Seattlistas Never Let A Mass Murder Go To Waste
“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before,” explained former Obama Chief of Staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He was justifying Obama’s effort to ram his entire agenda through Congress in the first few months of his presidency while the American people were still frightened by the financial crisis.
Politicians live on fear. As H. L. Mencken phrased it: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
After a recent mass shooting in Seattle, the local politicians saw a crisis to exploit and couldn’t even wait for the smoke to clear before pushing their gun control agenda.
But it’s not as though they have not been preparing the ground.
About ten days ago, madman Ian Stawicki walked into a Seattle coffee shop and shot several people dead. He then ran from the shop and killed another citizen during a carjacking. The rampage ended when he turned a gun on himself.
In the brief interval between the coffee shop shootings and the carjacking, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and city councilman Bruce Harrell managed to convene a press conference at which they pushed their gun control agenda.
It was ground that the Seattlistas had been preparing for some time. Even before the coffee house shootings, Seattle had been experiencing an uptick in violence and had marched the police chief out to blame the increase on guns, not gangs.
Are we to believe that Seattle is under siege from autonomous guns?
"A person who has a gun is more likely to use a gun," philosophized Chief Nick Metz.
Assistant Police Chief for Investigations Jim Pugel was a little more thoughtful. When asked what he thought was causing the violence he humbly answered: "We don't know. If we knew, we'd be able to put a stop to it, and that's the frustrating part."
In order to blame guns for violence, one must aggressively defend one’s willful ignorance.
Here are some of the facts that must be considered. First of all, gun violence is not evenly distributed throughout society. Leftists often point to Japan as a nation with strict gun laws and a very low murder rate.
But Japanese-Americans in this country have the same access to firearms as everyone else, and the murder rate among Japanese-Americans is similar to that experienced in Japan.
Clearly there is a cultural component at work.
Finland has a gun ownership rate that exceeds that of the United States and yet has a murder rate similar to that seen in European countries with the kind of strict gun control that American leftists seek for us.
In Switzerland, gun ownership isn’t just allowed, it’s encouraged. Until the age of 30, every able bodied young adult male is considered a member of the national militia. These young men are issued either a fully automatic Sig 550 assault rifle and/or a Sig-Sauer P220 pistol.
Switzerland has a much lower murder rate than the United States.
Through Memorial Day weekend, Seattle had suffered 26 gun-related killings. In all of 2006, Switzerland had suffered 34 gun related murders and attempted murders combined. The 2010 census put Seattle’s population at 608,660. Switzerland’s population is near 8 million.
Seattle is is on pace to roughly double Switzerland’s murder rate, even though it has less than a tenth of the population and fewer guns.
For the Seattle police chief and the mayor to blame firearms is to turn their backs on the miserable sociological conditions that plague their city. It’s easier to blame guns than to accept responsibility for the shoddy condition of Seattle’s schools. It’s easier to blame guns than the sky high illegitimacy rate in neighborhoods that suffer the worst violent crime statistics.
It has long been established that our prison population is composed almost exclusively of men who grew up without a father in the house or in a broken home.
But none of this matters. What matters in Seattle is to strike while the iron remains hot. Or, in the case of the mayor, strike before the gun barrel cools.