Everyone in favor of responsible gun ownership, raise your hand. Great, we have a consensus.
Or maybe not. There are earnestly concerned citizens who would vote for “nobody but the police and military should have guns,” while complaining about police shootings or our military returning fire. All while ignoring the reality of the black market supplying the bad guys and the original consensus on the right to bear arms, as expressed in both the U.S. and Washington constitutions. They can chase their words in a circle while we talk about responsible gun ownership.
That’s what Initiative 1639 purports to be, with a website called gunresponsibility.org backed by the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. They’ve captured the high ground with all the good words, ready to take pot shots from behind cover at anyone who questions the initiative as irresponsible.
Nobody favors irresponsible gun ownership. We do have differences on how to define it and how to attain it. It’s easy to convince ourselves that passing a law means a problem is solved, but not every problem is amenable to a legislative solution. Sometimes it is culture that has to change.
Initiative 1639 proposes new laws about safe storage, the kind of laws that increase disrespect for the law. The proposed rules are vague, unenforceable and unlikely to change culture around safe gun storage practices.