This is a email that my Grandmother (a hunting and firearms rights activist in our state) sent me. I'll be there, although I wont be carrying and I would ask that you dont either.
To All SW Chapter Members –
Several WWA officer, directors and individual members spent five (5) hours in a planning session yesterday in Lacey with representatives from 12 other “coalition” partners in preparation for an opposition rally at this Thursday’s, April 5th, Thurston County Commissioners’ meeting. Now we need your help with your attendance at this rally/Thursday meeting [2 p.m., Thurston County Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, 98052, Building #1] to finish the job. Take Exit 103 off of I-5, turn right onto Deschutes Parkway SW then left onto Lakeridge Drive SW. Map quest it for further specific directions from your home.
A Humble Request -- I’m asking all WWA-SW Chapter members who are retired or who can arrange to get the afternoon off from work to make the trek to Olympia on Thursday for this public showing of organized opposition to the proposed Thurston County No Shooting Ordinance. You don’t need to speak or testify, just be there as a showing of solidarity and sign in as “Objecting to the No Shooting Ordinance.” We will have 150 signs on stakes and another 50 without. Feel free to take one and display it at this rally then afterwards we ask that you return it to the main entrance so Thurston County residents may take one home and place it in their yards.
In recent weeks WWA has gotten some exceptional mentoring by the Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF) in how to best affect the political process at the local level to support our goals and objectives.
It Will Make A Difference -- Though this Commissioners’ Meeting is a “Working Session Only” where no testimony will be taken, it is considered a “public meeting,” and those in the know believe that such a "work session" meeting is exactly the place where a large turnout can significantly impact the life expectancy of an ordinance, and here’s why:
1. The three TC Commissioners [two of which are standing for re-election this fall] are feeling the heat already. They are extremely nervous right now because of the signatures [some 3,000 in opposition vs. about 175 in support]; the overwhelming testimony in opposition at public hearings going back to 2009; and the more recent You Tube videos critical of the proposed ordinance and the Commissioners themselves. This is why they recently changed the name of the proposed ordinance [in its 5th draft since 2009] to the "Controlled Shooting" Ordinance.
2. It is possible if we can get enough people to show up at this meeting compounded with our other prior efforts, the Commissioners will make the correct decision and kill the ordinance. This is one of their options. If it should happen we would be thousands of dollars ahead (no litigation) so well worth the effort.
3. According to Glen Morgan of the EFF, “A large turnout is memorable, impactful, and makes a huge difference for local government. It can't be ignored, even if they appear to put on a stiff upper lip for show - the scene is not forgotten. It also impacts staff (the folks who draft these ordinances), other elected officials (the sheriff and the prosecuting attorney), and it is a reminder to political allies of the elected officials that the hunting/gun issue should be the third-rail of local political issues. The goal would be to make this issue so radioactive that even if the politicians are foaming at the mouth to ban hunting and take away guns, their concern over their political future is higher and may convince them it was not such a good idea.”
4. Even if an overflow crowd of people is standing out in the hallways and into the parking lot, it sends a message. Just to make sure, we are bringing our own sign-in sheets so that they get the message. Those sign-in sheets will be located at the main entrance to the building.
If you’re coming….
Wear a green shirt or jacket as a show of solidarity and your WWA logo’d hat. If you don’t have a WWA hat yet, I have been able to put my hands on a “sleeve” of 25. Find me and I will give you one.
Reporters from local and regional media likely will be there to cover this. If you would be uncomfortable talking to the press, we will have designated spokes persons you can direct the reporters to. At all times be courteous, respectful and under control when/if you come into contact with an Ordinance supporter. One loud, obnoxious, individual dressed in camo can quickly undo the good of many in organized, peaceful protest.
I realize this is a few hours of time at an awkward time of day in the middle of the week. [We’re asking that supporters be there by 1 p.m., in order to have the best chance of filling the hearing room with those in opposition]. As predicted, the Commissioners have already moved the time of the meeting within the past week, hoping some will never get word of the change and others won’t be able to adjust their schedule on such short notice to be there.
Your Hunting Grounds Could Be Next -- Remember, even if you have never hunted in Thurston County if we don’t help those that do, they [the politicians from other counties with marine shorelines who you can be sure are watching how this all goes down] will be coming right up the I-5 corridor after your waterfowl hunting grounds in the more populous counties of King, Pierce, Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom counties, next.
It can and has happened. Kitsap County already has a restriction on waterfowl hunting within 500 yards of their marine shorelines, when no one was paying attention. Our legal loss in 2009 when Deer Lagoon in Island County was closed to all hunting, should be fresh in your minds.
A copy of the proposed Ordinance is attached for your reference. The most relevant portion for waterfowl hunters is a proposed restriction on waterfowl hunting within 300 yards of their marine shorelines, and in the lower, southerly portions of both Eld and Henderson Inlets. The more draconian proposals of the ordinance would prohibit Thurston County residents from shooting on their own properties without (1) paying a fee for a permit application; (2) registering the gun[s] they want to shoot; and (3) scheduling and going through an administrative hearing process for approval of the permit.
For the Resource,