Long before I came to Bearing Arms I developed a better-than-average “shenanigans detector” covering both alleged domestic crimes and allegations of  war crimes and massacres in the Middle East, both independently and for Pajamas Media. Somewhat like riding a bike, once you’ve developed a skill for spotting faked crimes, that skill never really leaves you.

That brings us to this story out of Seattle:

An anonymous individual (or individuals) left a target riddled with bullet holes on the doorstep of the Seattle-King County League of Women Voters’ Capitol Hill office over the recent holiday weekend—a message, the LWV believes, about the state chapter’s support for I-594, which would require background checks for gun sales online and at gun shows. A volunteer for the group found the target over the weekend.

Allison Feher, the group’s administrative manager, says the target did not include a note or any indication of who left it.

However, she says it was clearly aimed at the League, given that the only other nonprofit tenants of the building—including the Deaf Blind Service Center, the Helen Keller Center, and Powerful Voices (a group that works to empower young women)—have taken any position on any gun-related issue. “It’s just pretty unlikely that it was aimed at the Deaf Blind Service Center,” she says.

“There’s no other reason why somebody would have left it on the doorstep,” Feher says. “We do have one of those ‘Gun-Free Zone’ stickers on our window, but you’d have to be right up in front of our door to see it.”

In a statement, Seattle/King County LWV president Ellen Barton said, “This apparent attempt to intimidate us will not dissuade us from our work. The League of Women Voters will continue to be a forum for dialogue, research and education on gun laws and gun violence, and we look forward to reasonable, robust dialogue in the months ahead.”

The claim was accompanied by two photos of a target allegedly placed by someone attempting to intimidate the League of Women Voters.

A close-up photo of a target allegedly placed by someone looking to intimidate the league of Women Voters in Seattle, Washington.
A close-up photo of a target allegedly placed by someone looking to intimidate the league of Women Voters in Seattle, Washington.

The group claims that the target was found by one of their own volunteers over the course of the weekend.

This is an interesting claim, on a number of levels.

First, there is the claim that the target was found over the weekend by someone sympathetic to the “targeted” group, which sends an immediate warning flag.

Then there is that pesky Seattle weather.

Winds were gusty in Seattle over the course of the past weekend according to the National Weather Service. Wind speeds of 12 MPH out of the north were recorded on Saturday, with gusts up to 14 MPH. Sunday was even more blustery, with  wind speeds of 17 MPH  and gusts up to 21 MPH, also out of the north.

This is the front of the building, from Google Maps Street view. The camera is in the west, facing east. The gusty winds were scraping down the front of the building Saturday and Sunday (north to south, left to right)  with gusts of up to 21 MPH.

street view league of women voters
Street view of the building housing the League of Women Voters in Seattle, via Google Maps.

Now here is an overhead shot of the same building, also from Google Maps. You will note that 18th Avenue in Seattle runs north and south.

Overhead Map of the League of women voters. 18th Avenue runs North-South.
Overhead Map of the League of women voters. 18th Avenue runs north-south.

And yet despite the heavy daytime winds both days, and the building’s location on the corner where cross currents would have been swirling from East Madison Street, the target is laid gently, neatly, and perfectly evenly against the building’s front door?

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