Declaring the Washington Assault Weapons Ban an Emergency

I talked about SB 5475 before in this posting but I did not delve deeply into the emergency clause:

This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately, except for section 4 of this act which takes effect July 1, 2005.

What I didn't know before is that bills passed with this clause cannot by changed by a referendum. Per the Washington Constitution, Article 2, Section 1:

…The second power reserved by the people is, the referendum, and it may be ordered on any act, bill, law, or any part thereof passed by the legislature, except such laws as may be necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, support of the state government and its existing public institutions, either by petition signed by the required percentage of the legal voters, or by the legislature as other bills are enacted…

Emergencies that have tax effects have a limited lifespan, but this one is more of an unfunded mandate than a tax. It's no small wonder they want this text in there. It's not to pass it and have it take effect immediately, it's to protect it from the significantly more pro-gun majority of citizens!

At the moment this bill is held in committee due to a power struggle between the urban and the rural Democrats. Obviously the rural Democrats don't want to lose the next election. The urban ones don't bother hiding their citizen-hating desires.

Josh Poulson

Posted Friday, Feb 4 2005 04:25 PM

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There are 2 comments on this entry.

Has this debate so degenerated that you have to refer to people who support gun-control as citizen haters? You might disagree with them, but at least understand that they take their position because they think it will improve the saftey of all citizens. Do you really, honestly, think we hate America and citizens in general? Isn't there some middle ground where we can give law-enforcement the tools they need and without unduly restricting people's right to bear arms? Surely there's some middle ground...

However, I'll fire a question back at you that we on the left got when we opposed the USA PATRIOT ACT:

If you aren't a criminal or doing anything illegal, what do you have to worry about?

To be more specific to your post:

What, legally, can you not do with a handgun that you can do with an assualt rifle?

One could easily argue that "gun fingerprinting" would be of great use to law enforcement. It doesn't mean it is right.

So if you are going to stand up for the second amendment, at least be consistent and oppose any effort to limit freedoms provided by the other 9 amendments in the Bill of Rights (PATRIOT ACT, etc.).

Nicholas Wourms

Posted Friday, Feb 18 2005 03:24 PM

When someone can't tolerate someone else having a right and desires to take it away even though no one is getting hurt the best face I can put on it is “citizen-hating.” Their position is to dilute someone else's rights. I think you hate the rights of gun owners in general. Since over 50% of households in the US have guns in them, I think it's a pretty general disgust.

I didn't like many aspects of the PATRIOT Act. I didn't post about it here, but most of that stuff was before I started my blog!

I don't even want to touch your “uses” argument. Who the heck cares so long as no one is hurt? And if I do hurt someone else with whatever tool I might own, we already have laws for that. The national assault weapons ban did nothing useful, even though Dubya and Ashcroft were more aggressive prosecuting violations of gun laws than Clinton and Reno were, unless you count burning kids alive in order to save them in Waco. The Waco raid was planned under Bush Senior, though, so I can't give those two fools the credit.

“Gun fingerprinting” was tried in Maryland and didn't solve a single crime.

There was a time when I was a card-carrying member of the ACLU as well as the NRA. I've parted ways with them on some issues, but support others. (I'm still on the mailing list.)

So… I'm not sure what your point is. I do believe activist gun banners hate regular private citizens. I'm allowed to hold beliefs, aren't I? That's what the ACLU is trying to protect, isn't it?

My point in this article was that the primarily Democrat-controlled legislature with their lame duck governor is trying to pass an assault weapons ban that creates onerous requirements to exercise a right, and they put in the emergency clause in order to prevent the removal of this law through initiative or referendum. There is no emergency. They are dangerous, lying fools. I have no respect for them, but I do respect their hatred of regular citizens like myself.

Josh Poulson

Posted Friday, Feb 18 2005 04:43 PM

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