Dori: King County Council’s new gun law is unfair for rural homeowners
How long are the people who do not live in the city going to let a bunch of clueless politicians run their lives? As you know, the City of Seattle recently passed a gun storage law. If you have a gun sitting in your nightstand, and someone who breaks into your house steals your gun, then uses that gun in the commission of a crime, you — the crime victim — can face fines and jail time. This is a bunch of Seattle liberals who have decided that that’s the way the city should be. But now the King County Council has done the same thing with its new gun storage law, which, the council brags, is among the toughest gun laws in the country.
I don’t know if you’re aware, but the King County Council is made of a bunch of Seattle politicians, for the most part. There are a couple people who represent the bigger cities on the Eastside — Bellevue, Issaquah. But King is a huge county. When you’re driving east on Highway 2 to Stevens Pass, you mostly go through Snohomish County, but then when you’re way far east on Highway 2, you dip back down into King County by Skykomish, in what’s known as the Wild Sky Wilderness. There are a lot of people who have cabins on the river there, or just acreage — they want to get away from the city. King County goes almost all the way to Snoqualmie Pass. And then, without even going that far, there are all the rural people in North Bend, Black Diamond, Enumclaw, Duvall — truly rural areas. And a bunch of Seattle politicians are trying to tell them how they have to live their lives.
Do you know what the sheriff response time is if you live in rural King County? In a lot of areas, it can be 15 minutes or more. If you live in a rural area, you have to be your own first line of defense; the sheriff response time will be far too long. Let’s say you don’t have kids in your house or kids who come visit, and you want to keep your gun readily accessible in your nightstand. Let’s say that every time you leave the house, you lock your door, and then some tweaker kicks in your door, breaks a window, and finds your gun. Now you could be put in jail? This is the kind of brainpower we’re dealing with with Seattle politicians on the King County Council.
The law is not going to survive because it is in direct violation of our state constitution. The Seattle law won’t survive either for this reason. Full disclaimer — I think gun safes are a really smart idea. I just don’t think government has any role in bossing around an individual who uses a gun to protect him or herself and family. I have a safe. I got a safe before I got a gun. But that’s my common sense telling me that I should have a safe, not the government.
Seattle politicians have contempt for people who live in rural areas. We’ve seen that for decades now, like with the Critical Areas Ordinance, where they stole two-thirds of the land of rural property owners. “If you live in a rural area, you’re just a bunch of rubes, a bunch of hicks. You’ve got to start living like the people in the city.” And they’ve done such a glorious job in the city — we’re crime-free, we’re drug-free, our schools are models for the entire nation. Seattle has done a bang-up job with all of that.
Some of these King County Council members are as clueless as clueless can be. As you may remember, the chair of the council, Joe McDermott, previously suggested putting signs in gun shops to warn people that guns can be used for violence. Now he’s saying that this new law will prevent suicides. I hate to tell you this, Joe — if someone keeps their gun in a safe and wants to commit suicide, they probably know the combination. Another feature of this law is that the King County Council is creating a youth-led report on reducing gun violence. Ah, the wisdom of the kids. Some 55-year-old guy who lives in Enumclaw is suddenly going to be partially governed by a report on reducing gun violence that some 14-year-old Seattle schoolkids make?
The other thing that’s interesting about liberals is that they’re always saying, “Stay out of our bedrooms.” This goes for abortion and LGBTQ issues. If you’re talking about those topics, it’s, “Stay out of our bedrooms.” But if you’re a gun owner, suddenly it’s, “Hey, can we come in your bedroom and see if you’ve locked up your gun?” Now they have a perverse fascination with coming into our bedrooms.
If you’ve locked your home and your gun is locked in your home, haven’t you locked up your gun? Are we going to turn the victims of a burglary into criminals? Two weeks ago in Tacoma, a guy broke into the ground-floor apartment of an 80-year-old woman in Tacoma. He held a knife to her throat, ripped her shirt open, and told her he would rape her. Do you think maybe it might help someone like her to have a gun? Sure, if you have kids in the home, your gun should be locked up. My wife and I chose not to even have a gun in the house until our kids were grown. But a guy living in Enumclaw by himself with no kids is not going to have a domestic violence situation if he lives by himself, and he’s not going to have an accident with kids getting their hands on his gun. And you’re telling him how he has to live his life?
This is the tyranny of the city running roughshod over the people who live in rural areas.