The Assault on Guns in Washington State: Sen. Kline’s Weapon Ban Hearings

Linda Pillo, Bellevue Washington’s police chief, was named chief in January, 2008. She bested five other candidates from around the nation. Pillo, 53, is the first woman chief in Bellevue. She told the local Seattle news media that running a police department was “something she never expected to do when she started police work on Mercer Island after graduating from Washington State University in 1978”. She aspired to be a supervisor, however.

At the Senate hearings on January 26, 2010, she showed the world how she rose so quickly through the ranks after joining the Bellevue department in 1986 and rising from lieutenant to captain, major, deputy chief, chief and now as a chief that chops wood and hauls water for left-wing trial lawyers like Adam Kline. Pillo sat in front of Washington State Senator Adam Kline’s judiciary committee and called everyone’s attention to studies conducted by the International Association of Chief’s of Police (IACP) and the anti-gun, Chicago-based Joyce Foundation. The two groups jointly sponsored “THE GREAT LAKES SUMMIT ON GUN VIOLENCE”.

Supposedly the evidence generated by the studies conducted via the summit provide proof that law enforcement is at great risk due to the lethality of semi-automatic military style weapons. Pam Roach asked Chief Pillo what makes the so-called “assault weapons” (i.e., rifles with detachable magazines and pistol grips) more lethal than the alternatives. Several times Pillo, obviously stumped, just muttered that she was only testifying about assault rifles.

Pillo could not even explain why ten rounds are more lethal than one round- they both are lethal. Kline had to run interference by fatuously pointing out that ten rounds can kill ten people. All Chief Pillo could answer is that she believes in the right to keep and bear arms. It is interesting how many politicians suddenly believe in the Second Amendment but claim that the HELLER decision “invites” supposedly common-sense restrictions on militarily useful weapons.

Sen. Kline squelched Sen. Roach several times when she tried to ask questions pertaining to things like how many people have been saved by military style weapons that fire ten rounds or more. Most officers on the street to whom I have spoken acknowledge that military style weapons are not more lethal than other semi-automatic weapons. Most of those that attended the hearing would agree.

In fact, the consensus is that it is the political appointees within law enforcement that normally take the position espoused by the Bellevue Police Chief.

Brian Judy from the NRA testified but not until after Kline took quite some time pompously stating the position of the bill’s supporters. Kline described how he visited the Black Diamond Range and shot assault weapons with Sen. Roach and seemed almost amazed at the measures taken to make the shooting range a safe envirinment.

Judy finally got to explain that the percentage of crimes committed with the notorious ARs (that others testifying for the ban stated killed 25% of LEOs slain between 1998 and 2001) is less than one percent.

Despite such startling statistics, the four officers slain at the same time by the same assailant, Maurice Clemmons, in Parkland were shot with eight rounds from pistols- one a thirty-eight revolver. When Mr. Judy pointed out that SB 6396 provides that present owners of such weapons will be required to submit our homes to annual police inspections, Kline abruptly interjected to declare that “such language was included in the Senate bill by accident!”

Bill Pierce, a concerned citizen, was interrupted and silenced when he pointed out that law abiding gun-owners are offended that Kline, a former SDS activist (and apparently proud of it), is implying that gun-owners are dangerous while he has supported left-wing groups affiliated with the most extreme forms of violence against society. Kline’s biography that he maintains with the Washington Senate Democrats states:

“I was a foot-soldier in our generation’s battles, and the experience seems to have set the tone for the rest of my life. Back to college at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and still in the spirit, I decided to take that year off from study and work in an SDS-sponsored organizing project in East Baltimore’s slums. (Remember SDS–Students for a Democratic Society? We were radical, we were belligerent, and sometimes we were self-righteous. But you know something? By and large, we were right.) It was a year well spent for a young man interested in social policy, and the lessons I learned are still with me.”

Pierce was immediately shouted down by more than one of the Democrats on the judiciary committee. Kline, the sponsor of the proposed legislation, allowed his witnesses to argue and stonewall, all the while that he was helping their testimony and running interference against Pam Roach. Kline is a board member and chair of the political-action committee of NARAL, the pro-choice advocacy group and a member of the Legislative Committee of the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association.

There is enough information to see how the lines are drawn in Olympia. The Seattle Times, stated that “2009 ended in a hail of high-profile gun violence” and pointed out that the bill could may not get reported out of Kline’s committee, which has five Democrats and three Republicans. Sen. Jim Hargrove of Hoquiam, a Democrat, says he will vote no. Gun-control groups like Washington Ceasefire (they now believe in the Second Amendment, too) are frustrated by an apparent lack of political support for an assault weapons ban.

Nevertheless, the anti-gun activists are warning that the state will likely face more deadly shootings without it. And they call gun-owners paranoid! According to the Seattle Times:

The bill has been endorsed by groups such as Washington Ceasefire, the International Association of Police Chiefs, the Jewish Federation of Seattle and the United African Political Action Committee, among others. Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson said the department has not taken a position on the bill.

Such groups also raise the specter of Seattle police officer Timothy Brenton’s execution in his patrol car on Halloween. Police allegedly found an assault rifle at the apartment of Christopher Monfort, the man charged with killing Brenton. So which guns are lethal and which ones are not? Sen. Pam Roach knows that they all are.

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