Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Washington House Bill 1588: Walsh Now Says "No"

This email just now hit my inbox, so to be fair to Rep. Maureen Walsh in light of what I've written about her recently on my blog, here's what she has to say:

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Like you, I am shocked and saddened by the murders that have occurred in our country. The slaughter of innocent children in Newtown, Conn. still continues to haunt me as my heart aches for the families of the victims. People suffering with mental illness are responsible for these horrific deaths, and no legislation will ever be able to prevent all of them.
The state Legislature is carefully considering several approaches to addressing gaps in our current laws that could help prevent some of these mass shootings. School and public safety is the goal, and there are many facets to the cause of these horrific events. Mental health is certainly a component, as well as a lack of enforcing our current laws.
As many of you know, I did sign on to House Bill 1588 with the belief that it simply addressed an inequity (loophole) in the law concerning background checks at some gun shows. Although the bill has been amended to address some of the concerns of gun owners across the state, I have really come to realize that no legislation will ever address the criminal element as far as guns are concerned. Thus the bill only targets (no pun intended) lawful gun owners and the application of the law would not be logical. I will not be supporting the bill and thank everyone who wrote to me with their concerns. Your comments were very helpful to me in discerning this issue. I am honored to serve as your state representative.
Sincerely,
Maureen Walsh"
That's better.

Still though, I have to wonder how "careful" the consideration is that Rep. Walsh claims is being given to proposed laws seeking to infringe on our inherent right to self-defense, and its natural, logical expression, the ability to possess the common weapons of the day (to be more direct, being able to possess the same weapons in common use by the government's forces). By her own admission she signed onto a bill that she later realized would only target lawful gun owners, which she describes as "not logical." How careful is that? Further, what principle is involved here? Is it that the natural rights of sovereign citizens were being assaulted, and that this is simply wrong, or is it that this would have cost too many votes for her to be returned to Olympia again in two years?

In any case, it's good to know that the votes for WA HB 1588 just decreased by at least one, hopefully to be followed by many more defections in the days to come. I'll choose to be happy about that for now (I'll be feeling great after it fails). However, I think it prudent to remain skeptical of Rep. Walsh in terms of her worthiness of my vote next time around (and I may still buy something from Onion World between now and then, we'll see). Rep. Walsh has gotten it very right on big matters of individual liberty before, so the disconnect between those principles she acted on then and this present example are puzzling. Whether an action such as this is accidental or intentional, the damage it can do is the same. A move like this on something so fundamental to individual liberty by an elected representative warrants keeping a very close eye on them going forward in order to be sure that they truly are qualified - intellectually, philosophically, and morally - to be entrusted as a steward of our liberties.  

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