Threatening to be somewhat lost in yesterday's tragedy was the press conference held by Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, and SPD Assistant Chief James Pugel in which the three key figures attempted to provide answers to the question on everyone's mind: What the hell is going on in Seattle in regard to gun violence?
Still, the answers provided by Seattle's mayor in response to the city's growing concerns about gun violence - or, more appropriately, the lack thereof - are worth noting. Even a day later.
"We've had two tragic shootings today that have shaken this city, and it follows on the heels of multiple, tragic episodes of gun violence that have occurred throughout the city," McGinn said to open the afternoon press conference.
From there, McGinn briefly got into the nuts and bolts of the spin we're likely to become very familiar with over the coming days, weeks and months.
"I've also made it clear to [SPD] that it's their highest priority to identify the strategies that we need to employ to try to bring an end to this wave of gun violence that the city is seeing," said McGinn. "I also want to say it's going to take a lot more than that. It's going to take our political leaders coming together to give our police officers the support and the tools they need to do their job, and I'm committed to doing that."
"We will be working with our police to give them the tools they need to focus on violent offenders with access to guns," McGinn continued. "But it's also going to take a focus on the laws that make it too easy for people to acquire guns. And it's going to also take a full partnership with the community to end the culture of violence where young men believe it's OK to attempt to resolve disputes with violence, including guns."
These statements, naturally, raise a number of questions moving forward. First and foremost, what tools does the SPD need to do its job that it doesn't currently have? Perhaps tighter gun-control regulations, as is already being batted around by the city council? Perhaps more? And how will this desire to give SPD the "tools they need" mesh with the city's ongoing battle with the DOJ?
Secondly, how will city officials attempt to curtail the "culture of violence" McGinn speaks of? And how does this statement stack up to the proclamation from earlier this week that guns, not gangs, are at the root of Seattle's recent trouble with violence.
Answers forthcoming, we can only presume.
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