The number of homicides so far this year in Seattle, Washington is alarmingly up from last year, having already surpassed the 2019 murder total “with interest” as one observer sarcastically noted, raising questions about how this happens.
After all, the city hastily adopted a special “violence tax” on guns and ammunition five years ago that was supposed to help reduce gun-related violence. Two years ago, the city council adopted a “safe storage” ordinance requiring gun owners to lock up their firearms, sparking a lawsuit by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association.
This past spring, Mayor Jenny Durkan predicted the city would enjoy a “summer of love” that quickly descended into a season of rioting, property destruction, violent protests and temporary creation of the CHOP (Capitol Hill Occupied Protest) zone which saw two homicides. Since January, some 100 police officers have reportedly left the department to go elsewhere as Socialist City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant and her followers have pushed to cut department funding. The number of departures for September was 39.
What else should anyone have expected, skeptics wonder.
According to Seattle Police data, there have been 37 homicides in the city so far this year. That probably doesn’t include the hit-and-run victim Wednesday morning. Not all homicides are committed with firearms. Some are stabbing victims.
But KING 5 News reported there had been 49 murders in the city as of last Thursday, when a man was fatally shot in a North Seattle parking lot.
In 2019, the city logged 28 slayings. That was down from the 32 murders in 2018, but up one from the 27 posted in 2017, according to Seattle Police data. In 2016, the first full year after the gun and ammunition tax was adopted, there were 19 slayings. Apparently, that gun violence tax hasn’t prevented any “gun violence.”
Looking all the way back to 2014, when Seattle voters overwhelmingly supported Initiative 594, the so-called “universal background check” measure, the city posted 23 slayings. The following year that went up to 24, and then came the 2016 slump followed by the 2017 spike, and the numbers have been creeping upward ever since.
Seattle voters consistently tilt heavily Democrat. They like gun control, and the city is home to the billionaire-backed Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a gun prohibition lobbying group responsible for gun control initiatives in 2014 and 2018 that, according to Second Amendment activists, translates to the “Alliance for Gun Control.”
Meanwhile, Acting Police Chief Adrian Diaz told KCPQ his agency is “on track” to seize what the report called “a record 1,000 guns off the streets” by the end of this year. That sort of news convinces Seattleites something is being done about crime. However, it’s not the guns that are committing the crimes.
Other violent crimes are down, SPD data shows. Reported rapes have declined from 303 in 2018 to 204 so far this year. Robberies have declined as well, from 1,700 in 2018, down to 1,554 last year, to this year’s total so far of 1,089. Likewise, aggravated assaults 2,714 last year to this year’s current total of 2,089.
There are two full months remaining in 2020. If there are more homicides, especially those committed with firearms, it will be additional evidence that the billionaire-backed gun control schemes adding more inconvenience to honest citizens haven’t prevented criminals from committing crimes.