Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission (UGM) has a “strict no weapons policy,” according to the Seattle P-I.com, but yesterday’s shooting there should send a signal to anyone supporting Mayor Mike McGinn’s “gun free zone” campaign that the notion is at best delusional.
According to the Seattle Police Blotter, detectives interviewed and released the 82-year-old man who allegedly pulled the trigger during a midday confrontation at the mission, which serves meals and provides shelter to the homeless. While the UGM is not one of the decal-displaying commercial enterprises that now serve as surrogates for McGinn’s social bigotry against law-abiding gun owners, the mission evidently shares the same philosophy about firearms.
McGinn was joined by Washington Ceasefire earlier this year to launch the program that discriminates against armed citizens. More recently, the mayor – who is facing a tough challenge in next Tuesday’s election from liberal Democrat State Sen. Ed Murray – teamed up with Ceasefire President Ralph Fascitelli to announce the 100th business that has joined the gun free folly.
The shooting incident remains under investigation. The octogenarian shooter reportedly told police that the 45-year-old man he shot allegedly tried to rob and assault him. According to the Seattle Times, neither man is a regular at the mission. The shooting victim was identified by the Times as Darren “Jerome” Nelson.
UPDATE: KIRO Radio was reporting at mid-morning that Nelson remains in serious condition at Harborview Medical Center. Examiner spoke with Seattle Police and learned that the investigation is still very active. It could not be immediately determined whether the older man had a valid concealed pistol license, nor was there information on the type and caliber of gun he used. Immediately after the shots were fired, UGM staff wrestled the gun away from the older man. Nobody else was injured.
Whether yesterday’s shooting was justifiable self-defense or a criminal act remains to be sorted out, but what seems indisputable at this point is that good intentions and no-guns policies will not prevent a shooting, with or without a decal in the window, in any venue. The Times is reporting that the UGM does not have a metal detector, but that this will be reviewed.
The 100 businesses now involved in McGinn’s project – spawned because he could not ban guns in city parks or other public property – may want to pay attention to the mission’s next step, as should customers of those “gun free” businesses. People may not care to pass through a metal detector in order to spend money in some designer restaurant, movie house or other business when there is less hassle elsewhere and your meal or movie does not come with a side order of political correctness.
Yesterday’s incident offers another irony. It came hours after the Seattle Times, and then this column, reported that the Seattle Public Library is dropping its unenforceable (and illegal under the state’s preemption law) prohibition on firearms.
This column noted yesterday that, in cooperation with the Second Amendment Foundation, an autographed copy of Emily Miller’s new book, “Emily Gets Her Gun…But Obama Wants to Take Yours,” would be donated to the Seattle Public Library in recognition of the policy change. It turns out the library has another policy worth noting.
They don’t accept book donations outright. Instead, according to library policy, “Donated books are subject to the same selection criteria as books the Library buys. Materials not added to the Library’s collection are sent to the Friends of The Seattle Public Library for use in its semiannual book sales.”
Yet, the library website also notes, “The Library welcomes donations of books and other materials and accepts monetary contributions toward the purchase of materials. The Library reserves the right to decide the disposition of all gifts received. Gifts accepted for addition to the Library’s collection become the property of The Seattle Public Library and will be placed where most appropriate.”
This column learned that the library has three copies of Miller’s book already in stock, but it’s a safe bet none of them are autographed.
The autographed book will be in the mail today.