The same Pacific Northwest city that last year adopted a “gun violence tax” that essentially penalizes law-abiding gun owners and makes them pay for costs related to crimes they didn’t commit just made headlines again for possibly creating a first-of-its-kind “safe-consumption site” in this country for drug addicts, according to the Seattle Times.
The proposal, according to the newspaper, has been endorsed by the Heroin Task Force formed by liberal Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine. Both are liberal Democrat alumni from the Washington Legislature.
Murray, during his time in the State Senate, co-sponsored legislation to ban so-called “assault weapons” that would have, among other things, allowed sheriff’s deputies to conduct inspections of the homes of gun owners without a warrant. Following disclosure by the Seattle Times, that language was stripped, but the legislation died.
According to the Times, “A majority of the task-force members support a place or places for addicts to use heroin and other drugs besides public restrooms, alleys or homeless encampments such as The Jungle, said Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, task force co-chair. The idea is that users could visit a supervised facility where they could get clean needles and anti-overdose medications as well as medical attention as needed and treatment opportunities.”
The report also noted that the task force will make a formal recommendation, as soon as next month, “for what a model might look like and what legal hurdles it could face.” Primary among the potential hurdles might be a lawsuit from nearby property owners.
The Seattle gun tax is now being challenged in court by the Second Amendment Foundation, National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation.
One Seattle Times reader responded to the idea with this sarcasm: “And we wonder why so many of these homeless migrate to Seattle. They know where their lifestyle is tolerated. The word gets around.”
Back in early March, a member of the Times editorial board supported “safe injection sites.” That same editorial board supported the 2014 gun control measure known as Initiative 594. It requires so-called “universal background checks” on all firearms “transfers” with but few exemptions for immediate family members. Critics say the background check law has produced no tangible results. A year after it took effect, there had been no prosecutions or convictions, and judging from crime news over the past 20 months, it hasn’t kept guns out of the wrong hands.
Since the city adopted its gun tax, one gun shop owner challenging the ordinance has moved his operation outside the city. The city has also refused to release details on the amount of tax it so far has collected.
The Times report did not explain how much a “safe consumption site” might cost to operate or where the money would come from.