BELLEVUE, WA – Wednesday evening’s chaotic mass shooting in downtown Seattle, in which both suspects appear to have long criminal backgrounds, underscores what the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms warned about more than five years ago: Feel-good gun control policies don’t stop violent crime.

“In 2014,” recalled CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “we opposed Initiative 594 with its so-called ‘universal background checks’ and warned that it would not prevent bad guys from getting guns. A year later, we warned the City of Seattle that adopting a tax on firearms and ammunition would create a false sense of accomplishment, but wouldn’t prevent violent crime, and Wednesday night proved us right on both counts.”

One woman is dead and seven other people were injured in the horrific incident. Police have identified two suspects, both with extensive backgrounds that include arrests and convictions, according to published reports. There were reportedly outstanding warrants on both suspects at the time of the shooting. They are considered armed and dangerous, according to Seattle Police.

“Yet,” Gottlieb observed, “here we are, making national news for a terrible incident that these gun control laws were supposed to prevent. And what’s happening right now in the state legislature? Seattle-area lawmakers are busy pushing even more gun control proposals that will only impact honest citizens and do nothing to stop criminals who misuse firearms.

“It’s being reported both suspects have extensive records with multiple arrests and convictions,” he added. “Instead of complaining about guns on the street, why aren’t officials in Seattle and Olympia working to keep people like these two suspects off the street? One of these guys reportedly has at least 44 arrests and 20 convictions, and the other has at least 21 arrests and 15 convictions. That’s just outrageous!

“The firearms community would be delighted to work with lawmakers to find genuine solutions to violent crime,” he said, “but when we’re faced with an avalanche of legislation that only erodes the rights of honest gun owners and penalizes them for crimes they didn’t commit, that’s not a solution it’s a smokescreen. 

“More than 25 years ago,” Gottlieb recalled, “Washington gun owners got behind ‘Three Strikes’ and ‘Hard Time for Armed Crime’ initiatives because those laws focused on bad guys while leaving good guys alone. What happened in Seattle might be a wake-up call to the gun control crowd to try it our way again, instead of continuing this campaign to erode our rights while violent criminals run loose.”