Senator Ginny Burdick,(left) not content with her incessant attacks on Oregon’s gun owners, has taken her show on the road to Washington State.
On February 8th, 2007, Burdick appeared in the Washington Legislature to add her support to SB 5197. This bill is an attempt to damage gun shows in Washington as much as Burdick’s efforts have damaged them in Oregon. (For an interesting article that mentions gun shows, click here. The Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University reports: “Predominately handguns were used in the assaults on officers and all but one were obtained illegally, usually in street transactions or in thefts. In contrast to media myth, none of the firearms in the study was obtained from gun shows.“)
Burdick was joined by the usual suspects, who, in addition to promoting new restrictions on gun purchases at gun shows, warned legislators about “rifles that would shoot down commercial airliners,” and other guns that Americans are simply too untrustworthy to own. Also in attendance was Bob Ricker.The name may be familiar to you.
Ricker is the mouthpiece for a totally bogus organization calling itself The American Hunters and Shooters Association. A quick visit to their website reveals that they are, in fact, just another anti-gun front group like “Americans For Gun Safety” with no real members but a well funded agenda to eliminate gun ownership.
More on him later.
The hearing was everything gun owners have come to expect from anti-gun legislators. The Chair of the committee hearing the bill was typically rude and snide to opponents of the bill. Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles,(Right below) the chair and sponsor of the bill, cut short and interrupted those who came to testify against it. Comments to Senator Welles can be addressed to Kohl-Welles.Jeanne@leg.wa.gov
Oregon gun owners will recall in 2005 when Burdick held a hearing on one of her bills to make schools “no self defense zones,” that she held the hearing in a courthouse to deny access to those who have concealed handgun licenses, and then arranged for “reserved seating” for those who supported the bill. Something she had no authority to do. So maybe the Washington Senators are taking a page from Burdick’s book.
Burdick makes several interesting comments that, as you would imagine, are intended to mislead. One of her comments is that she has no “grudge” against gun owners and that her gun show bill was just “common sense” and “anti-crime.”
But of course, her grudge against gun owners is well known and documented.
In the past, Burdick has sponsored bills that would send you to jail for ten years and fine you a quarter of a million dollars for owning a semi-automatic firearm. She has pushed bills that would require that your self defense firearms be kept locked up and useless. She has argued against allowing license holders from other states to carry in Oregon. She has bragged,on the Senate floor, about “rolling the gun lobby”. And of course, she has pushed her perennial favorite, bills to make you a criminal if you had a self defense firearm anywhere school children showed up.
All this from a woman with no “grudge” against gun owners. Imagine if she didn’t like us.
(On Feb.26th, Burdick sent out a press release lauding the passage of this bill out of the committee that heard it. One quote from the release was “This bill is just common sense,” Senator Burdick said. “Neither I nor the Washington State Legislature is in the business of taking away the right to own firearms. It is strictly about crime prevention for me.”
Anyone with a passing familiarity with Burdick’s record knows this nonsense.)
Another telling comment from Burdick was how she passed her gun show ballot measure in spite of a “million dollar “campaign against it by the gun lobby. We don’t know where that figure came from, but it does ignore the three million dollars she got, mostly from Andrew McKelvey, a dot.com billionaire and founder of “Americans For Gun Safety.” Nor did she mention the fact that every major newspaper in Oregon lied about the contents of the bill. One would think that would have been worth commenting on.,
Of course, no mention was made of the TV commercials starring (now) presidential candidate John McCain. McCain used untold thousands of out-of-state money to attack Oregon gun shows at a time he was condemning others for using out of state money. The hypocrisy of the anti-gun nuts truly knows no bounds.
Now back to Bob Ricker. (Below left) Let’s have a look at what his “shooters” organization believes.
From their website,
“AHSA supports legislative efforts to regulate .50 caliber BMG sniper rifles in the same manner as machine guns are regulated under the provisions of the National Firearms Act of 1934.”
“Modern .50 caliber BMG sniper rifles possess no reasonable utility for hunting or self-defense. ”
“The American Hunters and Shooters Association does not promote nor do we discourage keeping a firearm in the home for self-protection. We believe it is inappropriate for anyone to make a one-size-fits-all recommendation that an individual in Maryland, Texas, California or Massachusetts should or should not keep a firearm in the home.”
Ricker comments at the hearing, that although there are over 60 million gun owners, only 4 million are NRA members. (Ricker is a former NRA employee.) This proves, according to Ricker, that the vast majority of gun owners reject the NRA. Regardless what you think of the NRA, this is sophistry and absurd.
Much like Burdick’s canard, Ricker fails to mention that his organization has virtually no members. It is no more than a website with funding from anti-gun zealots. Clearly then, virtually all gun owners have rejected Ricker’s phony front group.
Initial news stories indicate that the bill has little chance of passage. Let’s hope the truth about Burdick and Ricker will help hasten its demise. Contact info for some pro-gun Washington legislators follows:
Senator Jim Clements
Senator Janéa Holmquist
Senator Pam Roach
E-mails for the entire Washington Senate are available here.
A list of Washington gun bills is available here.
This bill FAILED for the 2007 session.