The Pacific Northwest’s most high profile and well-funded gun prohibition lobbying organization, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, will be holding its annual fund-raising luncheon in Seattle today at the Westin Hotel.
It could be a gathering of the Who’s Who of anti-gun politics, gloating about the passage of two gun control initiatives since 2014, and looking ahead to more gun rights erosion in the Evergreen State.
The Alliance, with funding support from wealthy elitists including Michael Bloomberg, Nick Hanauer, Bill and Melinda Gates and other Microsoft alumni pushed through Initiative 594 three years ago. That so-called “universal background check” measure was touted as a crime prevention measure, but so far there is no evidence it has prevented a single crime. Shootings are up this year in Seattle, and the initiative did not prevent the Cascade Mall shooting or any of the slayings in Seattle that appear to be gang-related.
Yet the Alliance’s email luncheon announcement claims, “Together, we have made Washington safer for our communities and families.” Alarmingly for grassroots rights activists, not a single major Northwest news agency or editorial board has challenged the gun control lobby on this claim.
Here is a bit of data: According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2014 – the year that I-594 was passed with a $10 million campaign – Washington State logged 172 homicides, of which 94 involved firearms. The following year, there were 209 slayings, of which 141 involved firearms.
As reported last week, Seattle has seen a 17 percent spike in the number of calls to police about shots fired, and a 30 percent hike in the number of shootings in which someone was wounded.
Not only is this a failure for backers of the gun control initiative, it is also an embarrassing revelation for proponents of the so-called “gun violence tax” hastily passed by the city council and Mayor Ed Murray in 2015. They touted this tax as an effort to reduce “gun violence,” but Seattle Police data suggests quite the opposite has occurred.
Conversely, there has been little publicity paid to Washington State’s suicide prevention pilot project, either. In this case, there is some suspicion that this is because that effort was launched with the keen involvement of Second Amendment groups, and has been championed by nationally-recognized gun rights leader Alan Gottlieb. It also involves gun store and gun range operators, with comparatively token support from the gun prohibition lobby.
At some point, in the interest of credibility, common sense dictates that major Northwest news agencies should question the gun control lobby about all of this.