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Friday, December 14, 2012

Ed Murray: "We need gun control."

Posted by on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Of all the people currently running for mayor of Seattle, Ed Murray is in the unique position of actually being able to do something meaningful about gun control.

What he can do is vote for it in the state legislature. (Which, unlike the City of Seattle, has power over our state's gun laws.)

Will he?

Before getting into that, Murray talked about his personal reaction to the Newtown shooting. “This is just an incredible tragedy," Murray said. "I think of the parents who are suffering terrible losses. And I think every parent in the country is shocked and scared and hurt. You’ve got to acknowledge that.”

As to the question of whether he will personally vote for gun control in the state legislature, Murray said the answer is a no-brainer: "Yes."

"It’s easy for me to say as a Seattle liberal," he continued. "We need gun control. We need stronger gun control. And then there’s the issue of better mental health care.”

It's also easy for him to say because his constituents have repeatedly been affected by mass shootings over the years. Murray recalled the 2006 shooting at a Capitol Hill house party that killed six people, the shooting at the Jewish Federation the same year that killed one person and wounded several others, and this year's Cafe Racer shooting that killed five people.

“This isn’t the first time," Murray said. “We have an epidemic of gun violence, and an epidemic of untreated mental health issues that often are related.”

But, the obstacle in the legislature isn't just Republicans. “Ultimately, to get the policy issue, the problem is that we have a struggle within the Democratic party to find support for gun control," Murray said. "We can’t even find enough Democrats to support it.”

If he leaves the legislature and is ultimately elected Mayor of Seattle, what would he do in that new position to push the issue forward?

Murray said he would try to "build bridges" with mayors around the state to lobby the legislature.


Comments (28) RSS

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Gurldoggie 1
Thanks Ed.
Posted by Gurldoggie on December 14, 2012 at 2:27 PM · Report this
Ed, there is the matter of Initiative 676, which lost 71%-29% back in 1997.
Posted by Mister G on December 14, 2012 at 2:33 PM · Report this
Fnarf 3
@2, see what I mean? zero percent chance. Washington is more likely to ease gun restrictions in the next year than it is to tighten them.
Posted by Fnarf on December 14, 2012 at 2:35 PM · Report this
Imagine that! The liberal candidate for mayor of the most liberal city in the state wants gun control. Will wonders never cease?
Posted by Mister G on December 14, 2012 at 2:44 PM · Report this
If Ed could cradle the bloody body of a dead child it would make a much more powerful photo-op.
Quick, Props; see what you can do.....
Posted by The Show Must Go On..... on December 14, 2012 at 2:48 PM · Report this
@2 - I wonder how an initiative on same-sex marriage would have fared "back in 1997."

Times change...
Posted by SuperSteve on December 14, 2012 at 2:48 PM · Report this
In the midst of this horrific tragedy is another young life lost in the greater Seattle area. Officials have not reported the method of suicide, but if the boy called authorities at 9:30 and was dead by 9:36, we can make an assumption. A fucking shame.…
Posted by xxxxxxx on December 14, 2012 at 2:48 PM · Report this
#3, yeah, no chance. I'd also have to say that the gun control advocates squandered past opportunities. Mandatory trigger locks never made sense.
Posted by Mister G on December 14, 2012 at 2:52 PM · Report this
meanie 9
@3 its those darn states rights again! how dare people be against altering the Constitution!

Fnarf wants his way now!
Posted by meanie on December 14, 2012 at 2:52 PM · Report this
Well, #6, the "progressives" could always try again. I voted for I-676 even though I thought the trigger locks were kinda dumb, and I'd probably vote for another one as long as it wasn't too nutso, but I think a gun control initiative would get its ass kicked once again. This is the West, and a whole lot of people like their guns.
Posted by Mister G on December 14, 2012 at 2:56 PM · Report this
White man's fetish with a 200 plus year old constitution will doom this great nation.
Posted by SeMe on December 14, 2012 at 2:57 PM · Report this
#11, maybe we can discuss your fetish for freedom of speech, or trial by jury, or the right to own property, or the right to remain silent under police questioning?
Posted by Mister G on December 14, 2012 at 3:04 PM · Report this
What Ed Murray is really saying is "Let's elect more Republicans," because that's the only thing that will come out of it. My suggestion to everyone: Just get used to the mass shootings. Trying to pass legislation to stop them will only make matters worse.
Posted by dansan on December 14, 2012 at 3:10 PM · Report this
@12: when you say I do, your speech has severe consequences; you have no unlimited free speech rights. property, you must connect to the communist sewer system, no? no unlimited property rights. your right to silence is also limited; it does not even apply in civil cases, so no, you have no unlimited unbounded right to general silence.

as to second amendment, since we all agree the govt. can ban you from owning tanks and nukes, of course it does not bar that right? Please fucking answer. You saying you can own nukes? you're crazy. You saying we can ban private nukes? you just agreed second amendment is not absolute and as in many state court decisions on individual right to bear arms from the 19th century, such "individual" rights to bear arms, do not ban the legislature from banning entire classes of arms, eg, assault weapons, or non hunting rifles, whatever.

this is for you @12. it's your incorrect arguments that block gun reforms, and folks like you, are the cause of these deaths in the sense of the cause that's prventable. about 40 nations figured this out, enacting strong gun controls, but people like you block that here with your lies, errors and myths and fantastical disinformation campaign. imagine, free speech means words have no consequences? not a chance dude. defamation is another example.
Posted by gun owners 2 blame on December 14, 2012 at 3:18 PM · Report this
Well, there is an organization called Mayors Against Illegal Guns ( Former mayor Greg Nickels was a founding member and current mayor Mike McGinn is a member, too. But for sure, Murray would be in a position to do much more -- jurisdictionally if not necessarily politically -- in the legislature than in City Hall.

As for that side issue of better mental health care, I wonder if Murray is willing to actively, vociferously support:

(1) truly universal, comprehensive coverage with no, or only nominal, out-of-pockets (tax-funded, government-run single-payer being the cheapest, fairest, and best-performing incarnation of this); and

(2) a more medically and socially constructive standard for involuntarily committing mentally ill and emotionally disturbed people to psychiatric facilities and/or treatment.

Posted by PCM on December 14, 2012 at 3:37 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 16
He just lost the election before it ever began.

Not to mention he can not do anything because city firearms law can not be more restrictive that state law. Nicols lost a lot of taxpayer money with the same pet project.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on December 14, 2012 at 4:23 PM · Report this
#14, so you know, I was one of the 29% who voted FOR I-676 in 1997. Repeat so it will sink into your brain. I voted FOR it.

Yes, all rights are subject to limits. Why do you think I don't think so? That much said, the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the second amendment as conferring an individual right to firearms ownership. That right is subject to regulation, but not outright prohibition. That's not my doing. It's the Supreme Court's doing. And the WA State Constitution quite explicitly states a right to individual firearms ownership.

You can be mad about that, and you can foolishly try to call me some sort of gun nut. None of it will change the facts. The reason I mentioned the other rights in my post #12 is because #11 mentioned a "fetish with a 200-year-old constitution." Well, besides recognizing a right to keep and bear arms, that same constitution recognizes a bunch of other rights.

Posted by Mister G on December 14, 2012 at 4:27 PM · Report this
treacle 18
@12 - France has had no less that 5 Constitutions since 1789, each one has been an improvement on the last. Our Constitution is old and out of date. It's getting harder and harder to interpret what "the framers" meant, and there are chunks that don't make sense since we are no longer an 18th C. agrarian society.

There's absolutely no likelihood that producing a new Constitution will get rid of the rights you mention. Hasn't happened in other countries where they re-wrote their constitutions...

Here's an interesting perspective on the gun control debate: What does science say about gun control?
Posted by treacle on December 14, 2012 at 4:32 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 19

Yea all that free speech, freedom of religion, freedom from unlawful search and seizure really get's in the way of progress.

There is no way for the constitution being rewritten barring a revolution, and revolutions are won by those who have guns.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on December 14, 2012 at 4:38 PM · Report this
treacle 20
@19. Ok, 1 point for opaquely ignoring what just said. Those same rights similarly enshrined in France's constitution were not removed when the 5th version was written after WWII. Why would you assume that those rights would be erased if the US re-wrote it's constitution?

Revolutions are won by those who have guns? Tell that to Tunisia, Egypt and Czechoslovakia. And there are more. Here, let me google that for you...
Posted by treacle on December 14, 2012 at 4:56 PM · Report this
Funny to read posts #18 and #19. What ignorance. The U.S. constitution allows for a wholesale re-write. Check Article V. Last time I looked, 32 of the required 34 states had petitioned for a constitutional convention. Two more, and it could start, although there'd be a lot of debate over how long any petitions last before expiring.

You want a convention? Be careful what you wish for.
Posted by Mister G on December 14, 2012 at 4:58 PM · Report this
Fnarf 22
Oh for chrissakes. A constitutional convention would be the biggest clusterfuck in the history of clustering. And, on the topic of guns, would almost certainly result in something inane like mandatory ownership and the right to fire at will if there's so much as a sudden noise.
Posted by Fnarf on December 14, 2012 at 5:13 PM · Report this
Why are the states with the highest crime and gun murders those with the strictest control? Before, the thread turns into another typical Stranger call for socialism and communism, remember government can only give you rights to life and liberty, everything else can be taken away.

...and equating nuclear bombs with guns is just ridiculous and creating a straw man arguement.
Posted by liberty4all on December 14, 2012 at 5:19 PM · Report this
Let's see.

- Pornography exception to first amendment.

- Declaration that the U.S. is a Christian nation.

- "Good faith" exceptions to 4th and 5th amendments

- Life beings at conception

- Marriage between one man & one woman

Need I say more?
Posted by Mister G on December 14, 2012 at 5:21 PM · Report this
#23, nice try with the lie. Actually, there's not a lot of correlation one way or the other. If you look at rates of violent crime in the U.S., two things stand out.

First, big cities with large minority populations have more crime, regardless of their gun laws. Second, as you go south, violent crime rises. This is true from east to west. North Dakota has less crime than South Dakota, which has less crime than Nebraska, which has less crime than Kansas, which has less crime than Oklahoma, which has less crime than Texas. Same from WA to southern CA, and from Maine to Florida.

Posted by Mister G on December 14, 2012 at 5:33 PM · Report this
@18 and @20 (treacle): France has had five constitutional republics since 1789; it's had a lot more than five "constitutions." The current Fifth Republic, the brainchild of Charles de Gaulle adopted in 1958, is probably the most efficient of the five, at the cost of everyday parliamentary democracy, since parliament's lawmaking powers are limited to specified subject areas and general lawmaking authority resides in the executive (the President, the Prime Minister, and/or the Council of Ministers). However, the Fifth Republic Constitution explicitly incorporates by reference the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and the preamble to the 1946 Fourth Republic Constitution, with its extensive social rights. Moreover, the French Constitutional Council has incorporated a number of fundamental French statutes, such as the Law of 1905 on the Separation of Church and State, into the French "constitutional corpus." Unlike us, the French don't treat their constitution as if it were holy scripture handed down from on high, and they amend it from time to time, for example changing presidential elections from electoral college to direct popular vote, reducing the president's term from 7 to 5 years, reducing senators' terms from 9 to 6 years, and turning the Constitutional Council into a bona fide constitutional court by enabling it to rule on actual cases and controversies rather than just screen new laws for constitutionality prospectively.

As for a constitutional convention in the US, that would require a well educated, well informed citizenry that we simply do not have. Most Americans still get their political news and opinion from commercial TV and radio, whose content is dictated by their conglomerate owners and their corporate advertisers. We are effectively living in a corporate propagandocracy. This is the country where Big Health successfully kept commercial media focused on death panels, moochers, and free-riders during the healthcare reform debate and away from the for-profit health racket's trillion-dollar-a-year gouge. This is the country where Big Business successfully keeps commercial media from linking "free trade" and massive tax cuts for the rich to the fact that the top 1% have captured practically all new income and wealth created in the last 30 years. The thought of people who are so effectively indoctrinated, propagandized, and manipulated determining an entire new constitution is terrifying.
Posted by PCM on December 15, 2012 at 12:06 PM · Report this
"And then there’s the issue of better mental health care.”

Yes, absolutely. Friends, there is a bill in the legislature that has languished there for many sessions called the Washington Health Security Trust *WHST" that would implement healthcare for every citizen of this state. It's like what we could not even talk about at the national level. We could do this for our state at least. It would include mental healthcare.
Posted by nwcitizen on December 15, 2012 at 7:34 PM · Report this
@27 (nwcitizen): The Washington Health Security Trust isn't perfect -- it used premium-based funding and had 30% copays the last time I read it -- but it's better than what we have now and it's fixable. I wonder if "liberal" Speaker of the House Frank Chopp (43rd LD), whose number one contributing sector is for-profit health care, will support it. Of course, he's only a state representative, so the money in question is two orders of magnitude smaller than Max Baucus money, and a bona fide radical socialist got over a quarter of the vote running against him in the last election, but I suspect he's still going to require a lot of monitoring, shaming, haranguing, and pushing on this.
Posted by PCM on December 16, 2012 at 11:10 AM · Report this

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