I forecast this development in a Nov. 3 column that addressed the cowardly slaying of Seattle Officer Timothy Brenton on Halloween as he sat in his patrol car in the Central District with trainee Britt Sweeney, who was able to return fire.
The irony is that Brenton, as I wrote in a Nov. 10 follow-up, was not killed with a rifle that meets the so-called “assault weapon” criteria, except that it just happens to be a semi-auto. However, the Kel-Tec rifle allegedly used in the Brenton murder is a sporting rifle, with a black synthetic stock; an inexpensive alternative to the far more popular AR-15 type rifle owned by millions of Americans, and certain tens of thousands of law-abiding Washington hunters, competitors and recreational target shooters.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Adam Kline (D-37th District), said in a telephone interview Wednesday that “the characteristics of a weapon…make it more lethal.”
And what characteristics are these? If it has a hand guard, a pistol grip, a large magazine and maybe a folding stock, and if it is semiautomatic. Sen. Kline is concerned about the “lethality” of a firearm; design characteristics that would allow someone to fire rapidly into a crowd.
Brenton was killed instantly, apparently hit multiple times. His partner was grazed. It is not clear how many rounds were fired by the killer, other than “several.” A man identified as Christopher Monfort has been charged with that slaying.
Shift the scene to the Forza coffee shop in Parkland where four Lakewood officers were murdered Nov. 29 in the course of a shooting incident that took perhaps 30 seconds. The man who killed them, convicted felon Maurice Clemmons, used a .38 Special revolver and a stolen 9mm pistol. All six rounds in the revolver were fired – and by the time they were gone, at least three of the four officers were dead, killed by single shots to the head in two cases and one to the neck in the third case – and one round was fired from the 9mm pistol. Both guns were left at the scene and Clemmons made off with Richards’ pistol, a .40-caliber Glock that he was carrying 42 hours later when he was fatally shot by Seattle Police officer Benjamin Kelly on a South Seattle street. Richards also died from a head wound, but not until he was able to shoot Clemmons.
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The murder weapon in Seattle was a .223-caliber semiautomatic rifle that does not meet the definition of an “assault weapon” and doesn’t even look like a rifle that might be mistakenly identified as a “military style semiautomatic assault weapon.”
There appears to be something of a media frenzy of late about “assault weapons.” USA today tries to get in on the action with a story illustrated by a remarkably stupid image of a shopping cart filled with handguns, and most of them are revolvers. Why can’t the press get this right? It’s not rocket science. More about this in a minute.
Sen. Kline certainly should know this because in late November, he spent a couple of hours at a gun range in Black Diamond with Brian Judy, a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association and State Sen. Pam Roach, the pro-gun Auburn Republican. Kline had the opportunity to fire several semiautomatic rifles, including a Browning BAR hunting rifle chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum (not to be confused with the famous WWII vintage BAR used by our armed forces). Read more
Source: Seattle Gun Rights Examiner