The owner of Molly Moon’s ice cream shop in Seattle, Washington is coming under criticism for a new sign posted by owner Molly Moon-Neitzel that demands police officers (and everyone else) disarm before entering the store. While the sight of a “gun free zone” sign isn’t all that unusual in far-left Seattle, specifically including cops in the policy is a little out of the ordinary, though perhaps to be expected given the store’s proximity to the former site of the CHAZ/CHOP encampment.
Moon-Neitzel tells KIRO-TV in Seattle that the sign went up as the CHOP was being taken down.
“Last week, as CHOP was being dismantled, and there was a flood of police officers here in the neighborhood, they were intimidating and causing some of my of my black and brown employees to feel unsafe,” explained Neitzel.
The no-gun policy isn’t new. It’s been in place since 2013 when then Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and the anti-gun violence organization Washington CeaseFire launched the Seattle Gun Free Zone program. There are “Gun Free Zone” stickers at Neitzel’s seven other Molly Moon locations. But the Capitol Hill location is the only one that has the new sign that calls out cops.
It’s worth nothing that since the Seattle Gun Free Zone Program was launched back in 2013, the homicide rate in Seattle has gone in the wrong direction. In 2013 the city’s murder rate was about 3 per 100,000. By 2018 it had increased to 4.3 homicides per 100,000 people. In 2019 the homicide rate was even higher, which doesn’t say much about the effectiveness of a “no guns allowed” sign in reducing shootings or homicides.
“I feel it’s divisive rhetoric. I view it as political pandering,” said Mike Solan, president of the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild. He denounced the sign as “unreasonable activism” amid calls to defund the police.
“It’s more divisiveness at a time when we need more unity,” added Solan.
When Neitzel was asked if she’s anti-police, here’s how she answered.
“I am anti the current police system,” said Neitzel. “Yeah, I think we need major police reform.”
At a time when the pandemic has already decimated her business, Neitzel, who has a history of activism, said she realizes her position may further impact her bottom line.
“I am going to be a business person and an activist that continues to speak truth to as I see it,” Neitzel said.
It’s within Neitzel’s right as a private property owner to bar firearms from her business if she wants, but I think she’s going to have a very difficult time enforcing that policy when it comes to any armed police officers who come in for a cone. If one of Neitzel’s employees feels threatened by the sight of an armed cop, what exactly are they going to do? Call for more armed police officers to remove the armed police officer?
This is nothing more that virtue signaling on the part of Molly Moon’s, and while I suspect the new sign will be praised by anti-police activists in Seattle, it might not do much to spare the shop the next time rioting and looting breaks out in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.