Last Thursday, Mr. Completely and I went to Hearing Room #4 in the John C. Cherburg Building (which also houses the Washington State Senate offices) to hear testimony on SB-5197, the Anti-Gun Show bill.
Washington State has one of the highest, if not THE highest, NRA per capita membership rates in the nation. Firearms bills, be the pro-gun or anti-gun, are always a filler of seats in the hearing rooms. The Democrats in the Washington State Legislature have tried to pass a bill of this nature multiple times in the past, and since their ascension to supermajority staus in the last election, this year was no different.
However, this time they figured that if they tried to sneak it through the Labor, Commerce, Research and Development Committee instead of the Judiciary Committee, that maybe it would not have such a rough go. They also scheduled the hearing for mid-afternoon late in the week, quite probably in the hopes that not too many folks would be able to make it down.
Unfortunately for their plans, and thankfully for the Bill of Rights, that wasn’t the case.
Around 400 or so pro-Bill of Rights supporters, men, women and children, showed up full of vim and vigor, filling two hearing rooms as well as at least one conference room. Because of the late hour for the start of the hearing, testimony was limited to select members of the pro/con groups, and even though they were out numbered by at least 20-to-1, the anti-gun groups were given equal time for testimony.
You will never see a hearing for a hotly contested bill such as this such this one scheduled for any time in the AM for the sole reason that the folks running the committee can then control the debate as such.
And that debate is what I have recorded here.
I was able to capture approximately one hour and fifteen minutes of the hearing on video. Unfortunately, I did not know if they would even let me into the building with my video camera, so I did not bring my tripod along. There is some wobble in the first part of the handheld video which ends when I was able to find a decent place to set the camera down. Also, the battery died before the hearing was over. Luckily, I had brought my MP3 player and have another thirty minutes of audio covering the remainder of the hearing. Since Mr. C and I were both stuck in one of the conference rooms, there is plenty of audience response, which is what makes this video/audio so great to watch/listen to.
I have loaded these videos up onto GoogleVideo (mostly because I already had an account with them, AND because they will let me upload 300+ MB vids onto their server, but also because watching the “Brady Backed People” get their asses handed to them on their own turf is what that said anti-gun corporation probably would not like you to see). I am not, however, able to find an embed code for these videos, so I have supplied links instead.
As for the audio, I have them loaded up on my own server. Feel free to listen to them as you like, but if you could save them on your computer and not listen to them of off the server repeatedly, that would be great. Also, if you have your own site, I would encourage and appreciate it if you loaded them up at your place to save my bandwidth. A simple link back here will suffice.
I have supplied short descriptions of each of the 18 parts (13 Video/5 audio) and you can choose which ones to watch/listen to, although the whole hearing was quite entertaining.
So here we go
Part 1 – Just over 7mins.
Committee Chair and Professional Gun Bigot, Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D) from the 36th LD begins the hearing by mentioning the time constraints and asks for the SB-5197 to be read to the committee. Jennifer Strus, Committee Staff Member does so after reading the current law.
The other committee members ask a couple of questions of Ms. Strus and Senator Kohl-Welles interupts Senator Janea Holmquist (R) of the 13th LD, causing Senator Holmquist to rephrase her question. The answer from Ms. Strus is rather funny. Senator Rosa Franklin (D) of the 29th LD asks a question about if this bill will effect people selling firearms out the back of a vehicle (which has been known to be a problem in her district). That answer is quite laughable.
Part 2 – Just under 5mins.
Senator Kohl-Welles sets up the rules for the hearing and demands “decorum” from the audience. Senator Clements (R) of the 14th LD makes a statement about how he will listen to both sides, despite being a member of at least two of the anti-SB-5197 groups.
Part 3 – Just over 5mins.
Senator Kohl-Welles calls SB-5197’s sponsor, Senator Rodney Tom (D) of the 48th LD, and Senator Adam Kline (D) of the 37th LD, one of the co-sponsors (and Senator Kohl-Welles’ historical cohort in gun bigotry), up to speak about the bill.
Senators Tom and Kline put out some of the Ceasefire Washington propaganda into the official record.
My apologies for the close-up of my left index finger for a couple seconds in this shot. I had found a stable place for the camera to sit and was wedging my MP3 player up under it.
Part 4 – Just under 7mins.
The Committee members ask their questions of the Senators. Starting with Senator Mike Hewitt (R) of the 16th LD.
More Ceasefire Washington/Brady propaganda gets spewed and the underlying motive for this entire bill is revealed.
Every handgun purchase at an FFL in Washington State is registered with the county it was purchased in AND the state. These records are entered and stored in a computer database. When you get pulled over for a traffic stop, if you have a Washington State issued Concealed Pistol License, the officer can request, via his onboard computer, every pistol you have purchased through an FFL in Washington State.
The sponsors and proponents of SB-5197 repeatedly state that they want “to get information” about how many guns are bought and sold in Washington State gun shows. Methinks that that is not the only information they want.
Part 5 – Just under 2 1/2 mins
Senator Kohl-Welles makes her statement as a co-sponsor of the bill and fills in the record with more of the Ceasfire Washington propaganda. You’ll notice that she hasn’t a clue what the NICS acronym stands for.
Part 6 – Just under 6 1/2 mins.
Senator Kohl-Welles introduces the first panel. Jenny Burdick, Oregon State Senator from that state’s 18th LD takes up half of the first panel’s time talking about a similar bill she was able to get passed via a vote of the citizens in Oregon after the Oregon State Legislature killed the one she proposed there.
Part 7 – Just over 7 mins.
The rest of the first panel speaks. Members include: Bob Ricker of the anti-gun group which masquerades as a pro-gun group, The American Hunters and Shooters Association; Dr. Garen Wintermute, Director of the UC Davis Violence Resource Program; and Dr. Warren Appleton, Director of Emergency Services at Evergreen Hospital.
Bob Ricker contends that since there are 70 Million gun owners in America and the NRA has only 4 Million members, that 66 Million gun owning Americans are more in favor of gun control than the NRA. What a twit. And the stupidity doesn’t end with his statements, folks.
Part 8 – Under 3mins
The Committee asks questions of the panelists, starting with Senator Karen Keiser of the 33rd LD, asking the ever-idiotic “.50 caliber rifles shooting down airplanes” question. The panelists stick to their doom and gloom predictions about what will happen if this bill doesn’t pass, even though not one single crime has ever known to have been committed with a firearm bought at a Wahington State gunshow, airplane or not.
Part 9 – Just under 6 mins.
The second panel is seated. This video is all Brian Judy of the NRA. Mr. Judy talks a tough game, starting right in with correctly labelling the non-existant “Gun Show Loophole” the “Private Transaction Loophole”. The writers and sponsors of SB-5197 already know of this “Loophole” and really dislike the fact that Brian Judy comes right out and tells them that we all know that they want us to have to register our guns with them and that this is just the first step in their plan.
My only real beef with Mr. Judy is that he takes up precious testimony time that could be used by the other panelists to answer questions that were asked previously in the hearing and have a 99% chance of being asked of him during the untimed Q&A session after this panel’s 12 minutes is over.
Still very good and very forward testimony by Mr. Judy.
Part 10 – Just over 6mins
The other panelists in the second panel are as follows: Ed Owens of the Hunters Heritage Council; Mike Brown from Doctors for Sensible Gun Laws; and Dave Workman, former NRA Director and Senior Editor of Gun Week.
Rock solid testimony from all three of these panelists. Ed Owens represents more people than the NRA does in Washington State; Mike Brown quite literally slaps down everything the previous anti-2A panel’s doctors said and Workman adds a little necessary levity to the proceedings, due to Senator Kohl-Welles bumping heads with the previous three Pro-2A panelists.
Part 11 – Under 6mins
Questions from the comittee for the pro-2A panelists, and some damn good ones. Starting with Senator Don Benton (R) of the 17th LD, who is not on the LCR&D Committee, steps into the hearing to ask two very good ones. Senator Kohl-Welles counters with abject ignorance of the issues being discussed.
Part 12 – Just under 7mins
Senator Clements closes the Q&A session with a statement. The second anti-2A panel is introduced and seated. There are only two panelists here (Ceasefire couldn’t even find a total of 8 people willing to speak) and the first panelist is none other than Seattle Police Chief, Gil Kerlikowske, hereafter to be known as “Numbnuts”, due to his utter hatred of firearms, as witnessed by the entire nation, when he refused to wear his duty pistol outside of his police cruiser, leaving it in the vehicle, where it was subsequently stolen from while the vehicle was parked it outside the SPD-HQ. That and I can never type his name correctly on the first try.
Part 13 – Just under 5mins
The other panelist is Officer Mike Burris from the Auburn Police Department. Officer Burris is a stand-in for Auburn Police Chief, Jim Kelly, who was busy at another hearing. With both Numbnuts and Officer Burris speaking, they can only supply 7 minutes of testimony, and forgo the last five. We then go into questions from the committee, starting with Senator Holmquist and her very excellent question that Numbnuts refuses to comprehend and the Senator tells us about her family gun show tradition.
You should also look at about half way through this segment at the chair on the lower left hand side of the committee seats. The woman sitting there is Senator Pam Roach of the 31st LD. Like Senator Benton, she is only visiting this hearing to ask a couple questions.
The local left-wing gun bigots call her “Pam the Pistol” because she has the audacity to proudly be the holder of a Washington State Concealed Pistol License as well as memberships in the Washington Arms Collectors and a number of local ranges. In the first bit of audio that follows, you’ll hear that she raises a bit of a ruckus with her couple of questions.
I fired the MP3 recorder up just before the camera went out so as to have continuity. In the future, not only will I be bringing an extension cord and the AC adapter for the camera, I will also be recording both video and audio for the full hearing.
Sorry for the scratching in certain sections. This was my first time recording with the thing and I wanted to make sure it was recording. The scratching comes from me spinning the dial to bring the recording screen up. I did not know it would make such a noise and will refrain from that on future occasions.
Audio Part 1 – Just under 7mins. 30sec.
Questions to the panel from the committee. Senator Jim Clements asks Numbnuts a question that has Numbnuts admitting that there is no problem with gun show guns being used in crime “but that we need to stop it before it becomes a problem” or some such nonsense. Senator Roach asks the first of her questions to Officer Burris. He answers that, personally, he has no problem with private citizens selling firearms to one another at gun shows. Senator Roach continues with her questions until she is pretty much verbally tossed from the hearing by Senator Kohl-Welles.
Great stuff. Someone in the background yells “Pam for Governor!” Frankly, I wouldn’t mind that a bit.
Audio Part 2 – Just over 4mins 30sec.
Second pro-Bill of Rights panel. And the panelists are: Ray Carter, Founding President of Cease Fear (aka The Pink Pistols); Joe Horn, retired LS County Sheriffs Deputy, Mike McKinney, retired LA Police Officer, and Joe Waldron, President of the Washington Arms Collectors.
Joe Waldron takes the first bite at the apple in this piece and does one hell of a job. He talks about Project Safe Neighborhoods and how SB-5197 would double up the paperwork on Curio & Relic dealers.
Audio Part 3 – Just under 4mins
Ray Carter steps up to the plate. Users of the term “Gun Bigot” will thoroughly enjoy this piece.
Audio Part 4 – Just over 4mins
Joe Horn AND Mike McKinney both speak and are repeatedly interrupted by Senator Kohl-Welles.
Audio Part 5 – Just over 7mins
Senator Clemens opens up the questions for this panel with a statement of “No Confidence” in SB-5197. Despite Senator Kohl-Welles’ attempts to re-invigorate the debate, this bill has been, for all intents and purposes, called dead by Senator Clements.
In the last minute of this last piece, Joe Waldron reminds the committee that the Washington State crime rate is less than half the national average and that California’s is 2.5 times our rate, and that if they are going to import California style gun laws, the result will be a California style crime rate.
On a personal note, one thing that truly bothered me in this hearing was Senator Tom and Numbnuts repeated use of the “2400 NICS denials last year in Washington State” figure. No one who was allowed to speak thought to ask the question as to how many arrests were made from those denials. I would feel very comfortable saying that out of the 2400, the number of arrests will be very close to zero.
I do hope you enjoyed these. I wish that the uploading had gone a bit smoother, but such is life of an self-funded blogger. Maybe if I’d quit calling Chief Kerlikowske “Numbnuts” somebody’d toss money my way.
But criminals would start buying large quantities of their firearms at gunshows before that’ll happen.