Tuesday’s announcement that a 17-year-old girl whose brother died in a shootout with Seattle police last week will be prosecuted as an adult has provided that city’s liberal mindset an opportunity to shine like a flashlight with a cracked lens.
Some Seattle Times readers, weighing in on the story, seem to suggest that nothing could better illustrate the almost mind boggling absence of common sense than a handful of comments that seem to blame guns and the police for the fatal confrontation that left the girl’s 19-year-old brother dead and three officers injured.
Someone identifying himself/herself as “Sliding in Seattle” contended that, “More effective gun control may have prevented the girl from getting the gun in the first place. Absent the gun, the kids are all alive and charged with theft and assault.”
Another reader, under the nickname “Unquestioned Authority,” had this observation: “I think the most pressing question that isn’t asked is ‘What steps did the police take to deescalate the situation?’ If they hadn’t have gone after the suspects, this young man wouldn’t be dead.”
Last Thursday, Adrianna Butts and her now-deceased brother Damarius, allegedly stole beer, donuts and chips from a convenience store in the downtown area. Damarius allegedly showed a pursuing clerk a gun in his waistband while the pair was fleeing. Bicycle officers immediately responded, found the suspects a short distance away, and a scuffle ensued that quickly turned into a running gunfight.
Damarius Butts pulled the handgun, an old Smith & Wesson revolver that his sister later told police she had purchased for $550 and given to him. Police chased him into a federal office building where shots were exchanged and Butts was fatally wounded.
It is widely known in the firearms community that 17-year-olds cannot legally purchase handguns. This is particularly true in Washington State because of Initiative 594, passed in 2014. That’s the so-called “universal background check” requirement that, once again, did not prevent a firearm from falling into the wrong hands. Backers of that measure have been remarkably quiet since the shooting. If Adrianna Butts was truthful, she obviously obtained that handgun in violation of a law that hasn’t kept other guns out of the wrong hands, in Burlington, for example, where a gunman opened fire last year at the Cascade Mall, killing five people.
The Seattle Times published a timeline of the fatal incident. Things unfolded rapidly, and the notion that officers could have “deescalated” the situation seems nonsensical.
Not only did Adrianna Butts apparently buy the handgun illegally, without a background check, her late brother was also carrying it illegally. Citizens under age 21 cannot legally carry loaded, concealed handguns in Washington State because they cannot obtain a concealed pistol license.
On the one-year anniversary of enactment of I-594, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms did a roundup of all the Evergreen State crimes that the gun control measure didn’t prevent.
These offenses included the purchase of a gun by a 15-year-old Snohomish County that he later mishandled and killed his younger brother.
The measure didn’t prevent the murder of Donnie Chin, a Seattle activist in the International District and a member of the Washington Arms Collectors. And there were several incidents in which felons were arrested for gun possession, including one involving shots fired.
Seattle voters overwhelmingly supported I-594, but refuse to recognize that it hasn’t worked, nor will they admit it will continue not working.