Seattle Police Department data shows homicide is up 42 percent over last year as of July 8, and that doesn’t count the two victims earlier this week, the most recent being a man who died following a double shooting Tuesday night in the city’s Central District.
That followed another fatal shooting the night before, also in the Central District, as reported by KIRO Eyewitness News, the local CBS affiliate.
Violence in Seattle is spiking upward at the same time a majority of the far-left city council is pushing to defund the police department by 50 percent.
Five years ago, the Seattle City Council under then-Mayor Ed Murray pushed through a special “gun violence tax” on the sale of firearms and ammunition in the city. The chief proponent of that tax was former Councilman Tim Burgess, who sold the scheme with the prediction it would raise between $300,000 and $500,000 annually, but it never came close. Instead, it drove retail firearms businesses out of the city, which critics say may have been the plan all along.
It took a lawsuit by TheGunMag.com, supported by the Second Amendment Foundation to force the city to reveal the gun tax revenue for the first year (2016) was just over $103,750, and there were 18 homicides that year. In 2017, the tax revenue plummeted to $93,220, and there were 28 murders in the city. In 2018, Seattle’s gun tax took in $77,518 and there were 32 slayings. Last year’s revenue total ticked up to $85,352 and 28 people were killed in the city.
As of July 6, the body count was at 17 and with two new victims, there are now 19 murders in the city, one more than during the entire first year of the gun violence tax. And there are still five months remaining on the calendar.
Second Amendment activists who opposed the tax don’t need to say “I told you so.” The data speaks for itself. The $25 tax on the sale of each firearm, plus the nickel tax on each centerfire cartridge and additional two cent tax on each rimfire cartridge—the proceeds of which were supposed to be used on “gun violence” prevention and education efforts—has been a dismal failure, critics believe.
The city has been rattled by Black Lives Matter protests that were allegedly hijacked by Antifa thugs, and the most recent riot earlier this week on Capitol Hill left more businesses trashed. The 16-day occupation of the so-called “CHOP” (Capitol Hill Occupied Protest) zone featured two homicides and four non-fatal shootings.
The Seattle P-I.com is reporting that residents are moving out of the city, ostensibly due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but there is something fishy about the story. It says “the Seattle-based real estate brokerage Redfin found that 27% of the site’s users were buyers searching for listings in another metro area, with Los Angeles being the top destination for those hoping to move out of Seattle.” Los Angeles isn’t immune from the virus. Is there something else going on?
There is no small irony in the fact that Seattle is home to the billionaire-backed Alliance for Gun Responsibility, the gun prohibition lobbying group responsible for gun control Initiatives 594 in 2014 and I-1639 in 2018. Both of those measures were passed into law with multi-million dollar campaigns largely financed by a dozen people and groups, including Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, and healthy donations from local Microsoft billionaires and a handful of wealthy elites.
So far, no gun prohibitionist has acknowledged that their agenda has failed. Instead, their email blasts continually demand more restrictions on the rights of Washington State’s law-abiding gun owners. Placing restrictions on those citizens—who have broken no laws and harmed nobody—hasn’t prevented a single homicide in Seattle or anywhere else.
Evergreen State gun owners—by some rough estimates almost 2 million people including many people who purchase a gun for the first time in their lives during the past four months since the COVID-19 pandemic panic began—are a beleaguered bunch.
As reported recently by AmmoLand News, one major problem these gun owners face is that many local policer agencies, including the Seattle Police Department and King County Sheriff’s Department, are currently not accepting new applications for concealed pistol licenses. This does not appear to comply with state law, according to the AmmoLand story, which has no provision for suspending the application process due to any kind of health crisis.
Depriving citizens of the ability to apply for a concealed pistol license over the past four months has also not prevented gun-related violent crime, all too-often described by the local media as “gun violence.” Fatal stabbings are not labeled “knife violence,” by contrast.
A question often asked by gun rights activists, but never answered by politicians or gun prohibitionists, is why these ineffective laws are never repealed. If they don’t work, why retain them? It’s a legitimate question that typically brings the deflective response: “If it saves one life, it’s worth it.”
The gun ban lobby is traditionally silent when some armed private citizen defends herself or himself with a firearm. The Second Amendment crowd doesn’t argue “If it saves one life” when they push for a re-opening of the CPL application process, or for less-cumbersome gun purchases.
Maybe it is time they should, because clearly, to those activists, the current system of treating a fundamental right as enumerated in both the state and federal constitutions as if it were a regulated privilege has been a disaster. These laws penalize the wrong people and haven’t prevented the violent crimes they were supposed to.