Murray ignores real problems in ‘end gun violence’ effort

By Neal McNamara | June 9, 2014

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray press conference on gun violence

Usually, politicians wait a few hours after a tragic shooting to call for gun control. Not in Seattle.

Host Ben Shapiro ripped Seattle Mayor Ed Murray – and interim police Chief Harry Bailey – for comments at a press conference hours after the shooting Thursday at Seattle Pacific University.

But Murray and Bailey’s comments on Thursday were perhaps just the beginning. Murray made a tougher call to curb gun violence a day later, possibly signaling a new attempt by the ultra-liberal Murray administration to take drastic action on the issue.

“We have been here before after Café Racer, shootings on Capitol Hill, and shootings at the Jewish Federation,” Murray said Thursday. “Our prayers and our thoughts are with the families, and the entire family of the Seattle Pacific University family.”

Bailey followed up on the mayor’s comments, more explicitly calling for a clampdown on guns.

“It is time to stop the violence; there are too many incidents of these kinds of things happening across the city,” Bailey said. “Gun violence is just too much of a problem in our city; we just need to stop it.”

“It’s always easy to immediately jump to gun control for so many folks on the left, and this is what they love to do,” Shapiro responded. “Saying that gun violence is a problem is a useless statement; why don’t you do something about it?”

Maybe Murray heard Shapiro, because on Friday he held a press conference where he pledged to work with the City Council to “move forward on the issue of public safety and on the issue of gun violence.”

“Our nation is experiencing an epidemic of senseless gun violence,” Murray said. “We must acknowledge the perverse universality of violence where problems – be they on a school campus or in a home or on a nearby street corner – are too often solved with guns.”

It’s expected that politicians will use the government bludgeon to attempt to solve the problem of violence, but Murray and his supporters are overlooking a stark set of facts.

First, there is not an epidemic of gun violence in America. For there to be an epidemic, said host David Boze, the problem would have to be getting increasingly worse. Gun violence is on the decline in Seattle and across the country.

“If you’re the one who catches Ebola, no doubt there’s an epidemic,” Boze said. “But is it true there’s a cascading increase in using firearms to violent ends? The answer is no.”

And, over the past few days, we’ve learned that the shooter – we still maintain our policy of not naming him – has serious mental health issues, is an alcoholic, and claims to have heard the voices of the Columbine killers in his head.

So, Murray and company are out of line calling for gun control when they should be striving for better care of the mentally ill, or at least a change in law to allow authorities to institutionalize them easier.

“Again, as always, whenever there is a mass shooting, it turns out the common factor is not the gun, the common factor is indeed the mental illness,” Shapiro said.

Boze zeroed in on a piece of Murray’s speech where he mentions avoiding the “cultural war” that surrounds guns. Does this mean that Murray will ignore the thousands of law-abiding Second Amendment followers in Seattle in favor of a crusade to grab guns?

“He means, ‘I want the side that disagrees with me to be silent; I’m going to label this whole problem myself.’ And in the same weekend you’re listening to news clips, and you pick up the Seattle Times and read the story about the killer hearing voices and he’s not [committed to a mental institution]. Doesn’t that tell us something about where the problem is?

“It’s not a gun problem, it’s a human problem. It you label it as gun violence, as the mayor does, as people particularly on the left do, the assumption is the problem is within the tool; it gets you to look away from the human problems.”

 

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