UPDATED 11/22 @11:30 a.m. — Hours after a student at Seattle’s Ingraham High School was fatally shot in a school hallway, allegedly by another teen who was later arrested on a Metro bus, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell held a press conference during which he suggested Washington’s preemption law was somehow at fault.
He was joined by Police Chief Adrian Diaz, who told reporters, “We have a gun problem. And we have to figure out ways that we can figure out how to solve this issue.”
Subsequently, City Councilwoman Lisa Herbold, who chairs the council’s Public Safety and Human Services Committee, issued a statement in which she also asserted, “Seattle has a gun problem.”
But the head of one of the nation’s leading Second Amendment grassroots organizations—which is coincidentally headquartered in Bellevue, a city located on the opposite shore of Lake Washington and only a few minutes’ drive time away—has countered that the city has a leadership problem.
“Remember,” noted Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, “this terrible incident happened in the same city that adopted a gun and ammunition tax that was supposed to fund programs to prevent such crimes. Obviously, that failed. Seattle is headquarters to a billionaire-supported gun prohibition lobbying group whose initiatives were passed on promises of reduced gun-related crime. Those restrictive laws have also miserably failed. The number of murders in Seattle and the entire state have gone up, not down, and the gun control crowd refuses to admit their strategies have accomplished nothing, while providing false hopes to the public.
“Keep in mind,” Gottlieb said in a prepared statement, “the suspect in the Ingraham High School shooting could not legally carry a gun. He violated existing state and federal laws by bringing a gun into the school. He fatally shot someone. How many laws does someone have to violate before Harrell, Herbold and Diaz figure out that the problem isn’t guns, it’s people who commit crimes, and it is leadership that defunds law enforcement, pursues soft-on-crime social policies and then tries to shift the blame to guns because they can’t, or won’t, punish the perpetrators?”
Harrell noted early in his presser remarks, “As many of you know, our legislative agenda has been pushing to look at the state preemption law, which prohibits the city from really legislating in this area.”
At another point, Diaz lamented about guns, noting that officers in his department have “recovered” more than 1,000 guns this year.
Seattle is the headquarters for a billionaire-backed gun prohibition movement. Seven years ago, the city adopted a special tax on gun and ammunition sales to raise revenue supposedly to fund violence intervention programs. Voters in the city overwhelmingly supported two gun control initiatives that were also supposed to reduce gun related violent crime. Instead, homicides in the city, and the entire state, have crept upwards over the past few years.
Also appearing at the conference were School Supt. Brent Jones and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.
After he was introduced, Jones offered a stunning observation, “There are two victims in this; we have a victim, and we have another victim, that life will be disrupted as well.”
Jayapal offered words of support, but not much else.
There were few details offered by any of the speakers about the actual crime. Some reports suggest the suspect is only 14, but that was not immediately confirmed. There were no details about the gun, or how or where it was obtained. Police did recover a gun when they arrested the suspect, bit Diaz cautioned that until a ballistics test is conducted, he cannot confirm if it is the same gun used in the shooting.
According to the Seattle Times, nobody else was hurt in the mid-morning incident. Jones indicated it may have been a “targeted attack.”