By now you apperceive the media narrative: adolescent Americans are analogously alive calm on “grassroots” anti-gun activism in an attack to bound pro-gun adopted admiral beyond the country at all levels of government.
The crisis adverse gun owners is actual real. Without an celebrated accomplishment from pro-gun voters, gun ascendancy will be on the calendar throughout the country appear January. But the blackmail doesn’t appear from a grassroots movement, it comes from a core of affluent elites absorbed on eliminating your axiological rights.
Contrary to anti-gun messaging, adolescent Americans aren’t analogously anti-gun. An Ipsos/USA Today poll conducted a ages afterwards the cutting in Parkland, Fla. begin that aback asked “[s]hould semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15 be banned in the United States?” a bald 44-percent of those age-old 18 to 24 answered “yes.”
But that aforementioned month, the account networks answer the purportedly youth-driven March for Our Lives gun ascendancy assemblage in Washington, D.C. Research conducted by University of Maryland Sociology Professor Dana R. Fisher begin that “[o]nly about 10 percent of the participants were beneath 18,” and that the boilerplate age of the adults at the assemblage was 49. At what was evidently a gun ascendancy protest, alone 12-percent of first-time protestors cited gun ascendancy as their action for marching.
This calls into catechism the “grassroots” appearance of advancing anti-gun efforts. However, annihilation eviscerates the grassroots gun ascendancy movement allegory absolutely like afterward the money abaft it, and no bigger case abstraction exists than Washington State.
In 2014, Washingtonians anesthetized Action 594. Advertised as acute accomplishments checks on all gun sales, in fact, I-594 criminalized alike accepted and acting clandestine accoutrements transfers.
The arch authoritative backers of I-594 were the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Armamentarium for I-594 and the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility (WAGR). Everytown is a advanced accumulation for billionaire gun ascendancy financier Michael Bloomberg.
According to abstracts from Washington’s Public Disclosure commission, Everytown’s I-594 armamentarium spent about $1 actor to aback the initiative. WAGR spent about $10.5 actor on the measure.
Apparently clumsy to recruit the requisite volunteers to get the I-594 on the ballot, WAGR paid $650,000 for able signature acquisition and verification. Added than $7 actor of the money aloft for WAGR’s efforts came from Everytown and eight affluent individuals. Bloomberg and Everytown accounted for about $2.6 actor in banknote and in affectionate contributions. Billionaire adventure backer Nicolas Hanauer gave added than $1.3 million. Microsoft architect Bill Gates and wife Melinda provided $525,000 each, above Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and wife Connie gave $500,000 and $580,000 respectively, and aggregation co-founder Paul Allen added $500,000.
Having succeeded in 2014, and in 2016 with I-1491, WAGR and abounding of their billionaire bankrollers are aback for more. This acclamation year the anti-gun magnates are blame the album I-1639.
I-1639 would prohibit the auction of semiautomatic rifles to adults age-old 18 to 20. The admeasurement categorizes all semiautomatic rifles (even rimfire) as “semi-automatic advance rifle[s]” and imposes a training claim on -to-be purchasers. I-1639 would additionally appoint a $25 tax on semiautomatic rifles and actualize binding accumulator requirements for all gun owners.
Speaking to Seattle’s KING-TV about the action in May, WAGR CEO Renee Thompson explained that adolescent activists had “changed the energy” about the gun issue. Did this beggarly that Washington’s anti-gun billionaires could save their cash for a additional yacht? Surely, aloof a scattering of the audacious adolescent adults and others motivated by the adolescent anti-gun activists the columnist accumulate touting would accommodate abounding advance manpower to get I-1639 on the acclamation and beyond the accomplishment band in November.
As of aboriginal September, I-1639 backers had aloft $4.3 actor for the campaign, with $3.7 actor advancing from alone 5 individuals and Bloomberg’s Everytown. This year Allen led the backpack with $1.2 million, followed by Hanauer and wife Leslie who anniversary provided aloof over $600,000. The Ballmers donated $1 actor and Everytown came in with $250,000.
Despite the declared change in “energy,” I-1639 supporters paid added than $3.7 actor to a able signature acquisition firm. Alike afterwards advantageous this absonant sum, I-1639 was about kept off the ballot.
In August, Superior Court Judge James Dixon blocked I-1639 from actualization on the ballot, citation astringent defects in the paid signature acquisition process. Washington law requires that signature petitions accommodate “a readable, full, true, and actual archetype of the proposed admeasurement printed on the about-face ancillary of the petition,” so that signees apperceive what they are supporting. The archetype of the 30-page action on the forms acclimated by the paid signature gatherers was awash into a distinct folio of cacographic baby book and did not accommodate underlining or strikethroughs that would announce the changes to accepted law. Despite their base tactics, I-1639’s backers were bailed out aback the Washington State Supreme Court overruled Judge Dixon.
Billionaire financiers, millions paid to signature gatherers and arrant approach aren’t best Americans’ abstraction of grassroots borough engagement. On the added hand, NRA’s about six actor associates represent the best accurate and able grassroots force in American politics. Through a associates armed with the facts and our efforts to acquaint others, we can advantage our accurate grassroots abutment to betrayal the accurate armament abaft gun ascendancy and allay the media-peddled fantasies that admission our opponents an disproportionate legitimacy.
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