Anti-gun Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Washington CeaseFire are teaming up Monday to encourage businesses in the city to become “gun free zones,” an effort that may “make a statement” but has no track record of discouraging a single crime.
This columnist was interviewed by KING 5 Sunday evening for a reaction to the announcement. In addition, we spoke to KOMO at just after 10 p.m. Sunday via telephone.
“We know this won’t stop someone determined to cause violence,” acknowledged Ralph Fascitelli, CeaseFire Board President in a statement, “but we hope that standing together and giving businesses a tool to say no to guns will change the conversation around gun violence. Maybe our message will even make it to Olympia – we need better tools now to stop gun violence in our community.”
According to KING, several businesses including Elliott Bay Books, Café Racer, Cupcake Royale and Oddfellows have apparently decided to join the effort. Businesses can sign up for the program by visiting the CeaseFire website. Evidently, none of them are familiar with the City of Seattle's civil rights efforts.
As researcher and author John Lott noted last year following the mass shooting at a theater in Aurora, Colo., the presence of a sign prohibiting firearms in the Cinemark did not stop the gunman. Lott wrote, “out of all the movie theaters within 20 minutes of his apartment showing the new Batman movie that night, it was the only one where guns were banned. In Colorado, individuals with permits can carry concealed handgun in most malls, stores, movie theaters, and restaurants. But private businesses can determine whether permit holders can carry guns on their private property.”
This move also says something about the willingness of Seattle “progressives” to promote social bigotry against the one class of people against whom it is still fashionable to discriminate: gun owners. Gun rights activists are fond of pointing out that if the public accepts this sort of prejudice — the “your kind isn’t welcome here” sort — who is next?
Washington is among the Top Ten states for per capita concealed carry, with more than 437,000 concealed pistol licenses in circulation. This column will do its mid-month check with the Department of Licensing this week to get the latest figure.
That amounts to more than 437,000 possible customers that Seattle businesses are willing to lose, along with their money and more importantly, their good will. That’s the kind of word-of-mouth advertising a private business typically avoids; it’s the kind of reputation a business interested in profit might not want in anyplace outside of Seattle.
In Memphis, Tenn., a woman business owner thwarted three robbers by shooting at them last week.