It sure looks as though U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., will soon be downgraded to an “F” grade from the all-powerful National Rifle Association. As it is, the man who represents the state’s 2nd District, which spans south Snohomish County to Bellingham, has been sitting on a C-minus, not a passing grade in the cold, unblinking eyes of the NRA.
Larsen -- who recently made headlines when the Boeing machinist’s union announced it would not endorse his re-election effort, claiming he sold them down the river by urging a “yes” vote on the pension-killing contract – has endorsed Washington’s Initiative 594, a measure, almost certain to be on the November ballot, that would put the kibosh on the so-called “gun show loophole” and require criminal background checks for those purchasing firearms at guns shows or online.
As Seattle Weekly has reported, expect Alan Gotlieb’s two Bellevue-based sister organizations, the Second Amendment Foundation and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, to wage all-out war to see the initiative defeated.
“From Tucson to Sandy Hook, from a movie theater in Colorado to a place of worship in Wisconsin, too many communities across our country have been ripped apart by horrific violence,” Larsen tells Seattle P-I’s Joel Connelly. “Congress has failed to act in the face of these tragedies, so it is time we stand up in Washington state to make our communities safer.
“Four in ten gun sales in our country take place without background checks to make sure that the purchaser is not a criminal or a danger to public safety. I-594 will fix that by requiring background checks for all gun sales, whether through a licensed dealer, online or at gun shows.”
The campaign for I-594 rose from the ashes of the December 14, 2012, slaughter of 20 first graders and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
By state law, the initiative goes to the Legislature, which can enact it into law, amend it, or send it onto the electorate.
The lack of gun-control action in Washington, D.C., and in Olympia, are likely to results in Washington voters casting ballots on two initiatives this fall, I-594 and a measure backed by gun rights activists that would restrict state regulation of firearms.