Last night’s highly-publicized shooting in Seattle that left two dead and three wounded in a “homeless camp” along Interstate 5 known as “The Jungle” has had an interesting aftermath because so far, no official has declared that the solution to this crime is to crack down on gun owners.
In Seattle, which has been under increasingly left-leaning liberal leadership for a generation, that’s almost unheard of. It’s almost a tradition to blame gun owners for crimes they didn’t commit. Instead, Mayor Ed Murray, a former Democrat state senator and devoted anti-gunner, lamented to reporters that The Jungle, a wooded area on the west side of the freeway right-of-way, has been “unmanageable and out of control” for almost two decades, according to KING5 News, the local NBC affiliate.
Stop right there. That lack of control coincides with the far leftward tilt of Seattle city government and occupants of the mayor’s office. While Murray tried to appear stoic and accept responsibility by telling reporters, “obviously I’m going to question was I good enough at my own job. It’s on me in the end,” he needs to share the blame with his liberal Democrat predecessors.
Buried in the reader comments of the report on the KIRO website is this stinging question: “So, how’s that I-594 working for you, Seattle?” Liberal Seattleites strongly supported the gun control initiative in 2014, but there is no indication it has prevented a single violent crime in or outside the city. Gun rights activists expect the same result from the city’s new “gun violence tax,” which took effect Jan. 1.
Indeed, the Seattle Police Blotter yesterday included a report on the arrest of a convicted felon who was allegedly carrying a stolen handgun, after officers responded to a report of shots fired at a Central District park. The Blotter entry said witnesses reported two groups of men shooting at each other. The felon who was arrested was apparently part of one group.
Seattle police are now saying they think the victims were targeted by the Jungle shooters. And Mayor Murray’s predictably liberal reaction to this carnage? He spoke to Gov. Jay Inslee and County Executive Dow Constantine “and all three governments, in the next 48 hours, will launch an assessment of state right-of-way connected to I-5 through the city of Seattle.” It should not take an intergovernmental “assessment” to figure out that The Jungle needs a serious dose of law and order, if not some chainsaws and brush removal.
Proponents of I-594 might take this opportunity to admit that their $10.2 million registration and gun owner harassment scheme has failed to prevent violent crime. This should be a learning opportunity for voters in Nevada, who this year will consider a similar measure, backed by no coincidence, by the same people who pushed the Washington initiative.
According to the Las Vegas Sun this morning, “The organization spearheading the initiative here, Nevadans for Background Checks, is an affiliate of and largely bankrolled by the national gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, funded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Of the $3.6 million in contributions to Nevadans for Background Checks over the last two years, $2.9 million came from Everytown.
“Other early big ticket contributions in 2014,” the report continues, “included $250,000 from Napster co-founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker and $150,000 from Washington venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, the top individual contributor supporting his state’s background check initiative.”
The Second Amendment Foundation is challenging provisions of I-594 in federal court. It could be months before that case is settled.
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