One of the more interesting duties of the governor of a state is to, every year, designate the ‘governor’s 20.’ This is a group of 20 crack shots, the best that the state’s National Guard, Air National Guard, law enforcement officers, and even civilians have to offer.
However, it seems that the Governor of Washington is too petty to recognize the achievements of law enforcement officers in his state, simply because the event where they qualified was registered with the National Rifle Association. He insulted a number of people who deserved ‘honors,’ thanks to his hissy fit, and destroyed a 20-year tradition. The whole thing is just wrong, and a slap in the face to people who worked hard at their skill.
For decades, those who managed to showcase their marksmanship skills at a Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) event, held once a year, have received a special tab to wear on their uniform, as well as a certificate, signed by the governor, attesting to their skill.
Governor Jay Inslee of Washington decided to be unbelievably petty.
In advance of the banquet to celebrate the best marksmen in his state, Governor Inslee sent a letter to the Washington State Rifle and Pistol Association, who have helped run the competition for years.
The letter said that the certificates that Inslee signed last May will be the last that he would ever sign.
The leftist governor (who is rumored to have presidential aspirations) said that he could not support anything affiliated with the National Rifle Association.
He continued to castigate the oldest civil rights organization in the United States, and complain that it worked to thwart the gun control agenda that he and his political brethren pushed.
The letter even said that he understood that the competitors would be disappointed with his decision, but that he had chosen this method for showing the NRA that he wanted a ‘constructive’ conversation about ‘meaningful’ action on the topic of gun safety.
Of course, he apparently ignored the many NRA actions that support, promote, and establish gun safety.
His letter certainly made it sound as if these events were sponsored by the NRA, or that perhaps the organization made money, or that the National Rifle Association – Institute for Legislative Action, the portion of the group that lobbies for pro-Second Amendment legislation, was profiting somehow.
However, according to Jane Milhans, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
This allows competitors to receive classifications through the competition, and to set national records, and ensures that through the enforcement of a national organization, standards across the nation for the ‘Governor’s 20’ competitions are consistent.
She said that the NRA focused entirely on safety at events, and that the agency, which once worked to help design a marksmanship training program for the United States military, also provided training to smaller law enforcement departments around the nation, who might not have the funds or personnel for a training department.
So, Inslee’s stance amounted to thumbing his nose at 20 elite marksmen who probably spent years honing their craft, all so he could condemn an agency that ensures standards, teaches safety, and provides free training to law enforcement officers.
According to his own statement, the governor somehow hoped that this would open a conversation about what he considered to be ‘common sense’ gun reform.
Nothing Inslee did hurt the NRA. If anything, it probably convinced more people to spend money on the organization, after they watched a leftist with an anti-Second Amendment stance decline to sign documents awarding excellence simply because the organization was tangentially related.
What he did do was send a message to residents of his state, whether they’re soldiers, law enforcement, or civilians who took part in the Civilian Marksmanship Program (which was once operated by the Department of Defense) that he doesn’t care about them, or their accomplishments, if he could possibly make political hay out of it.
There’s nothing about his stance that did anything positive for his gun control viewpoints.
He simply refused to carry out a traditional act, one that goes back decades in most states, simply to pander to his leftist fans.
Some political pundits and observers have suggested that Governor Inslee is hoping to leave behind the state of Washington and seek the presidency in the 2020 election.
Perhaps this petty decision to not sign a certificate is just the first step in his attempt to cobble together enough leftist voters to put him into the White House.