by Doug Book, staff writer
“All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.” This language from the Washington State Constitution failed to impress one city councilman from Oak Harbor as he demonstrated the petulance inherent in liberals by walking out of a January council meeting because one of the attending citizens was legally armed. (1)
At issue was a 2009 lawsuit filed by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) against the City Of Seattle for having broken state law by placing a ban on the carrying of firearms in city parks. A 3 decade old Washington State Preemption Law makes it illegal for jurisdictions within the state to pass any ordinance which conflicts with state law. As the State of Washington declares it legal to carry weapons in state parks, the Seattle ordinance against that law is illegal and therefore unenforceable. Such was the ruling both in state court and the District 1 Court of Appeals! (2)
But when the SAF informed the City of Oak Harbor that its own ban on guns in area parks was also in violation of the Preemption Law, city councilman Rick Almberg decided that peevish behavior was somehow his right and should take precedence over the law and the rights of Oak Harbor residents.
Testifying before the Council against the Oak Harbor ban, private citizen Lucas Yonkman agreed to answer Almberg when the councilman asked if the disabled, Afghanistan Veteran was armed. Upon responding that he had both a handgun and a license to carry a concealed weapon, Councilman Almberg immediately made a motion that weapons be banned at council meetings. When that failed, Almberg promptly picked up his belongings and left the room. (3)
But when the next City Council meeting took place in early February, “…a group of 160 citizens, many if not most of whom were armed…” crowded the council chambers, voicing support for Lucas Yonkman and demanding “…that the council rescind [the] local ordinance prohibiting guns from being carried on public property.” (4)
One armed citizen attending the meeting offered a pointed statement when he told the council, “…if the fact that citizens who are merely exercising their right to keep and bear arms intimidates city officials, then they need to look within to determine why the rights of the people are so intimidating to them.” Indeed this question should be put not only to council members in Oak Harbor, Washington, but to politicians in D.C and throughout the nation. (4)
Two hundred years ago, Thomas Jefferson offered the famous statement, “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny.” (5) Whether the City Council of Oak Harbor was or was not intimidated by the armed citizens they were elected to serve, “the council voted to remove the ban on guns in public parks and other public areas.” (4)
Americans must make it known to liberal politicians that neither churlish behavior nor unconstitutional legislation will intimidate citizens into relinquishing their God given rights. If that message must be delivered by armed envoys, so be it. After all, when elected officials uphold the rights of the American people it is a good thing, regardless of the means employed to make them do so.