Back in 2014, Seattle residents overwhelmingly voted in favor of a universal background check mandate on all firearm transfers in the state. Since then, they’ve enthusiastically embraced even more gun control proposals, from a special tax on firearms and ammunition to a sweeping anti-gun referendum that barred 18-20 year olds from purchasing semi-automatic rifles and imposing a ten-day waiting period for everyone else.
If you believe that gun control laws actually work to reduce violence, as many Seattle voters clearly do, you might be surprised to learn that shootings and homicides haven’t declined since 2014. In fact, according to Alan Gottlieb with the Second Amendment Foundation, violence in Seattle has dramatically increased over the last six years.
Gottlieb joins me on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co to take a closer look at how the gun control failure in Seattle has not only left criminals emboldened, but has made it much more difficult for some city residents to legally acquire a firearm and ammunition.
As the Seattle Times pointed out this week, Mayor Jenny Durkan and other city officials have been strangely silent about the increase in shootings and murders in the city. Ordinarily you’d think that a Democrat mayor would be willing to at least acknowledge the spike in violence, even if it was only to call for more gun control laws, but the topic appears to be off-limits down at City Hall. Times columnist Danny Westneat hints at one possible reason for the silence of the Left.
Some crimes that used to drive Seattle crazy — like car smash and grabs — have dropped off the map. Car prowls are down nearly 30 percent since the pandemic hit in March, compared to last year, according to Seattle police reports.
But we’ve had a rash of killings. I’m well aware this fact will be seized upon by demagogues, such as maybe the president, to blame liberals or protesters or whatever he thinks will goose his re-election chances. But pretending that it isn’t happening is even worse than politically demagoguing it.
Last month, two Black teenagers who went to my kids’ high school ended up part of this tragic list of 28. One, Jamezz Johnson, had just graduated from Garfield High School in June. The other, Adriel Webb, dropped out of Garfield but then turned it around with the help of a local mentoring agency that paired him with Black college-age mentors. He ended up getting his diploma in June from Seattle Urban Academy.
In a post on Facebook, the group, Mentoring Urban Students and Teens (MUST), said: “We are pretty sure Adriel only had one credit after his freshman year. … (We) helped connect him with Seattle Urban Academy and Adriel had a dramatic turn around. He worked very hard and ended up graduating on time. The next stop for Adriel was studying engineering at Highline College.”
Both were killed in shootings in July that haven’t been solved. Webb was shot at the Arco gas station right across the street from Garfield; Johnson the next night. Johnson was laid to rest in a ceremony in August by a group of football linemen who had blocked for him when he played, so that he could be “carried to the end zone one last time,” his father, James Johnson-Gruspe, who is the food coordinator at the Rainier Valley Food Bank, said in a Facebook post.
Washington State’s universal background check law didn’t do anything to prevent the deaths of Jamezz Johnson and Adriel Web. Neither did the city’s sales tax on guns and ammunition.
Gottlieb told me on today’s show that the city’s homicide rate is up by more than 50% since the passage of the universal background check measure six years ago.
“This is not 2 or 3 or 4 or 5%. At that point it’s a definitive answer [as to whether or not gun control works]. Our opponents tell us we need to look at the science? Well let’s look at the science and the statistics, and when we see that we see that gun control is a fallacy. It doesn’t work at all, and quite frankly the gun prohibition lobby should apologize to Washington gun owners for what they’ve created here.”
I suspect that apology will not be forthcoming, no matter how bad the violent crime rate gets in Seattle in the next few months.
Be sure to check out my entire conversation with Alan Gottlieb in the video window above, including a sneak peek at the upcoming Gun Rights Policy Conference, which for the first time will be held virtually thanks to the COVID-19 virus. And stick around after the interview for even more news, including an armed citizen who held a burglar high on spice and meth until police arrived, the lengthy criminal history of an illegal immigrant suspected in the murder of a New Mexico woman, and a New York sheriff’s deputy in the right place at the right time to lend a hand to a couple of elderly ladies in need.