Responding to a trio of drive-by shootings along a Seattle street since last fall, socialist City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant has offered a solution: raised flower beds and speed bumps on the street.
According to KING5 News, the local NBC affiliate, Sawant called for “common sense gun measures” including a ban on semi-automatic firearms.
The Jet City has become, according to critics, a magnet for homeless people, many of whom are allegedly drug users. Seattle has been working to establish a safe injection site for narcotics users. Thousands of people live in homeless encampments.
And in the Central District, shots have been fired. The KING5 report said, “A community representative who lives on 21st Avenue said the city should consider crime prevention through environmental design, and other crime-prevention methods that ‘doesn’t include more policing.’” Sawant has reportedly asked the city’s Department of Transportation to review a recommendation to install speed bumps along that street.
Writing at MyNorthwest.com, an apparently sarcastic KIRO radio host Dori Monson observed, “Gang members don’t want to scrape their car on a speed bump when getting away from the scene of the shooting, so they just won’t shoot in the first place. But mainly it will be the flowers that have such a calming effect on people.”
As cities go, Seattle enjoys a remarkably low body count for its size. According to the Seattle Police Department’s Crime Dashboard, there have been six slayings in the city so far this year. By contrast, in Baltimore, Maryland according to a running count maintained by the Baltimore Sun, there have been 100 slayings since the first of the year. For all of last year, there were 32 homicides in Seattle, which was actually an increase over 2017, when there were 28 killings and 2016, when 19 people were slain.
Interestingly, the number of murders has gone up in Seattle since passage in 2014 of a statewide citizen gun control initiative financed by the Seattle-based, and billionaire-backed, Alliance for Gun Responsibility. Initiative 594 was a so-called “universal background check” measure that its sponsors said would make it harder for criminals to get guns.
A check Friday morning shows the Baltimore population estimate at more than 611,000. There are more than 724,000 people living in Seattle.
In Baltimore, it is nearly impossible for private citizen to be legally armed on the street. Seattle, on the other hand, is the heart of Washington’s most populous county, where there are—according to recent data from the state Department of Licensing—more than 99,600 citizens with concealed pistol licenses.
In addition to putting speed bumps in the street and raising flower beds along the street to discourage drive-by shootings, Sawant also reportedly says reducing inequality would have more impact on the situation.
“We are aware that environmental design and gun control measures will be insufficient if the overarching problems faced by our society remain unaddressed,” Sawant said, according to the KING report.
The Seattle P-I.com reported this week that crime is actually declining in the city.
Seattle-centric gun prohibitionists pushed legislation earlier this year aimed at reducing the number of CPLs by forcing people to undergo the strictest training requirement anywhere in the country, and essentially have to repeat that training every five years. But the legislation died.
Perhaps it hit a speed bump.