Two restrictive Washington state gun control laws and a gun control tax adopted by the City of Seattle five years ago have been abject failures, according to homicide data, and should all be repealed, a major national gun rights organization says.
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms threw down the gauntlet after Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat penned a report earlier in the week headlined “Seattle City Hall silent on homicide spike.”
Westneat, writing about the most recent murder in the city earlier this week noted, “It was the 28th homicide this year, matching the number for all of last year. We’re only in August.
“Through the end of July this year,” Westneat reported, “Seattle had seen eight more homicides than during the same period last year (an increase of 44 percent, though that’s off a low base). In the past decade, when Seattle was enjoying one of its most peaceful stretches in our history, it had lows of just 19 homicides multiple times. This year, we passed that in June.”
This case of lockjaw on the city’s part also evidently extends to the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility, the billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobbying group responsible for a pair of gun control initiatives adopted in 2014 and 2018. The Seattle Times even prevented reader reactions to the Westneat column online, explaining in a notice to readers, “The Seattle Times occasionally closes comments on particularly sensitive stories. If you would like to share your thoughts or experiences in relation to this story, please email the reporter or submit a letter to be considered for publication in our Opinion section. You can read more about our community policies here.”
In its scathing public statement, CCRKBA noted, “In 2014, the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a gun prohibition lobbying group largely funded by wealthy Seattle-area elitists pushed through Initiative 594, a so-called “universal background check” measure that was supposed to keep guns out of the wrong hands. In 2015, the Seattle City Council pushed through the gun tax that has never come close to its revenue forecast. In 2018, the gun ban lobby rammed through Initiative 1639, which prohibits young adults from purchasing any kind of semiautomatic rifle and requires an ‘enhanced’ background check and 10-day waiting period, plus proof of training.”
CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, who vigorously opposed both initiatives and the gun tax ordinance, asserted, “All of these restrictive gun control measures have only penalized law-abiding citizens. All three have failed miserably, and the time has come for the gun ban lobby to admit it and allow each of these bogus crime fighting tools to be repealed. Indeed, gun prohibitionists should fold their tents and go home in shame, because their anti-violence ‘remedies’ have proven to be nothing more than snake oil.”
Where’s the beef? It’s in the FBI Uniform Crime Reports starting in 2015, and Seattle Police homicide data.
According to the FBI reports, in 2015—the first full year following passage of I-594, Washington state saw 209 murders, including 141 involving firearms. That was the same year the far-left Seattle City Council adopted its gun and ammunition tax, from which revenues were supposed to fund anti-violence programs.
In 2016, FBI data shows an initial drop in statewide killings, with 195 murders including 127 involving firearms. However, in 2017, the numbers came back up, with 228 slayings in the state, including 134 involving guns and in 2018—the most recent year for which FBI data is available, there were 232 Evergreen State murders and 138 of those involved firearms.
The data proves a couple of things. First, people will commit murder even if they don’t use guns. Second, “universal background checks” obviously don’t keep guns out of the wrong hands because criminals don’t bother with background checks.
In Seattle, there were 18 homicides in the city in 2016, the first full year that the gun and ammunition tax were in effect. The following year (2017), that number jumped to 27 slayings, and in 2018, Seattle logged 31 murders, according to Seattle police data.
Last year, as noted by columnist Westneat, Seattle saw 28 killings, and that number has already been surpassed and four months remain on the calendar. Gottlieb predicted six years ago that the new gun control push, bankrolled by wealthy Seattle-area elitists and anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg, would not live up to their sales pitches.
“The gun prohibition lobby should apologize to Washington gun owners,” he said in a prepared statement. “Not only has the Alliance for Gun Responsibility pushed to disarm honest citizens, it also sides with violent protesters who want to defund police, and whose occupation of a Seattle neighborhood earlier this summer resulted in four non-fatal shootings and two homicides where the victims were both Black teens.”
Indeed, last month, the Alliance asserted “attempts to oppress and control people of color created the modern gun lobby” while violent protests erupted in Portland, Ore. The gun control group declared, “The Second Amendment has a history of being used as a tool of White Supremacy.” CCRKBA immediately returned verbal fire.
“When all of these laws were proposed,” Gottlieb recalled this week, “we predicted they wouldn’t work, an we’ve been proven right. Homicides have crept upwards over all of Washington state during the past few years. The billionaire-backed crusade against gun owners and their rights has been an unmitigated disaster. They’ve given people a false sense of security while trampling on their rights. How many more must die before the anti-gun right extremists admit they’ve been wrong?”
The response from anti-gunners: Crickets.