Perhaps unintentionally, an article in the Seattle Times detailing the 17-percent decline in homicide between 2015 and 2016 in the Jet City and a drop of more than 20 percent in four large Puget Sound cities based on new data in the FBI Uniform Crime Report has put an email allegation by the Alliance for Gun Responsibility into serious question.
In a recent email fund raiser, the Seattle-based gun prohibition lobbying group – as part of its effort to elect an anti-gun Democrat to fill the State Senate’s vacancy in the 45th District – said this: “Flipping the state Senate is critical to getting our state government to take action on commonsense gun safety measures. If we don’t control the Senate, we don’t control the agenda – and we’ll never be able to fully tackle the gun violence crisis.”
According to the newspaper article:
“In Seattle, murders decreased 17 percent in 2016 compared to the previous year, but the numbers are relatively small: 23 murders in 2015 versus 19 this past year, the FBI data say.
“The decrease was even more striking when the number of murders in Bellevue, Everett, Seattle and Tacoma were combined, which showed a drop of more than 20 percent, from 42 to 33, during the same time period. The four cities also had a combined 42 murders in 2014, the FBI data show.”
Overall, as reported by Liberty Park Press previously, the nation saw an 8.6 percent uptick in murders in 2016. It was, according to the FBI, the second consecutive year for a rise in violent crime.
Keep this in perspective: Those were the final two years of the Barack Obama administration. In 2015, the FBI noted in its report for that year, “Murder and non-negligent manslaughter increased 10.8 percent when compared with estimates from 2014.” In 2016, according to the report released Monday, “Murder and non-negligent manslaughter offenses increased 8.6 percent when compared with estimates from 2015.”
That’s a whopping increase in murder and non-negligent manslaughter during the final two years of the Obama administration.
Likewise, something else that Evergreen State readers should keep in perspective is that in 2015 and 2016, the number of concealed pistol licenses skyrocketed. Last year, the number of active CPLs in Washington soared by 61,898. By the end of last year, there were 571,476 licenses, up from the 509,578 posted on Dec. 31, 2015 by the state Department of Licensing.
And in 2015, the state added 30,995 active CPLs to the rolls. The total increase over those two years was 92,892 licenses.
Seattle and Bellevue are in King County, Tacoma is in Pierce County and Everett is in Snohomish County. Here’s how the CPL data from the Department of Licensing shakes out for those three counties:
1/2/2015 12/31/2015 1/3/2017 Change
King: 90,328 93,425 100,372 +10,044
Pierce: 61,934 66,308 75,398 +13,464
Snohomish: 49,006 53,071 60,765 +11,759
(Source: Washington Department of Licensing)
Over the two years (2015 – 2016), King County saw an increase of 10,044 CPLs, Pierce added 13,464 licenses and Snohomish CPLs climbed by 11,759. The grand total in those three most populous counties was 35,267 carry licenses.
All of this translates to an interesting situation. Murder decreased in four major western Washington cities during a period when concealed carry went up dramatically, and the number of homicides went up nationally.
That does not appear to be a “gun violence crisis,” at least not in Washington State. It appears to be just the opposite, so the assertion that the Washington State Senate majority needs to change hands seems misguided at best.
If the Evergreen State’s wealthiest gun prohibition lobbying group is wrong about that, what else are they wrong about?