Amid the gun control fight in Olympia, a firearm advocate made a point that, as a millennial, I find a little shocking.
Legislators have proposed several bills with the goal of mitigating gun fatalities; one to ban bump stocks, one to require gun vendors to provide lockboxes with any gun they sell, another to ban high capacity magazines. Now that Democrats have control of both chambers for the first time since 2012, these bills actually have a shot at passing.
That means gun advocates are really going to have to fight to keep these bills from becoming law, and they’ve already started the campaign. They’re showing up to hearings with their statistics and their rhetoric. For the most part, their arguments are pretty unsurprising, but there was one bit of testimony that was really intriguing.
It was delivered by Alan Gotlieb with the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
Before we get to the testimony, though, we need to take a second look at that organization’s name. It’s way too long. Even if you truncate it into an acronym you have C.C.R.K.B.A. So clunky.
Here’s my advice: change the name to something shorter, or come up with an acronym that people will remember. My suggestion is G.U.N, which stands for Guns Unregulated, Nice! That one’s free. It took me about 30 seconds to think of it. You can do better.
Gun control snowflakes
This is what Gotlieb had to say to the Senate Law and Justice Committee about a bill to ban magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds.
“They’ve been used for well over half a century in a variety of rifles and pistols,” Gottlieb said. “They’re most commonly used in rifle competitions sanctioned by the federal government and our state. The governor signs the Governor’s Twenty certificates each year to the top 10 rifle and pistol shooters in the state.”
This took me off guard. Governor Jay Inslee has a pretty progressive pedigree, so I checked with his office to check the veracity.
Turns out, although Inslee isn’t at all involved in putting on the competition, he does sign certificates for a state-level marksmanship competition put on by The Washington State Rifle and Pistol Association, an NRA-affiliated group.
Obviously, I don’t take issue with the fact this event takes place. Inslee’s staff tells me most of the competitors are either military or law enforcement, and it’s been going on for nearly 100 years.
What I do take issue with is how many certificates he issues.
As a millennial, I’ve been told countless times my generation is terrible, in part, because of “participation trophies.” These are awards doled out not because a competitor was all that good, but simply because they showed up. These are apparently bad because they gave my peers and I higher self-esteem than any of us deserved, thus turning us into a bunch of snowflakes.
Twenty certificates seems a little participation trophy-esque to me. Now, I can already hear the arguments of dissenters, “it’s not a participation trophy, only the top 10 in each category get anything.”
You know how many people get awards in each category at the Olympics? Only the top three, and they have to compete against the best from every country in the world. You don’t need to give out 10 awards for each category in a state level competition.
Any adult bragging about a fourth place “victory” is a little depressing. Do you know what they called the 10th best pistol shooter in the Washington territory in the 1800s? Dead, probably.
Seriously, though, Governor Inslee should stop signing these certificates. It seems hypocritical. And just because previous governors signed them doesn’t mean he can’t reconsider the practice.
Here’s a compromise. Instead of giving out twenty awards, just give out two or three for each category, but call them T.W.E.N.T.Y’s (Trophies Worthy of Eager gun-Nuts, Thank You).