Olympia Trip - Malice in Blunderland?
Boy, what a long day yesterday! Caught the ferry over to the mainland, then drove South on I5 through some at times full stop and go slowly traffic to eventually hook up with Phil of Random Nuclear Strikes near Tacoma. I missed the freeway exit and had to turn around and find it from the other direction. I wandered around through a lot of construction, road cones, and poorly marked lanes to finally find Phil's place. We jumped into his truck and headed for Olympia. We found our way to the approximate area where the hearing was to be held, and soon found out that there was very little available as to parking. Could it be that the powers that be in Olympia (2/3 Democrats) don't WANT folks to be able to conveniently attend hearings? Could it be that they don't want the public involved in the process, since they already know so much more than we do? It kinda seems like it....
Anyhow, we found a place to park a couple of blocks from the place the hearing was to be held, and walked over there. I started to feel a little better about things when I started to see NRA hats and people that looked like gun owners. On the patio in front of one of the buildings there were perhaps 100 people standing there holding pro gun signs and wearing anti 5197 buttons, and it was still early. COOL!
Phil and I visited with John Rothlin, the Communications Director for the House Republicans, in his ofice for a bit, then dropped off some letters to some of the congress-critters. Then we headed over to the hearing room building to get signed in for the hearing. The hallways were already getting packed with people lining up to get into the hearing room.
Some of the crowd lining up for the hearing. The line goes clear to the end of the hall, then down another hall, then back again. Almost everyone there was pro-gun.
When we finally got into the hearing room, the first room filled up immediately. I think it actually filled up three conference rooms. The room we were in had a large projection screen on the wall so we could see and hear the testimony.
"There are 7 million NRA members and 70 million gun owners in the United States, so 90% of the gun owners do not agree with the NRA."
It was like that every time one of the anti-gunners opened their mouths. Gil Kerlikowskie, the head of the Seattle police department told us that this bill would keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Remember Chief Kerlikowskie, the guy who had his handgun stolen out of his car in downtown Seattle when he left the gun lying on the front seat of his unlocked parked car? Credibility = none....
Senator Janea Holmquist kept asking the same question over and over, "Have any of you identified even ONE handgun used in a crime that was purchased by the bad guy at a gun show?" Not one person could come up with even one example. Good for her!
Senator Pam Roach darn near got thrown out of the hearing when she said to the chair (approximate quote - I don't have the exact words) "Felons don't buy their guns at gun shows. There isn't a problem here. Just what is YOUR problem?" GO PAM!
I wish I could be optimistic on this bill, but that's not one of the choices. The sponsor of this bill just happens to be the same senator chairing this committee. With five Democrats and three Republicans on the committee, they can do just about whatever they want..........
UPDATE: For Phil's post and a lot more information about the Senate Hearing, click here.
UPDATE II: I found the complete video of the senate hearing on 5197 on the state's website. CLICK HERE to go see the video. For those of you that maintain that there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats, you should watch this video. At the start of the video there is a little bit on the bill discussed just before 5197. Thanks to Libertynews.org for finding the video location.