Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Seattle's Mayor and Police Chief Just Do Not Get It

It's right there in black and white... its not the criminals, its the laws that are to blame. Mayor calls on state leaders to strengthen gun laws. Just a quick post because... I work for a living, more later. A couple of "highlights".
"Washington State has some of the weakest gun laws in the country" and the laws that are on the books "focus on punishing criminals after they've committed a crime with a gun," the mayor said

Let me repeat that...the laws that are on the books "focus on punishing criminals after they've committed a crime with a gun. Didn't we learn our lesson when we tried to punish criminals BEFORE they committed a crime?

One more:
"Washington State has some of the weakest gun laws in the country"
also
"In the last few years, Seattle has enjoyed record low crime rates"

Sounds like cause and effect to me.

UPDATE
The Seattle PI, The fight against firearms
City pushing for tougher state laws, but would it help?
, adds to the story.

Well that is the question, isn't it, "Would it help?"

Lets look at what Mayor Nickels wants to accomplish and then how he proposes we do so.

Nickels said the state should pass laws that prevent firearms from getting into the hands of criminals in the first place, and he challenged lawmakers to take four major steps:

Adopt a state ban on assault weapons. A federal ban on the manufacture or importation of certain weapons expired in 2004. Seven states have since passed their own bans.

Close a loophole that allows firearms purchases at gun shows without a background check, something required for purchases at gun stores and other retail outlets.

Pass a state law requiring safe gun storage, such as requiring trigger locks.

Establish a statewide database of gun-trace data -- information collected by police investigators when researching the history of guns used in crimes. Seattle already collects such data.


So what the Mayor wants to do is keep guns out of the hands of criminals but how are any of these proposals going to accomplish that? Lets look at them one at a time.

Ban assault weapons.
I have no idea if assault weapons are the gun of choice for criminals but I highly doubt it. Not sure when the last time I heard of someone getting shot by an AK-47. Seems to me the real issue is the cheap "Saturday night specials". Regardless, banning certain types of guns does not keep guns out of criminals hands. The fundamental error in the logic is that if we just made it illegal for the criminal to have the gun, they would not have it. Well newsflash... most criminals that have a gun are already violating numerous laws so is passing one more law going to make them see the light?

Safe storage and trigger locks.
What does this have to do with keeping guns out of the hands of criminals? Now if the issue was criminals are accidentally shooting an accomplice, well that would not be such a bad thing now would it but that is not the issue the Mayor is trying to solve.

Close a loophole that allows firearms purchases at gun shows without a background check, something required for purchases at gun stores and other retail outlets.
See here to get the facts on the "gunshow loophole". For those to lazy to click the link, the gunshow loophole is really one private citizen selling a gun to another private citizen and accounts for less than 1% of all guns used in a crime.

Establish a statewide database of gun-trace data -- information collected by police investigators when researching the history of guns used in crimes. Seattle already collects such data.
While there are many issues with this kind of program that I will not go into here, Seattle already collects such data. Which makes me question the comments about "Nickels said state law prohibits cities from adopting any gun laws that are stricter than the state's" Sounds to me like the city can.

Would like to add one more comment about the following:

While police wouldn't say whether any of the weapons on display were actually used in crimes, they were effective props for the mayor's lobbying effort.
Does anyone think if these weapons had been used in crimes, they would not have shouted that fact from the top of the hills?

4 comments:

Erik said...

Great post. I agree totally. I knew it was only time for them to come out with something like this, given the recent surge in gun violence around Seattle. They'll use any excuse they can to take away our gun rights.

Haz-matt said...

I wish they would stop calling it a gun show "loophole". Since private person to person gun sales are as legal as car sales. Heck, I've only purchaced 1 rifle at a gun show (but it was an evil black rifle) but I've picked a good half dozen and sold just as many person to person.

Walter E. Wallis said...

Any official proposing a ban on gun ownership should show sincerity by refusing any protection of person or office by armed officers. Let them do as they want us to do, dial 911 and die.

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