By Dave Workman
Violent crime is continuing to surge in the city of Seattle and surrounding King County, where the number of homicides in the city this year has already surpassed last year’s body count, and with three months remaining in 2024, a new record could be reached.
According to the Seattle Times, there have been 114 killings in King County as of Sept. 29, which brings the total to 114, just shy of the 119 investigated in both 2021 and 2022. Half of those murders have been inside the Seattle city limits, which carries no small amount of irony since the city is headquarters to the billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobby responsible for two restrictive statewide gun control initiatives in 2014 and 2018, both of which were sold to the public as mechanisms to reduce violent crime.
Perhaps one result of this has been a rebound over the past two months of concealed pistol license numbers in the county. The Department of Licensing says there are now 696,540 active CPLs in Washington, of which 111,332 are held by King County residents. Roughly 25 percent of those licenses are held by women. Last month at this time, there were 693,551 active CPLs statewide, including 110,627 in King County.
The numbers represent a rebound from a six-month decline in the number of active licenses, which hit 698,147 back on March 31.
KOMO News, the local ABC affiliate, is reporting September was a “deadly” month with 10 homicides, more than double the number of murders during the same month in 2022 (4) and 2021 (3).
Why are the number of active CPLs moving back up? It could be related to the loss of some 600 commissioned police officers in Seattle over the past three years, since the COVID-19 pandemic erupted.
And reports about rising violent crime, coupled with police manpower losses, could be factors as well. Washington has been nudging the 700,000 mark for carry licenses for the past year. It might meet that threshold by year’s end if the rebound continues.
KOMO is reporting comments from people who say they “don’t feel safe around the city,” and the station quoted one individual specifically citing reports of “shootings and stabbings.”
But with this news, Seattle-based gun prohibitionists are mute. Their gun control restrictions have been, according to Second Amendment activists, total failures. Only law-abiding citizens have been inconvenienced, while criminals have continued hurting and killing people.
Here’s a look back at the history of gun control in Washington since 2014:
2014 – Voters approve anti-gun Initiative 594 after proponents spent more than $10 million in a lopsided campaign to pass the measure. It requires so-called “universal background checks” on all firearm transfers, with certain exemptions for family members.
2015 – The Seattle City Council adopts a Chicago-style tax on retail firearm and ammunition sales. Proponents project annual revenue between $300,000 and $500,000, which has never come close. The money would ostensibly go to anti-violence programs. Since 2016, the first full year of tax collection, the number of homicides in the city has more than doubled.
2018 – Washington voters again approve a gun control initiative (I-1639), this one inventing a definition for a “semi-automatic assault weapon” and prohibiting young adults ages 18-20 from buying them. It also requires proof of training within the previous five years in order to complete the purchase.
2022 – The Washington Legislature passes the magazine ban and is immediately sued by the Second Amendment Foundation and several others.
2023 – The Legislature passes a ban on so-called “assault weapons” and is immediately sued in federal court, again by the Second Amendment Foundation and others. Another bill signed by Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee requires proof of safety training for any firearm purchase and expands the waiting period on gun purchases to ten days.
Looking back to 2018 when I-1639 was on the ballot, gun right activists predicted anti-gunners would eventually move to ban the firearms they had taken so much trouble to define. Their concerns were largely dismissed or ignored by the media, and that remains the case today.