Monday, November 24, 2008

Seattle Mayor Moves to Prohibit Gun Carry

A November 21, 2008 article in the Seattle Post Intelligencer announces that "Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels expects to introduce a city rule change in December that would ban all guns from city buildings and parks, despite objections from state officials and gun-rights advocates."

The article explains:

The administrative change, which would not come to a City Council vote, would ban concealed weapons from city-owned property. Roads, sidewalks and most parking areas would not be included.

In October, the state Attorney General's Office issued an opinion asserting the mayor's proposed restrictions would violate state law blocking cities from enacting gun rules. The move also caught the attention of gun-rights advocates, who see it as an attempt by Nickels to pave the way for additional prohibitions.

Regina LaBelle, legal counsel to the mayor, said the city believes it already has the legal authority to enforce the restriction, which could result in criminal trespass citations for those who repeatedly violate the rule. Still, she said, the city will be asking the Legislature to "clarify" state law during the next legislative session.

"There are a lot of other cities around the state that have demonstrated a desire for their safety in parks and buildings," LaBelle said. The rule, added, "is about trying to reduce the number of guns in circulation."

That seems clear enough.

The mayor's office is a gun-grabber organization, and damn the costs. He doesn't want to reduce crime, the mayor wants to "reduce the number of guns in circulation".

While the newspaper report pays a passing homage to "... a nonfatal shooting at the Northwest Folklife Festival in May", there is nothing in article to suggest that either the Mayor nor the notoriously liberal Seattle P.I. expect that this new local legislation will have a positive effect on the oft-quoted goal of 'reducing crime'.

The P.I. notes the Mayor's record on gun control:
Nickels has become something of a rising star in the gun-control movement, having joined in several initiatives through the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition and organized a 2007 statewide summit on gun violence. In May, he was recognized as Washington Ceasefire's civic leader of the year.
(Washington Ceasefire is a state-based anti-gun organization.)

CCRKBA (Citizen's Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, a pro-gun organization led by Alan Gottleib) has issued a press release stating that "[The] draft proposal issued Friday by Mayor Greg Nickels outlining his scheme to ignore state statute and state legislative authority over firearms regulation amounts to a slap in the face against more than 250,000 Washington state residents."

Unfortunately the mayor's Friday announcement may have been given some momentum in the eyes of Gun Control organizations by Sunday's double-shooting at the SouthCenter Mall in Tukwila, " ... leaving a 16-year-old boy dead and another teen wounded as shoppers scrambled for cover."

In what appears to have been an argument between two or three teenage boys ([t]he suspect is described as a black male in his late teens or early 20's ...") which escalated to violence, Tukwila police who responded to the call stated that "the shooting didn't appear to be random."

Even though this was a targeted shooting which did not occur on public property, it is likely that Mayor Nickles' office will use this fatal, if isolated, incident to obfuscate the issues.

The issue is, in fact, that Washington State Law, as Gottlieb said, "... clearly prohibits cities from pre-empting state gun law. Allowing cities to do so, [he said], would create a morass of confusing regulations."

Will this become an issue controlled by Nickles, who will likely use the unrelated incident to pump up his anti-gun venue? Or will it serve as an illustrative example of the toothless 'Gun-Free Zones' (as most shopping malls have historically been designated) which only keep law-abiding citizens from possessing the means to defend themselves in the event of otherwise-unstoppable violence?

At this point, it's impossible to tell which way this complex story will spin, or whether indeed the public opinion will shift toward the the monomaniacle extremes of an acknowledged "Gun Control" fanatic or a measured evaluation by a populace which is unaccustomed to unslanted news reporting.

The only sure thing is that emotions will be running high, and reason will be overshadowed by the authority of the Mayoral office and its support by one of the most Liberal, Anti-gun publications in the country.

Let's hope that the CCRKBA message will be heard by at least a few free citizens.

H/T: Stan

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