UPDATED: Seattle police announced the arrest of a suspect in a fatal shooting that occurred in the city’s Westlake Station transit tunnel last Friday; a man apparently “well known” to lawmen in nearby Bellevue, where the arrest occurred, but already Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is blaming guns, not the alleged perpetrator.
In a statement quoted by KIRO, the local CBS affiliate, Durkan declared:
“We must put an end to senseless gun violence – in our public spaces and neighborhoods, and in our homes and schools. Too many have suffered. Together we must change this culture of violence.
“While this incident does not appear to be random, acts of gun violence have a significant impact on our community, especially in a place like a transit station…
“The City and Seattle Police Department has been deploying new strategies to address public safety issues downtown including emphasis patrols and targeted operations. We must approach public safety in a holistic manner to most effectively address the root causes of crime and gun violence.”
The suspect is described as a 20-year-old man, and this is where embattled Evergreen State rights activists will demand, “Stop right there.”
What appears to be a security camera video of the alleged suspect emerging from the tunnel in the wake of the shooting, which left two people wounded and one man dead, shows him clearly tucking a handgun out of sight under a cover garment. Apparently, according to KOMO, the local ABC affiliate, Seattle police believe this was not a random shooting.
It is a violation of law for anyone under age 21 to be carrying a concealed handgun because you cannot get a concealed pistol license until you reach that age in Washington State.
Only under certain exceptions can someone under 21 possess a handgun, and walking through the Seattle transit tunnel to shoot people is not one of those exceptions.
The Seattle P-I.com is reporting that the suspect was booked into the King County Jail for ‘investigation of homicide and unlawful possession of a firearm.” If the suspect’s age is being correctly reported, and he is, indeed, the perpetrator, that would explain the unlawful possession charge.
According to Seattle police data, this would make the 22nd slaying in the city for 2019. The department’s SeaStat data, last updated Sept. 4, showed 55 non-fatal shootings and 15 fatal shootings.
The Friday incident should bump that up to 57 and 16, respectively.
Detectives release surveillance video from Friday night Westlake Station shooting. Suspect shown fleeing tunnel with gun after shooting. Contact SPD tip line (206)233-5000 if you have information. pic.twitter.com/VKZh7zosp7
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) September 14, 2019
This brings us around to some inconvenient truths. In 2014, voters were lulled into passing initiative 594, the so-called “universal background check” measure, by the billionaire-backed and Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility. That group spent more than $10 million to pass an initiative that, according to pre-election rhetoric, was supported by 80-90 percent of the state’s voters. Yet the measure only garnered just under 60 percent of the vote. Many activists say the math doesn’t square with pre-election claims.
In 2015, the Seattle City Council hastily adopted a “gun violence tax” that was aimed at raising funding to study “gun violence” and fund efforts to reduce “gun violence.” With 55/57 non-fatal shootings already this year (the most non-fatal shootings in recent history), and 15/16 gun-related homicides (the most since 2012), it does not appear the gun control initiative or the gun tax are working; quite the opposite, in fact.
If the man now in police custody is charged and convicted, he will become yet another living example of the failure of gun control, a message Second Amendment activists can send to the state legislature, which will have the authority next year to amend provisions of I-594, or repeal it outright. With anti-gun Democrats in control, that may be difficult, but there’s another factor now in play.
Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke’s revealing remark during last week’s presidential debate puts Democrats at all levels of government in a bit of a bind. Rights activists across the landscape have been jarred from their typical slumber. The condescending claim by Democrats that “nobody is coming to take your guns” is now officially a lie.
Believe it or not, Washington state still has some pro-Second Amendment Democrats, and they might have a rare opportunity to guide their colleagues back to common sense, before voters do it for them in November 2020.