A Memorial Day shooting at a Seattle park that may have been “gang-involved but not necessarily gang-related,” according to KING5 News, has drawn a predictable reaction from two city council members, who suggested more restrictions on firearms.
The incident left a mother and her baby wounded at Pritchard Beach in the city’s Rainier Valley area Monday evening. The toddler is only 10 months old, and it appears the shooting was a dispute between two individuals in a parking lot.
Councilwoman Teresa Mosqueda, quoted by KING—the local NBC affiliate—declared the incident “‘underscores the deep need to move forward’ on gun violence prevention programs and restrictions on firearms,” according to the published report.
Councilwoman M. Lorena Gonzalez subsequently also advocated for additional “common-sense gun legislation,” the report noted.
According to KIRO Eyewitness News, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is helping in the investigation, examining shell casings left at the scene to see whether they match up with shell casings found at other crime scenes.
Seattle has experienced an uptick in violent crime in recent years, despite passage of controversial gun control measures ostensibly designed to prevent such crime. In 2014, a Seattle-based anti-gun-rights group pushed through Initiative 594, a statewide “universal background check” measure that requires background checks for every transfer of a firearm, with very limited exceptions. In 2015, the Seattle City Council hastily adopted a so-called “gun violence tax” on the sale of firearms and ammunition in the city. Proceeds were supposed to support intervention and education programs, but the tax actually drove one gun shop out of the city and sales of firearms and ammunition declined dramatically. Instead of a projected $300,000-to-$500,000 revenue boost for the program, the city collected much less, and it took a Public Records Act lawsuit filed by TheGunMag.com and Second Amendment Foundation to force the city to disclose the dismal tax revenue. In 2016, the actual revenue was $103,766.22 and it dropped to $93,220.74 in 2017.
Last year, the total aggregate revenue from the gun and ammunition tax had declined again to $77,518, according to the City of Seattle, in a Wednesday morning email.
Adopting that tax hasn’t discouraged anyone from buying ammunition or using firearms in crimes. They buy ammunition outside the city and people involved in “gang-involved” shootings typically get firearms through some illicit process that doesn’t involve background checks.
There was a gun control effort earlier this year in the Legislature to make concealed pistol licenses more difficult to obtain, but it’s a pretty safe bet that neither of the participants in Monday evening’s shooting had a CPL, and perhaps couldn’t qualify due to age or criminal record, anyway.
But “common-sense gun legislation” and “restrictions on firearms” always seems to be the proposed solution to a problem that penalizing law-abiding gun owners will not fix.
Gonzalez reportedly insisted that “We take gun violence seriously without regard to who the victim is.” There’s that term “gun violence” again, a phrase that both infuriates and insults Second Amendment activists and even average gun owners because it demonizes the tool, not the perpetrator. If someone is stabbed, nobody ever calls that “knife violence.”
In today’s world of what rights activists call “camo-speak,” nobody likes to refer to “gun control” anymore, either. Instead it’s “gun safety” or “gun reform.”
When people are willing to change the semantics to hide the nature of what they’re advocating, it then becomes much easier to blame objects for crime rather than criminals, and to penalize honest citizens as the solution to mayhem for which they were not responsible.