by Marty Hayes, J.D.
Sometimes I sit at the keyboard, at the end of the month and wonder just what the heck should I write about this month. Well, this month is NOT one of those months, there are lots of things to comment on. My first concern, not surprisingly, is the civil unrest in our country. While I can imagine what it is like living in one of the cities embroiled in the protests, riots and destruction, I am thankful I can view it from outside the urban areas.
I am glad I don’t get broadcast TV because I know I would spend all my time glued to the screen. What is happening in our country? I must admit that I do not have a quick, easy answer to that question. There are theories upon theories as to what is causing the civil unrest and I suspect the real answer is a combination of those theories.
I do know that each and every one of our members has the legal right to use force in self defense, if they are caught up in one of the protests/riots and have been singled out for attack. Keep in mind, of course, that members must be acting in legitimate self defense or defense of another innocent person and not merely protecting property. I am grateful for the Network Affiliated Attorneys who have taken valuable time out of their workdays to discuss the legal issues with our members. Thank-you, attorneys.
The Network office is now back to normal, despite the best attempts of the State of Washington to ruin our business. That is kind of a joke, but not really. I sincerely hope that all of our Network members have weathered the COVID-19 storm as well as can be expected. I haven’t heard of anyone who was sick, but since we have 17,000 plus members, I cannot believe we have been untouched. Only a couple of members have asked for 90-day extension of membership that we offered in April if needed due to job loss during the quarantine. If you came down with the virus or had a family member come down with the virus, and you would like to talk about it, please write me an e-mail. I may share some or all of it next month, and of course, I would respect your privacy by shielding your name.
Supreme Court’s Ten Orphan Gun Rights Cases
I listened to Alan Gottlieb (founder of Second Amendment Foundation) interviewed on the Polite Society Podcast this morning as I was drinking my coffee and he was as eloquent as always https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=930820504035390. Alan described what he believed was the reason for the denial of certiorari for all ten cases. Listen to it yourself, but the bottom line was that he believed the four strong conservative justices were afraid that Mr. Swing Vote (Chief Justice John Roberts) may not have voted in favor of the pro-gun side if they took any of the cases. The conservative justices didn’t want to risk a defeat. I want to study more deeply into the issue, so I won’t comment further right now. I would like to give a shout-out for Network members to support the Second Amendment Foundation. If you haven’t donated to the cause recently, I know they could use the financial support as they take these gun rights battles to the courts. They will see a donation from Gila and me personally before the end of the month.
The Network v. Washington Office of Insurance Commissioner
The Network’s own legal battle with the Washington Office of Insurance Commissioner (OIC) continues. While we do not foresee a quick resolution, I am optimistic as to our overall chances of receiving a favorable ruling eventually. We have a good, experienced lawyer working on our side and I am glad he is letting me have a considerable amount of input into the case (or at least he is humoring me well). One interesting development that was very good for WA members came about when, in a recent court filing, the OIC stated that the Network is NOT required to stop renewing WA members. We just cannot sign up new members. Consequently, we are now again renewing WA members. You must have been a member prior to March 26, 2020, but aside from that, you are very welcome to renew. To renew, please go to our website or give us a call at 360-978-5200.
After last month’s President’s Message, we received many donations from members wanting to help with this legal fight, and I wanted to publicly thank each and every member who sent us what they felt they could afford. It is a good feeling to know that so many people care about what we are doing and appreciate our willingness to fight the State of Washington.
This is my second major battle fighting a government bureaucracy. My first experience arose when I helped prove that a young lady did not commit suicide, despite our local county sheriff and coroner stating otherwise. That case consumed several years, but we finally prevailed. There’s a good synopsis of the case, reported in attorney Royce Ferguson’s blog, https://royceferguson.blogspot.com/2009/11/ronda-reynolds.html. There were times that we wondered if we would ever get the cause of death changed from suicide, but eventually, a jury agreed that the coroner’s determination of suicide was not accurate.
Back to the present day: I firmly believe we will prevail if we continue the battle against the overwhelming advantage of the State of Washington, just as we did with the Ronda Reynolds case. I know one thing for certain, we will not give up.
To read more of this month's journal, please click here.