Opinion

Weapon tales: Time to fight back

According to FBI crime statistics, there were 9,000 hate crimes in 2007 and 41 percent of those crimes occurred in public buildings such as the Seattle City Hall.

Yvonne Ward, a civil rights lawyer who represents crime victims, told the City of Seattle exactly why Mayor Greg Nickels’ gun ban will make victims more vulnerable to men that prey on women. The mayor’s edict victimizes women twice by making criminals of those who disobey the law.

Ms. Ward, an Asian-American leader who definitely carries, was among many that provided public comment and then asked, “Where is Mayor Nickels?” The mayor was conspicuously absent. The hearing, held on Bill of Rights Day, was replete with doctors, retired veterans, academics (including a University of Washington professor emeritus) and victims of violent crimes — all opposed to Nickels’ decree.

One of the few that favored the ban claimed to speak for the Jewish Federation, insisting that disarming honest people on city property is a “common sense” way to stop hate crimes like the shootings that occurred at the federation’s Seattle headquarters. Would he be safer having armed citizens nearby? He abruptly cut off the discussion with me in the hallway. A survivor of the same hate crime who said her niece was also a victim stated that she is a board member of Washington Ceasefire. These were some of the few that favored the gun ban without addressing the fact that Nickels’ ban violates Washington state’s unequivocal firearms pre-emption law.

Joe Waldron came from sunny Florida to point out that if you lock your weapon in the car in order to comply with the mayor’s edict, you run the risk of getting your weapon stolen like Gil Kerlikowske — the anti-gun chief of Seattle Police Department who had his gun stolen from his vehicle, a weapon that is now a potential instrumentality of criminal violence on the streets. Speakers favoring responsible self-defense included self-professed “liberals” and gay people that are opposed to becoming victims.

A rape victim stated that she would be terrified to walk in a Seattle park near her home without concealed carry. Many fathers also expressed safety concerns about taking their families to parks without the ability to protect their kids. Judges and prosecutors might also have concerns about their own personal safety traversing city property, but none were present to testify. In Seattle, many folks use Metro and cannot lock their weapons in the car.

You may or may not be surprised how many lawyers carry — for good reason.

Rebecca Griego might have had a point of view. She definitely wanted to be safe from a man that was stalking her in Seattle. She obtained a Domestic Violence Protection Order. Nevertheless, she was murdered by the man that was known to be stalking her for a long time in Seattle. Ironically, the man that murdered her was one of many men in the United States, here illegally, but protected by “sanctuary” laws by which cities like Seattle and San Francisco refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Many of the politicians in our “Left Coast” cities seem to think they are still students back in the 1960s, manning the barricades and practicing civic disobedience by flaunting state and federal laws that they find unfavorable. Of more than 150 people from many races and backgrounds that attended the hearing in Seattle’s City Hall, there must have been 20 that favored the “Nickels Gun Ban.”

Most of those that favored the illegal decree against guns on city property seemed to be spokespersons from Washington Ceasefire. They used words like “illogical” to characterize armed self-defense. Hmmmmm.

Federal Way resident Mark Knapp: knapp.m@comcast.net or http://firearmslawyer.net/.

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