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Seattle mayor poses dilemma for ‘only cops should have guns’ crowd

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is already in trouble now with many of his liberal core voters.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is already in trouble now with many of his liberal core voters.
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Seattle’s new anti-gun Mayor Ed Murray, who joined Mayors Against Illegal Guns the other day, is posing a dilemma for his liberal base because yesterday he supported a decision that reverses the discipline of a police officer who tangled with a writer for a popular liberal alternative newspaper.

Some Seattle Times readers are already having what is best compared to “buyer’s remorse” with their new mayor, who may become no more popular than the man he replaced seven weeks ago, Mike McGinn.

The dilemma here is that Murray got lots of votes from the same liberal core that supports every gun control measure that comes along. Many of these folks almost reflexively believe that only police should have guns and that no private citizens should be trusted to carry defensive firearms, concealed or openly.

But, judging from many responses from Times readers reacting to yesterday’s revelation that Interim Police Chief Harry Bailey has reversed misconduct decisions against several officers, including the man involved in a verbal spat with Stranger news editor Dominic Holden, they may not be too keen on Seattle officers with guns, either.

Murray’s announcement that he had joined MAIG should come as no surprise, considering his voting record while in the state senate. Gun rights activists are already talking about it on the Northwest Firearms forum. Murray’s support of Bailey’s decision on the disciplining of Officer John Marion obviously caught some people off-guard and struck them the wrong way.

Suddenly, Murray has become something of a toady to the SPD; what one reader asserted is a signal that “Murray is weak and his defense/support of Bailey is obscene.”

Another wrote, “I think most people understood that the only difference between Murray and McGinn was facial hair (and) the ability to ride a bicycle. You vote for the same you get the same.”

Over at the Seattle, one reader calls yesterday’s announcement “another cover-up, typical of SPD and Mayors office.”

What this situation perhaps better typifies is the fickleness of Seattle liberals. Insisting on perpetuating a “style over substance” municipal government where voting for the most liberal “progressive” one can find, the electorate that thinks only cops should have guns is quick to turn on the police and the leaders they elect.

Meanwhile, yesterday a Florida judge turned the race card argument against the state’s “stand-your-ground” (SYG) law on its ear when she dismissed charges against an African-American man who fatally shot another man last April.

Earl Moultrie Jr., 36, of Pensacola had been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Landi Benitez, 24. Benitez was in a group that confronted Moultrie in his front yard after following him there from an earlier dispute. According to the Pensacola News Journal, Benitez and his companions threatened Moultrie and Benitez advanced on him, carrying a knife.

Moultrie told police he fired a warning shot, but when Benitez kept coming, the homeowner shot him.

In what might be considered the perfect short definition of a legal concept generically referred to as “the reasonable man doctrine,” Judge Linda Nobles noted in her order dismissing the charges that, “A reasonably prudent person in those same circumstances and with the same knowledge would have used the force the defendant used.”

Many anti-gun civil rights activists — who seem to be active against the civil right protected by the Second Amendment — have contended that the SYG law is somehow racist. Perhaps the Moultrie case will help dispel some of that.


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