While the Seattle-based, and billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobby was raising big bucks and celebrating legislative and election “success” Wednesday during an annual fund-raising luncheon, crime data tells a story of abject failure anti-gunners avoid and hope nobody else notices.
The lead paragraph in the Alliance for Gun Responsibility’s news release about the event sums it up, albeit unintentionally:
“Hundreds of Washingtonians gathered at the Westin Seattle and virtually today for the Alliance for Gun Responsibility’s 10th annual luncheon, Building a Safer Future. The event comes on the heels of a successful legislative session, including the historic passage of high-capacity magazine restrictions, and highlighted the remarkable progress the Alliance has made since its founding in 2013. The event also comes as Seattle, Washington, and the rest of the country contend with increasingly high rates of gun violence.”
Liberty Park has previously reported the demonstrable failure of the Evergreen State gun control crusade. Homicides are creeping upward in the years since passage first of anti-gun Initiative 594—the so-called “universal background check” mandate—in 2014 and Initiative 1639—which discriminates against young adults’ Second Amendment rights and invented a definition for a firearm that does not exist, the so-called “semiautomatic assault rifle.”
To refresh everyone’s memory, in 2015, the first full year following passage of the $10.4 million I-594 gun control measure, Washington reported 209 homicides including 141 committed with firearms, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for that year.
By 2020, the most recent year for which FBI data is available, Washington saw 298 slayings, including 177 involving firearms.
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell delivered the keynote address, something of a rambling narrative that included references to Washington’s model firearms preemption law, dating back to 1983 and 1985. The law prohibits cities from adopting their own gun control laws.
Harrell told his audience, “Going back to RCW 9.41.290, and yes, I’ve got the damn statute memorized that we’re hoping that we can possibly find a way to get some form of relief from that…Embedded in this country of violence is the need for I think a little more local control.”
There was nary a single mention of this week’s unanimous ruling by the State Supreme Court upholding the preemption law, and striking down an ordinance in the City of Edmonds mandating safe storage, and violating the preemption act in the process.
Seattle has a nearly-identical ordinance that is also being challenged, and which is likely nullified by the state high court’s Edmonds ruling. Both the Edmonds and Seattle ordinances were challenged by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association, and local residents.
Speaking of Seattle, in 2015, the city council—with Harrell serving on that panel at the time—adopted a “gun violence” tax, assessing a $25 special tax on the sale of each firearm, plus 5 cents for each centerfire cartridge and 2 cents for every rimfire cartridge. Revenue was projected to bring in between $300,000 and $500,000 annually, to finance “anti-violence” efforts.
In 2016, the first full year in which the tax was collected, Seattle Police data shows there were 19 homicides. In 2021, there were 40 murders. Not all of those killings involved firearms. As noted earlier, Seattle is headquarters to the Alliance.
The “successes” to which the group alludes amount to restrictions on law-abiding citizens, because it is evident from the crime data criminals are not being affected.