The debate over how to curb gun violence in the United States tends to fall along party lines. Liberal Democrats are portrayed as favoring more restrictive laws about who can have a firearm, while conservative Republicans are seen as trying to protect the right to bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment. For the most part, Seattle is a “blue” city, and accordingly, 78.8 percent of Seattle citizens believe there should be more restrictive gun laws. So, how would it make sense for some of the U.S.’s worst shootings to have happened here?
One happened at a local coffee shop, Cafe Racer, on May 30, 2012. Another happened at Seattle Pacific University on June 5. And then there are the ones that do not get publicized, the ones that happen at 2 a.m. with no witnesses, like one that happened on Jan. 22 in the Central District. The question now is, how can Seattleites use these liberal views make a difference? They do not grant immunity to what is publicized nationally as an epidemic of violence.
For now, it appears that guns have cemented a place in American society, which does not necessarily have to be a bad thing. The problem is that guns also appear to be the weapon of choice for those who desire to cause harm to many people at once. It’s easy for them to do that with guns in their hands. So, then it becomes a choice about right and wrong, a choice made on an individual level, not a partisan one. No matter one’s views about what gun laws should be, shootings are carried out by one person, or maybe a few people, at a time. And there are more individuals who need to learn gun responsibility than are easily recognizable. It’s not about making sense, but about making a difference.