Elie Wiesel said: “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” There are certainly times when the government sets things into motion which we can do absolutely nothing to stop. In fact, that happens on the daily. There are times, however, when protest–not in the form of signs and hipster chanting, but in intellectual, thoughtful revolt–is a useful tool with which we can stand against an oppressive system. The time to protest is now.
A new bill proposed by the legislature in Olympia, Washington would require lawful gun owners to submit to a yearly home inspection. According to Senate bill 5737, introduced by three Olympia Democrats:
“In order to continue to possess an assault weapon that was legally possessed on the effective date of this section, the person possessing shall … safely and securely store the assault weapon. The sheriff of the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with this subsection.”
One of the Democrats sponsoring the bill, Adam Kline, had not fully read the proposal, despite the bill standing at a meager eight pages. When notified of the home inspection portion, he reacted with some surprise, saying: “I made a mistake…I frankly should have vetted this more closely.”
After being notified of the inspection provision in the bill, the lead sponsor, Ed Murray, said this: “I have to admit that shouldn’t be in there.”
This incident raises several disturbing issues:
1. How is it that an eight page bill got passed through several state Senators without being read, or vetted?
2. If the Senators sponsoring the bill didn’t read it, who wrote it? More importantly, who wrote the specific home inspection provision?
3. By simply existing in writing, this bill sets a new precedent. Allowing involuntary home inspections simply because one owns a firearm? This is not only an attack on the individual in possession of a firearm, but a gut punch to the second amendment.
After being informed of the inappropriate content of the bill, the Senators backing it deflected, saying that it was a mistake.
This home inspection provision–though apparently written by mistake–is patently absurd. That it was issued in ink is a disgrace in itself; let alone the fact that those backing the bill hadn’t read it. It is in times like this that constructive, effective protest can make all the difference. If this bill can be brought to paper, what else is happening right under our noses?