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Greenwood murder arrest brings brickbats for Inslee…huh?

After a teen murder suspect was arrested Saturday, Gov. Jay Inslee is getting scorn for suspending the death penalty.
After a teen murder suspect was arrested Saturday, Gov. Jay Inslee is getting scorn for suspending the death penalty.
David Ryder/Getty Images

Yesterday’s arrest of a 17-year-old murder suspect at SeaTac Airport as he was waiting to board a plane has brought visceral reactions from many people who want the death penalty in this case, because Gov. Jay Inslee has instituted a moratorium on capital punishment while he is in office.

There have also been some nasty remarks about race; the teen, identified by KIRO, KING, KCPQ and KOMO as Byron White is African-American and the man who died in the Greenwood shooting a week ago, David L. Peterson, was a 54-year-old white man. He apparently was killed for a cell phone.

What hasn’t been reported are details about the gun. If White, who reportedly is a senior at a local high school despite his “transient” status, is the killer, where did he get the gun? It is a safe bet that he did not buy it at a gun shop or a gun show, and there was certainly no background check involved.

Yesterday, a local Moms Demand Action group gathered at the Seattle Public Library to lobby for a law banning firearms in that facility. Rather than having fits about legally-armed citizens studying, reading books or doing research at a public building, perhaps they should be wondering why Inslee suspended the death penalty for the killers of women and children now on Death Row.

That would never do, of course, because while opposing gun ownership that places the public on an even playing field with people who rape, rob and commit murders for cell phones, these people typically vote reflexively for anyone with a “D” next to their name, and they also oppose capital punishment.

Among the remarks left at the KOMO website is this one: “If the so-called responsible gun owner from whom this pistol was stolen was prosecuted for failing to secure his weapon perhaps eventually we would not have to read about innocent 50 somethings being gunned down while out walking. Oh, wait a minute, is there a law allowing for the prosecution of responsible gun owners?”

If the suspect is charged as an adult, at some point in the trial the jury should be reminded that teens cannot legally carry concealed handguns on the street. They don’t go through background checks to get those guns, and they never will.

The Greenwood homicide case has some lessons for anti-gunners and maybe a couple for the governor.


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