The Twitter site Seattle Homicides, which is not connected to the city’s police department., says the homicide body count for the first half of the year is 23, including a murder at the popular Alki Beach June 28 for which a 19-year-old suspect has been arrested.
According to Seattle’s KOMO News, the local ABC affiliate, the family of slain 22-year-old Tilo Ray Shepard “is calling for an end to gun violence.”
In Seattle, or anywhere else, that’s like asking for the winning lottery numbers. Published reports indicate Shepard was killed during a dispute between two groups.
If Shepard’s family hops on the gun control train, they should consider some things. In Washington state, it is illegal to carry a concealed handgun without a concealed pistol license, and nobody under age 21 can obtain one. So, the alleged shooter was probably carrying a gun illegally. It is possible the gun used in the crime was obtained illegally.
By contrast, now that the state is opening back up following an initial “two-week shutdown to flatten the curve” that continued for 16 months under Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee, more Washington residents are renewing and applying for new concealed pistol licenses.
According to the state Department of Licensing, June ended with 626,461 active CPLs, a marked climb upward after more than a year of decline from, the high of 650,000-plus on April 1, 2020. That decline fell dramatically to 619,398 by the end of April this year, but May saw a resurgence of more than 5,000 CPLs and in June, more than 2,100 additional CPLs were issued. For the two months, the total spike comes to 7,063, for an average of more than 3,500 licenses each month. If the state can maintain the pace, by the end of this year, the number of active CPLs will be approaching last year’s high point.
According to KIRO News, the local CBS affiliate, Seattle’s interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz said the city has recorded more than 220 shootings this year.
According to Seattle Homicides, last year’s murder total was 50, although the agency lists 52 murders on its Crime Dashboard.
The 10-year average for homicides in the Jet City is just over 26, so the city appears to be on track to match last year’s high, or maybe even surpass it. This may seem ironic, since the city over the past six years has supported stricter control laws via the citizen initiative process, and it is home to the billionaire-backed Alliance for Gun Responsibility, which has spent more than $15 million since 2-014 to push gun control measures on the ballot.
Liberty Park Press did a history of gun control failure in Seattle noting how voters there strongly supported Initiative 594 in 2014 to mandate so-called “universal background checks.” The proposal was sold to the public as a way to reduce “gun violence,” but in 2015, the first year that law was in effect, there were 26 murders, three above the 2014 total of 23.
That was the year the Seattle City Council adopted a special gun and ammunition tax. Revenues were supposed to finance “gun violence reduction” efforts. In 2016, homicides dropped to 18, but in 2017, they spiked back upward to 27.
In 2018, Seattle logged 32 slayings, and voters there overwhelmingly supported Initiative 1639, which invented a definition for “semiautomatic assault rifles.” The following year, Seattle police investigated 37 murders, and last year’s 52 have kept officers busy while their ranks shrank by some 250 officers due to efforts to defund the agency, and what appears to be zero support from the mayor or council.
With that kind of news in the headlines, it is no wonder citizens are obtaining concealed carry license and buying more guns and ammunition. CFL will be monitoring the resurgence of concealed carry.
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