Attacking I-594: WA State’s Phony “Background Check” Initiative

There’s a long way to go, but I-594, the Washington State initiative than would ban private transfers, even handing a gun to someone else on a private range, for instance, to teach them to shoot, is losing public support. These next few weeks will be critical for reaching low information voters. Without reaching those people, we don’t stand of a chance of winning. Both sides will be vying for their votes. Hopefully this ad will help:

I used to hate class warfare until certain classes started to think they were entitled to rule. I think the jab at Seattle billionaires who are backing this measure will resonate.

14 thoughts on “Attacking I-594: WA State’s Phony “Background Check” Initiative”

  1. Really good ad- hitting both the billionaire angle and the law enforcement angle. The “using precious resources” is a good hit back to the question “Even if its not going to work that well, we have to try something, right?”

  2. I-594 needs to go down, hard. If so, it would hopefully send a message to the antis that it won’t be worth trying to push it elsewhere, such as our fine state.

  3. I’d really like to see them stress the “turning good citizens into criminals” angle more. Instead of saying, “…for excersizing their constitutional rights” be specific- like “for letting a friend hold their gun in their own home”. The bubble voter always hears us whining about “rights”- rights that they don’t really care about and they’ve been desensitized to. But if the message is specific to some of the draconian restrictions, it may be able to resonate more. Like how the self-defense exemption is so utterly useless to be laughable. It uses the same language as actually engaging in self-defense making the transfer legal only in the exact moment when shooting someone is justified. I’m trying to imagine a scenario where this could come into play, and it’s straight out of Hollywood. Like you and your buddy are being attacked by a team of ninja assassins and your buddy had his handgun kicked out of his hand, so you slide him your backup weapon because you’re too busy fighting off your own ninjas to help him…

    They won’t throw you in jail in that case- so there’s that.

  4. After reading the article, I have a few takeaways.

    1) 60% of people polled want “more extensive background checks”, although only roughly 40% strongly support I-594. So either people just want to “feel good” about supporting background checks or they aren’t buying into I-594 as the solution.

    2) If 60% of the general public supports anything resembling universal background checks, that lends one to believe that even less of a percentage of gun owners support them. Either way the 90% figure touted by the antis is a flat-out lie.

    3) Nearly 4 in 10 gun owners still support criminalizing letting your buddy of 30 years shoot your gun at the range. There’s still a lot of work to be done in the education department between now and November 4.

    I’m assuming since these are referendums, they would need over 50% voting “yes” to pass, correct? From the looks of things, both I-594 and I-591 may not pass, which I would still consider a minor victory.

    1. The way it works in Washington State, with Initiatives is just a Simple Majority of yes vs. no. You could have 20% of the registered voters turn out, and if 51% of those voted yes, it passes. The good news is if the turnout is low, it’s largely going to be those passionate about what’s on the ballot who turn out. I think that would favor I-594 losing. But I’m seeing very little in the way of no on I-594 ads; and lots of yes ads. I’ve got my “no” bumper sticker on my car. But I’ve only seen one other car with one.

      The only good news is that whoever I talk to about this measure, those who know I own guns, all are very strongly against the Initiative. And in the past, if a ballot measure seemed confusing, the majority of LIV vote against it.

      Also, be aware that WA is an all mail-in ballot state. so those running ads never know when they need to run them to be effective. I long for the days when I could go down to the polling place with my kids on election day; so they could experience what being a citizen was all about. The mail in ballot process seems to bringing the voter numbers lower over time. It’s a shame really.

  5. How about a more hard hitting ad or series of ads? Show examples of how good citizens will be made into criminals.

    Scene: Neighbors Joe and Fred are taking turns throw clay pigeons and shooting trap in a huge, open, farm field.

    Joe and Fred decide to trade guns for a few birds. They hand them back. Suddenly the SWAT Team roars up in black SUVS(screaming Freeze Scumbag! and other select phrases while pointing their AR-15’s at the befuddled duo), takes them down, grind their faces into the dirt, cuff them, and tell them they are going to jail for not performing background checks when they traded the shotguns for a few minutes.

    Cut to a nice middle aged man with his niece and her girlfriend from CA in his personal back yard range (something like Hickock45’s). He is showing her girlfriend how to shoot his rifle. Fade to black as you hear “Freeze Scumbag!” and “you are going to jail!”

    Cut to the interior of a nice upper middle class home. A disheveled young woman with torn clothes and visible bruises is being comforted by her Mother. Suddenly the young woman (YW)stands up and starts screaming at a police officer, “Why are you arresting my boyfriend Tommy?!?! He saved my life by shooting that rapist!” Police Officer (PO), “Ma’am, he used your Father’s gun, and he did not have a background check.” YW: “But he used it to save me!” PO: “He is only allowed to use the gun to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself. He used the gun to save you, not himself. That is not allowed by I-594. He is going to jail.”

    The last part is from new sec. 3 (4)(c).

    1. Agreed. Tired of these pussy-foot ads by the NRA. They are being (falsely) equated to Nazis by a bunch of actual communist pigs.

    2. And there’s more:

      Cut to a scene of the cops stuffing a cuffed man into the back of a police cruiser with a woman saying “why are you arresting my brother for selling me a gun? Family members are exempt! That’s what they said!”
      “Selling you the gun, you say? Thanks for the admission. You gave him money – he’s going to jail. Only ‘bona fide gifts’ between family members constitutes a legal transfer, lady.”

      Next scene. SWAT team is loading an entire CCW class while zip-tied into the back of the paddy wagon for passing a training gun around. “but… what about the training exemption?” yells the instructor.
      “That exemption is only for training kids. You guys are all adults, and cab presumably read. The law is pretty clear about that. Take ‘em away!” as he closes the back of the wagon and slaps the side of it.

      Next scene. County sheriff’s car rolls up on two hunters crossing a rural road. “You both own these guns you’re carrying?”
      “I own them both”, one of them answers. “But I know the law, and I know I have to accompany him in the hunt and only transfer the gun where hunting is legal, and that if I let him borrow my gun to go hunting without me that would be a crime. All reasonable restrictions. That’s why I voted for 594.”
      “Oh, you know the law do you? Is this a public road you’re standing on? Is hunting legal from a public road? Don’t bother answering that- you have the right to remain silent…”

    3. Remember these are meant to reach LIVs. You’re asking for an awful lot of attention and thought from LIVs, who wouldn’t be LIVs if they had that to offer.

      1. True, I think our examples are too detailed, but LIVs need to know more about the massive expansion of criminal code that this law does. Anti-gunners have no problem throwing gun owners in jail at every opportunity, but your typical non-gun owner might question if these are really offences deserving incarceration. I don’t think it is enough to just say it attacks our rights when you are trying to reach people who don’t care about their own gun rights.

  6. In reference to your comment about class warfare, it occurs to me that class warfare can basically be summed up as using your biases as an excuse to try to diminish the scope of someone else’s rights.

    Usually that take the form of the impoverished classes trying to take the money and property of those who have rightfully earned it.

    More rarely it takes the form of the moneyed classes trying to use their wealth in order to diminish the rights of everyone else.

    Thus, it seems to me that this advert isn’t using class warfare, it’s pointing out that the OTHER side is using class warfare…

  7. Washington is a vote-by-mail state. Ballots are required to be mailed to the voters at least eighteen days before the election.

    That means there is really only a few days not a few weeks to turn this.

  8. And Kelly Bachand reports that the voter’s guide included with the ballots has false information in it.

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