collectors VP, GOAL trustee, SAF volunteer.

    • You want to pin this on voter turnout? If %100 of voters had turned out, it still would have been around %60-40, because all people knew was what 10 million worth of pro-594 disinformation dollars told them. There was no meaningful resistance from the single largest pro-gun advocacy group in the country, on one of the most important bits of gun legislation the US has seen in a good while. Coincidentally, all of this happened in the state that is home to another pro-gun group that competes for the NRAs money. From this end, it looks like the NRA was more interested in a 2AF fail, than a pro-gun win.

      Written by a WAC member…

    • I did a lot of this ground-level work, convinced quite a few people that I-594 was a bad idea. Even people who are very progressive -the few that really believe in civil rights for all- were against it when I was done. However

      However, a lot of them couldn’t be bothered to get registered or mail in a ballot.

      There were a lot of my so-called friends that don’t believe in gun ownership as a civil right and believe that restrictions/regulations don’t amount to infringement. Plus there were a lot of minds that were already made up (Guns R Bad Mmmkay) and it is impossible to fill a cup that is already full.

    • BUT 53% of the voters stayed home for that election and that is the real problem,

      Washington went to all-absentee ballots a couple of years back.

      The problem isn’t that people stayed home. It’s that people couldn’t be bothered to drop the ballot in the mailbox.

  15. I just want to point out to everyone here that the fight over 594 is NOT over. While I don’t have any data but I can already bet that the NRA and the SAF are working on legal challenges to it. And beyond it’s idiotic to just throw up our hands in disgust give up. These are our natural, constitutional, and CIVIL rights were talking about here. You don’t just throw in the town at the first lost.

    I’d also like to point out the hard truth here that we didn’t really have much of a chance here in WA. Not against the truck loads of money the anti’s were throwing at this medial campaign. Oh the NRA put up a good effort with the half mill the through at the problem. But no, it seems to me that this fight was always going to be a fight in the courts. Much like they have been in the most recent anti gun court cases. I’ve posted on the Facebook page a time or two about how Washington state constitution states that ‘The right of the individual citizen to bear Arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired’. Choking out the ability for people to get firearms seems to be a pretty serious impairment to me.

    • I’m on board with you. My opinion holds the NRA had a full copy of 594 a long time ago and knew who was supporting it, money potential, etc. My gut told me the NRA chose not to go after 594 with a vengeance for sound reason. I am fairly certain they support gun-rights and the second amendment.

  16. So basically just like that independent in Colo who took a potential 2% away from Beauprez allowing Hickenlooper to skate by, I-591 stood partially in the way of an effective campaign against 594.

    I have faith we will learn some day.

    • It’s a different situation. Thing is, no-one seriously doubted that I-594 would pass, there’s just too much support for UBCs, and people vote for the title. But if I-591 got over 50% of the vote, then it would have effectively canceled out I-594, because they’re “competing initiatives”. That was a far more realistic stake to make, and before you say that people who vote “yes” on one would vote “no” on another anyway, that’s not true, and election results show as much.

  17. “One of the campaign supporters, Nick Hanauer, briefly put on his facebook page “we need more school shootings!!!” before retracting the statement.”

    These are the type of sick, mendacious douchenozzles we are up against. This is why nothing worthwhile has been done re: mitigating school shootings. The other side wants them to achieve their (as was put in another thread) “final solution” to the civilian gun owner question. They don’t give a rats butt about dead kids except that it gives them more bloody shirts to waive and more graves upon which to dance. You want to know how truly evil the other side is, look no further than the above quote.

    • Nick H and I shared several emails. One of the many issues we discussed was my considering a firearm was a tool, not a living breathing animal. His answer, “It’s not a tool, it’s a lethal weapon!” After reading a number of his statements I came to recognize having deep pockets does not mean you are pragmatic and or smart.

    • Back to the “Image of a firearm owner.” Consider the automotive industry and how it shifted gears (sorry about that) toward the female. Think about the Mom today who seriously believes if she does not drive a big SUV she is an irresponsible parent, placing her family in danger. And hubby had damn well better agree and go get a big safe wagon to wrap the family in or else he is a piece of dung. In function we all know the variables are enormous and just because you drive a certain type of auto does not ensure your safer than anyone else. It’s far better to pay attention, stay off the phone, drive defensively, etc. But the anti-gun people are selling this same belief to women and Mom’s, and it is a gem, it is scaring the hell out of them, it works. AND IT IS BULLSHIT.

      So why do Mom’s have to hate firearms? Why has this lie ballooned out of proportion? Why has this fear been successful?

      Why can’t the opposite be true? Can firearms not protect you? Can a responsible image be conveyed? Can people also live in the fear of being attacked with no recourse? There are many positives to sell. You can do it and you don’t even have to lie, like 594 did. Create a safe smart positive image.

  18. After a year and a half of promoting I-594, once it had been approved by the electorate, the major media changed their terminology, finally calling the initiative what it is: gun control:

    No, it’s “gun-owner control“.

    Theres been a lot of discussion since Tuesday about how we can shape the narrative in order to resonate with voters. One thing I believe we need to do is stop making it about the object (gun), and start making it about the people (gun owners).

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    • ^ This!!!!!

      And let’s take this up a notch as well. This goes beyond gun-owner control. This is gun-owner harassment, plain and simple.

    • The stereotype camo-clothed drooling crazy shoot’um up red-eyed gun zealot has got to be buried, the sooner the better. Why can firearm owners not wear badges, suits, ties, be well-educated and responsible people. Perception and image elect presidents.

  19. Can Billionaires buy elections? If there is little opposition, and the old media is on your side, the answer, apparently, is yes.

    Since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision four years ago, Libertarians and Republicans have been telling us this is a good thing.

    Watching gun owners complain about money in politics is delicious for the irony value.

  20. I don’t care what law the government writes when it comes to the constitution. If it puts a restriction on a Right than that law is invalid, check the court records.

  21. WA state is the home of Microsuck and actually MSN and MSNBC . Watch their drivel and you know why 594 probably passed.

  22. Everyone is blaming someone else for this disaster, how is it working for you? Are you changing anything with the blame game? NO! So, what is everyone affected by this stupidity going to do to change it? Does anyone have a plan or are they going to keep complaining?

  23. You know this could backfire on Bloomberg real quick. Since selling a used gun is going to be a hassle the demand for new guns is going to increase. More demand equals more competitors entering the market eventually lowering the marginal cost to consumers. Why buy a used gun when a new one will cost about the same? Instead of hurting the gun manufacturing industry they’ve actually helped them tremendously.

  24. If nothing else I believe we have all learned the far left extremists are dead serious about taking all firearms from the US citizens in the long game. This is no small kinda-sorta they might try, THEY ARE SUCCEEDING AT DOING IT.

    WHO and HOW will you support the effort to keep the USA intact?

  25. There have been a few insightful comments about how this was allowed to happen – and it was, “allowed” to happen.

    1: Puyallup Devil Doc has a very keen set of points. First, let’s clarify that it’s not the NRA but rather the NRA-ILA that should’ve been more engaged here. However, as has been pointed out, there was a competing initiative originating from “outsiders” and therefore the ILA is prohibited from significant engagement. It’s in ILA’s best financial interest to allow efforts like this to fail so that when members call to complain they can say “see, when you let amateurs fight gun control, you lose”. Then, you’ll get an ILA fundraiser in the mail – no kidding.

    2: NRA-ILA does not support any effort initiated outside the NRA-ILA think tank. Sometimes, to the extreme of refusing to even publicly acknowledge efforts or groups that are not affiliates. There is an oft heard ‘cry in cyberspace’ of “the NRA supports gun control !” and the story behind it varies based on where it originates. Most of us dismiss these stories as the rantings of nut jobs but maybe after seeing what happened here on this i594 / i591 business it’s not so kooky? A lot of these stories originate with a grassroots activist who is working with a grassroots group and trying to get help from NRA to get a bill passed. Suddenly, an NRA backed, severely watered down bill is introduced and instantly gets traction at the expense of the better bill. Often the “NRA-ILA” backed bill contains some stupid section or clause that makes you wonder if someone pro-gun even looked at the language. These stories sound far fetched but if you find the original source to them, you can find some with an element of truth to them. Sometimes it’s just plain ignorance, but other times you run across a state level ILA activist who simply has no business interacting in the legislative arena.

    3: the competing initiatives idea unnecessarily complicated what would have otherwise been a simple fight. I posit that on a simple support / oppose 594, our side may have won. Our side is good at fighting defensive battles, but we flat out suck at fighting offensive battles. We have all witnessed this with “i’ll help when there’s a GCA ’68 repeal on the table” or “I’m waiting for the machine gun ban repeal”. These people are never going to help you, they’re just saying something to make you feel like they will and our team has plenty of these people. They aren’t just OFWG’s either.

    4: It’s not about background checks or UBCs as we’ve acquiesced to, it’s about universal registration. Stop calling it UBC. it’s “precursor registration” or ‘universal registration” – whatever, just something besides what the media is advertising it as.

    5: it’s important to ensure that NRA members know that NRA-ILA had the potential to do much more and should have done much more. Not just for Washington, but to prevent this kind of cancer from spreading across America. Now, they will almost certainly start hawking for more money to “fight the battle in court” or they will create a new program to get behind. In reality, all you’ll be paying for is a new 7 series bmw for the ILA leadership team. Don’t repeat mistakes ! donating to ILA did what for Washington gun owners?

    6: Washington’s best bet is to start a serious grassroots group like the ones in Virginia, North Carolina, Arizona and many more.

    • second guessing the NRA’s motives is not productive. if it really was about creating fear and profit to benefit the NRA, why did the NRA push the strict scrutiny constitutional amendments in MO and LA? that would seem to play against their profit motive.

      it is no secret the NRAILA does not work well with others. NRA members need to contact the NRA and tell them that needs to change.

      bloomberg sees the NRA as enemy #1 and his goal is to destroy it. if he sees the NRA as the top threat, what does that tell you?

  26. The Washington State legislature should pass legislation to de-fang and render impotent the more onerous portions of the universal background check law. This can be done by passing state legislation to offer an alternative universal background check method by implementing a full state Point of Contact (POC) interface to the federal NICS background check database and creating an online website that gives anyone free, anonymous, public access to the federal NICS system. You then tell private sellers if you sell or give a firearm to someone and don’t retain a piece of paper that documents you did a favorable NICS check on the buyer, you could be held liable if they commit a gun-related crime. Those people that don’t want the risk or responsibility of retaining the transfer documentation still have the option of doing the transfer through an FFL. This should satisfy the requirement of a “universal background check” or force the proponents of the new law to admit what they really want is a state and/or federal registry.

    • I’ve had precisely this same thought, but as far as I know, NICS is accessible ONLY by FFL’s. Not even police can directly access it, Remember that old business about resident alien firearms owners cards here? BGC was a part of getting one, and since Washjington State Patrol were not allowed to access NICS directly, the cards could not be issued. A court case scrapped the whole programme.

      One easy form if mitigation to the presently required BGC would be to do what many other states have done: anyone with a current CPL (the Mother May I Card to carry concealed) can bypass the BGC for any gun purchase by simply showing the card…… even a new gun purchase from an FFL. Many states already have this. It involves some minor change to the BGC proceedure presently required for the CPL. Not hard to do…. THAT would exempt about 40% of Washington gun owners from the BGC requirement, ever. Retailers would love it, too, as they spend a LOT of time doing the BGC/NICS.

      • Under the current law, only FFLs can directly access the FBI NICS database either electronically or by phone. However, the Brady law allows states to set up a Point of Contact (POC) that can require FFL’s to submit their background check request to the POC and the POC performs the check by accessing local and federal (NICS) databases. While there are technical issues with authorization and transaction numbers in interfacing with the NICS, It’s not clear that a state that has established a POC (Washington State does have one) can’t provide a free and anonymous online portal that would allow anyone to run their own background check. As far as privacy concerns, the background check operation is really a go/no go process and no useful information has to be displayed to facilitate phishing expeditions for identity theft other than what was already known by the user making the query and since the state would have to provide the software for the interface, this could be further refined. The feds may not like it and even if the POC regulations specifically prohibit it (I don’t know if they do) the feds have set a precedent for states to ignore federal laws by allowing people to grow and smoke marijuana. It would also be interesting to see the feds argue why this is not a good idea since it goes beyond being about just gun control by potentially helping identify the illusive killer with questionable behavior patterns or mental health issues that is causing so many problems. As it stands now there is no easy, fast, non-bureaucratic method for someone to determine if a suspicious person (client, neighbor, employee, student, etc) is a potential threat to society. If someone thinks an individual could be a threat, a query to a public NICS database would at least tell him or her in a few seconds if the individual could obtain a firearm. Then, armed with that information the appropriate authorities could be notified and they could decide if it was erroneous information or whether to investigate further. As it stands now, if you tell authorities you know a suspicious person they will probably ignore you, but if you tell them you know such a person and by the way according to the NICS database he can buy a firearm, they will probably be more inclined to investigate rather than risk embarrassment later if the worst happens. The same would be true if you see a suspicious acquaintance with a firearm when the NICS query says he’s prohibited from having one. It would also help provide piece of mind and a method for victims of violent crimes to ensure their assailants either on parole or still at large have not been excluded from the database because of some bureaucratic foul-up.
        Other specific public safety issues where it would be useful are:

         allow potential victims to vet known stalkers or acquaintances under a restraining order
         allow gun clubs to vet potential members
         allow shooting ranges to vet suspicious customers
         allow mental health workers to vet troubled individuals like the Aurora Colorado theater killer
         allow resource officers and school officials to vet suspicious students like the Arapahoe High School killer in Colorado
         allow police officers to vet anyone they contact – (note the routine background checks performed by police often do not include information about firearms because they do not directly access the NICS system – see

  27. The article seems to point out even among gun owners/hunters, there’s many ‘low-information’ voters. Very unfortunate.

  28. I’ve read many comments here about Washington State having good gun laws. This is the beginning of the end for them. It will never be repealed, only built on.

    We need to keep winning daily, they only need to win once.

  29. Some correct me if I’m mistaken here: it is my current understanding that

    FFL’s when selling any gun from their inventory are REQUJIRED to conduct the NICS check

    any other check is optional for the FFL, in other words, they are not REQUIRED to run the check.

    SO.. for out of state transfers to Washington residents, SOME but not all FFLs offer the BGC/NICS service to their customers, but are not required to provide this service. Some do not. Most charge for this service. $25 to $100. I’ve watched this being done, it is a LOT of time and paperwork.

    FFL’s COULD offer a similar service for in state face to face “transfers” to comply with 594. But they don’t HAVE to.,

    WHAT IF all FFL’s within Washington State would REFUSE to perform the BGC/NICS demanded by 594? In other words, ths service so glibly assumed would be readily available for all face to face and casual/short term loans (erronsously called “transfers” by 594) would simply NOT be available….. what then? The new law would suddenly become a clear and egregious INFRINGMENT upon our right to buy/sell/borrow/loan/rent/try out firearms. It would effectively preclude all such uses, now our right. It would thus collapse in a heap.

    WHAT would it take for all FFL’s in Washington to simpluy refuse to perform background checks on “transfers” other than for guns from their own inventory, and out of state transfers to Washington residents?

  30. Dean:
    I really resent being called “David.” Really. 🙂

    Thanks for relying my stuff as source material. Rather flattering. I tried to be as explanatory as possible. The reporting on this campaign was the sort of thing that Brent Bozell could rip.

  31. 594, promoted to keep those nasty guns out of the hands of criminals.

    One problem, the law only addresses lawful people. Oh, and make some State revenue along the way. Slick.

  32. 594 passed because the people in King County wanted it to pass. It really is that simple. If enough voters in King County support or oppose any candidate or measure strongly enough, there aren’t enough voters in the sane 2/3 of the state (i.e., east of the Cascade Mountains) to overrule them.


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