Yesterday, in response to the horrible tragedies that unfolded the day before, Seattle Weekly's Rick Anderson offered his thoughts on the situation in a poignant blog post titled "Guns, Gangs and the Ian Stawicki Problem."
It was a day of mass murder followed by the mayor's call to pass more laws to control guns. Yet he and the police chief had already announced a crackdown on weapons and this did nothing to stop loner Ian Stawicki, who left home yesterday with two guns and the rage to use them.
It's too easy to look at six homicides in one day, and 15 others since January, and say it's just guns and not their users. Stawicki was feared at the little cafe he filled with gunfire and family members say he was breaking down mentally. "We could see this coming," a brother told the Seattle Times. Maybe they should have said something.
Not surprisingly, Anderson's post touched a chord with Daily Weekly readers, many of whom chimed in.
Let's hope there's less talk and more action this time than when Huff went on his rampage. Most of the gun control talk is just that - political, sexy, but just talk. More emphasis is needed on mental health care and repairing broken families.
But don't dismiss gun control out of hand. If we make weapons harder to obtain, that is an excellent tool for keeping people safer.
The only gun control laws that are acceptable are those that keep guns out of the hands of people who are mentally unstable or have been convicted of a violent felony. It should be easy for a law abiding citizen with no history of mental illness or violence to obtain a gun. Outlawing guns is not a solution and only increases gun related crimes because of two simple facts:
1) Criminals don't follow the law!
2) Criminals look for easy targets, and are more likely to commit violent crimes when they are certain that their intended victim is not armed.For example:* During the years in which the Washington D.C. handgun ban and trigger lock law was in effect (1976-2008), the Washington, D.C. murder rate averaged 73% higher than it was at the outset of the law, while the U.S. murder rate averaged 11% lower.[* Source: "Uniform Crime Reporting Program, District of Columbia, 1960-2008." Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division.]
Funny how there's not a single comment in the blog about legal, registered gun owners vs. those who have guns illegally. Gun control does nothing for those who don't care about whether they own their gun legally in the first place.
Operation Fast & Furious anyone?
Mike McGinn's not aware of much these days, other than the time ticking down on his utter failure of a first (and last) term.