One the speakers listed for Saturday’s demonstration in Olympia against the new law expanding gun-purchase background checks is the son of Cliven Bundy.
Cliven, you might remember, is the Nevada rancher who pushed back against attempts by the government to take away his cattle and who later suggested black people might be better off as slaves picking cotton.
Ammon Bundy is listed as one of the guest speakers for the rally that was organized to oppose Initiative 594, which voters approved in November to expand gun-purchase background checks to private sales and transfers. The rally’s website Ammon’s name among a half dozen or so speakers. Clicking on the link provided with Ammon’s name takes you to the Bundy Ranch’s website. Random fact: Ammon was tased by federal agents during the Nevada dispute.
The rally is being put on by Gavin Seim, who didn’t return an email seeking comment.
Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit formed to stop gun violence after the Connecticut shootings, released a statement earlier this week criticizing the rally, calling it a “publicity stunt” by protesters “undeterred by facts.”
“An overwhelming majority of Washington voters passed Initiative 594 to close a troubling loophole by applying the existing system of background checks to all gun sales, including sales at gun shows and online,” reads the statement by Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden, members of Sandy Hook Promise and parents who lost children in the shooting.
Bob Calkins, spokesman for the Washington State Patrol (WSP), which includes the Capitol campus and thus local security for the rally, said the WSP has to plan for the largest possible crowd. Which could be around 6,000 people, the number of people who hit the RSVP button on the rally’s Facbeook site by mid-November. The RSVP count on the site stands at 6,200 as of Friday.
The WSP has said they won’t arrest people for handing guns to each other at the rally, an action that I-594 critics have claimed would become illegal under the measure.
In related news, there’s another gun-rights rally planned in Olympia, this one for Jan. 15, when lawmakers will be in town.