Washington State’s gun prohibition lobby lost its collective voice following a highly-publicized self-defense shooting in the Boulevard Park area in unincorporated King County south of Seattle in which an armed customer fatally wounded a man who entered a convenience store and immediately attacked the clerk.
The early Sunday attack made international headlines after it was initially reported by local network news affiliates. But Alan Gottlieb, head of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, quickly noted that local gun control groups uttered nary a peep about the incident, which appears to have been a textbook case of lawful self-defense.
“It’s interesting that the gun prohibition lobby always loses its collective voice after an armed citizen stops a violent crime,” Gottlieb observed. “They talk about restrictive gun laws being okay if it saves just one life. That’s a theory. Well, Sunday morning a citizen had a gun and saved maybe two lives, and that’s a fact.”
The dead man was identified as 43-year-old Steven Blacktongue, who was known by the nickname “Poncho.” He was a convicted felon who spent time in prison for an assault. It was not clear why he entered a 7-11 in Boulevard Park wearing a mask, but within about 15 seconds, he was on the floor with gunshot wounds.
King County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cindi West said the unidentified armed citizen visits the convenience store almost every morning for coffee and is well-known to the staff. His actions probably saved lives, she told reporters.
Usually after a shooting incident in which something tragic has occurred, anti-gunners are all over the news with statements. And, noted KVI morning drive time host John Carlson, news crews almost invariably seek comments from local gun rights groups.
However, no news crews apparently went to see either Washington Ceasefire or the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility, Carlson observed.
Not to worry, though. The shooting story made it all the way to the United Kingdom.
The final disposition of this case will be made by the King County Prosecutor’s office. Washington State has a well-defined stature on the use of lethal force on self-defense.
Susan Svensk, who is a cousin to the dead man’s wife, suggested that Blacktongue’s demise is something of a symptom of a larger problem with mental health and a broken justice system.
“There are people on the street that are mentally ill, addicted to drugs,” she observed. “They’re ordered by state to do something about that but the state doesn’t do anything about it to enforce that.”
She talked about people living on the street, noting that “any one of those people could be a Poncho.” And Svensk added, “The state doesn’t want us to be able to defend ourselves against people like that.”
While the news came as a shock to the family, Svensk admitted that it was not a surprise.