BELLEVUE, WA – In the aftermath of Tuesday’s murder at a Seattle high school, city officials were quick to declare Seattle has a “gun problem,” but the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms says the real problem is leadership and its failed policies.

“Two years ago,” recalled CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “school resource officers were removed from Seattle schools. Then came the council’s defunding of the police, and the loss of hundreds of officers. Even Chief Adrian Diaz acknowledged during a Tuesday press conference the department suffers from reduced manpower.

Councilwoman Lisa Herbold issued a statement in which she declared the city “has a gun problem,” and Mayor Bruce Harrell resurrected his animosity toward the state’s long-standing preemption law, that prevents local governments from adopting gun control ordinances that would likely conflict with state law. There is no evidence to suggest any local policy would have prevented Tuesday’s horrific incident that left a student dead in what may have been a “targeted attack.”

“Remember,” Gottlieb noted, “this terrible incident happened in the same city that adopted a gun and ammunition tax that was supposed to fund programs to prevent such crimes. Obviously, that failed. Seattle is headquarters to a billionaire-supported gun prohibition lobbying group whose initiatives were passed on promises of reduced gun-related crime. Those restrictive laws have also miserably failed. The number of murders in Seattle and the entire state have gone up, not down, and the gun control crowd refuses to admit their strategies have accomplished nothing, while providing false hopes to the public.

“Keep in mind,” he continued, “the suspect in the Ingraham High School shooting could not legally carry a gun. He violated existing state and federal laws by bringing a gun into the school. He fatally shot someone. How many laws does someone have to violate before Harrell, Herbold and Diaz figure out that the problem isn’t guns, it’s people who commit crimes, and it is leadership that defunds law enforcement, pursues soft-on-crime social policies and then tries to shift the blame to guns because they can’t, or won’t, punish the perpetrators?

“We commend the quick response by Seattle police officers,” Gottlieb said, “and the speedy apprehension of the suspect by Harbor Patrol officers and sheriff’s deputies, and we mourn for the student who was killed, and a family that will never be the same. But we cannot abide this blame-the-gun philosophy that distracts from actually holding people to account for crimes they commit and instead penalizes gun owners for things they didn’t do.”