The City of Seattle is a “textbook example of horribly failed policies,” according to a national grassroots gun rights organization headquartered coincidentally in nearby Bellevue that looked at the skyrocketing number of murders in several major cities Wednesday.
Fox News reported this week that the “Jet City,” which is also known as “The Emerald City” or its once famous nickname “Queen City,” has recorded 55 homicides this year. Liberty Park Press checked with the Seattle Police Department for confirmation.
Last year, Seattle posted 28 slayings, so the city that conservative critics say has become a magnet for drug abusers and homeless people has essentially doubled the murder tally in a single year, and 2020 isn’t over yet.
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms has been a longtime critic of city policies about guns, and was even involved in a successful lawsuit several years ago that prevented Seattle from banning firearms in city park facilities. That legal action was taken under the parameters of the state’s model firearms preemption law, adopted in 1983 and amended in 1985. It places all authority for regulating firearms in the hands of the Washington Legislature.
CCRKBA looked at Seattle as part of a survey of several cities, including Chicago with more than 700 murders this year, along with Baltimore, where more than 335 people have been killed so far in 2020, and Philadelphia, which as recorded more than 450 slayings.
Compared to those cities, Seattle is remarkably peaceful, but CCRKBA looked back over the 12-year period of 2008-2019, during which 291 homicides were recorded, according to Seattle Police Department data. That averages out at just over 24 slayings annually, which is laudable for a city of its size and population. Still, the city’s far-left council and mayor seem disconnected from the reality of this situation, critics contend.
“Seattle is a textbook example of horribly failed policies,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “The city council just slashed the police department’s budget following months of civil unrest, vandalism, property destruction and rising crime.
“Five years ago,” he recalled, “the city adopted a gun and ammunition tax to finance a so-called ‘gun violence reduction’ program that drove business out of the city and obviously hasn’t prevented any violent crime.”
Then the city adopted a “safe storage” requirement for gun owners. Critics say it is unenforceable, some argue it is unconstitutional under the Supreme Court’s 2008 Heller ruling, and it is being challenged in court by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association.
News of Seattle’s surge in murders came almost simultaneously with the adoption of a city budget that pares the police department operating budget by 18 percent. It is part of a national movement to “de-fund” police agencies, which has left many Seattle-area residents wondering what the future holds.
In Seattle this past summer, anarchist protesters took over a several-square-block area in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, calling it the “Capitol Hill Occupied Zone,” known by the acronym CHOP. Over the course of a few weeks, there were several reported assaults and two homicides in a neighborhood which hadn’t traditionally experienced much serious crime.
The city has been the scene of violent protests, several declared riots and the loss of more than 100 commissioned police officers.
“Ironically,” Gottlieb noted Wednesday, “the city is headquarters to a billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobbying group that has bankrolled two extremist gun control initiatives. The rising body count is proof positive their anti-gun-rights crusade has been an unmitigated failure.”
He called on the city to “change course dramatically” and scrap its gun control laws.
“It’s time for the gun control lobby to admit its schemes have all failed,” Gottlieb said.
CCRKBA Director of Operations Julianne Versnel observed there may be a “silver lining” to Seattle’s self-inflicted plight.
“People living in adjoining communities will see criminals going into Seattle to commit crimes,” she said, “and leave suburbs alone.”
Seattle liberals call themselves “progressives” and have elected a council that includes at least one self-avowed Socialist, Councilwoman Kshama Sawant. There is currently a recall effort to throw her off the council.
After tallying up the number of dead in Seattle, Gottlieb sarcastically remarked, “Seattle anti-gunners like to boast about how progressive they are. If doubling the number of murders is their idea of progress, maybe we should all go back to living in log cabins.”