GOAL Post 2012-12
GOAL Post 2012-12
Legislative Update from Olympia 23 March 2012
SPECIAL SESSION DRAGS ON
NO APPARENT PROGRESS ON BUDGET
NO ACTION ON OTHER ISSUES
NATIONAL FOCUS ON FLIRIDA SHOOTING
As the legislature enters the third week of the 30-day (maximum) special session, they don't appear to be near compromise on a supplemental budget. Most legislators go home for a few days, then adjourn once or twice a week for a pro forma floor session, then go back home. Budgeteers remain in Olympia to try and work out differences.
The good news is that they are not sticking around and looking for something to pass, like SB 6628. At this point we can expect a reintroduction of the language in a new bill in January 2013.
National attention is focused on the Florida shooting of a black teenager by an Hispanic Neighborhood Watch guardian. Details have not been released, but the State's Attorney has yet to file charges against the shooter. At this point there are still more questions than answers. The shooter supposedly claimed he acted under Florida's "stand your ground" statute, meaning that he was lawfully going about his business when he was feloniously assaulted by the teenager.
This has become a media circus, with the usual suspects -- race baiters -- claiming the shooting was unwarranted and the boy's skin color was the motivating factor. The mainstream media have jumped on the bandwagon big time, and even President Obama has directed the Justice Department to investigate. It's far, far too premature for DOJ to stick its nose into what is purely a state crime at this point -- IF a crime was committed.
The shooter MAY have exceeded the authority of stand-your-ground, or he may not have. The arrest report indicates responding police units found the teen dead on the ground, and the shooter with a bloody face and blood all over the back of his head, as well as grass stains on the back of his shirt indicating he MAY have been knocked to the ground. The report also indicates there were SIX witnesses at the scene, although it doesn't say what or how much any of the witnesses may have seen.
The shooting victim, Trayvon Martin, is described as a 6 foot 2 inch football player, the shooter as 5 feet 9 inches in height.
No matter how this turns out, expect to see it play in the media, and possibly on the streets, all the way to the election. In addition to the usual suspects spouting off hate-filled rhetoric, the Black Panther Party reportedly has offered a $10,000 "reward" for the "capture" of the shooter (who was questioned, then released by police -- which in no way means he can't be charged after all the evidence has been evaluated). Vigilante justice, anyone?
Meanwhile, never the one to miss an opportunity for a photo op (rumor has it the most dangerous place in America is anywhere in a straight line between Senator Charles Schumer and a photojournalist's camera), the good Senator from New York has called for a review of stand-your-ground laws as they now exist in 21 states. (Washington does not have stand-your-ground by statute, but previous state court decisions have upheld the principle.) Like the President's call for DOJ intrusion into the case at this point, Senator Schumer's call is inappropriate and premature.
We could be facing a very long, very hot summer.
SB 6628 Firearm security Kline (D-37) S. Judiciary
PUBLIC HEARINGS SCHEDULED:
None at this time
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"The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men."
Article 1, Section 24
Constitution of the State of Washington
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