Last night’s election result is being described as a debacle for the Democrat party, and rightfully so. At the time of writing, the final numbers aren’t quite in, but what we do know is that the Republican party took back the Senate and expanded its majority in the House in a big way. If you’re on team Red, you’re likely pretty happy about the outcome. While this means that gun control isn’t even going to be discussed in Congress for the next two years, this doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods, so to speak.
Enter Washington State and ballot Initiative 594 for “universal” background checks, which passed yesterday with nearly 60% of the votes. Here’s how it was worded on the ballot:
This measure would apply currently used criminal and public safety background checks by licensed dealers to all firearm sales and transfers, including gun show and online sales, with specific exceptions.
Should this measure be enacted into law?
Here’s how the vote went down – not surprising that the “yes” votes came from the metropolitan areas of Washington state.
With Initiative 594 passing, Washington state joins Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, California and Rhode Island in requiring a background check for nearly every firearm transaction. As Caleb pointed out this morning, here’s why this matters – the passing of Initiative 594 validates the Bloomberg strategy of gun control, where the battle is fought at the state level, and fought largely with private money. In this case, a LOT of private money.
Bloomberg himself is reported to have spent $4 million pushing the initiative, Bill and Melinda Gates (think Microsoft) donated over a million dollars, Seattle-based venture capitalist Nick Hanauer donated $500k, the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility along with Everytown for Gun Safety spent at least $3.5 million, Americans for Responsible Solutions spent $500k…the list goes on and on.
The NRA reportedly spent $450k in an attempt to defeat the initiative. Another significant contributing factor to Initiative 594 passing is the timing of the school shooting in Marysville, Washington, where a student used a handgun to shoot five classmates at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.
Blood is in the water folks – this game plan worked in Washington state, so you can bet your britches this is just the beginning. You can read more about Initiative 594 passing here, and read more about the money spent pushing the initiate here.