Last week, the SPD's blogger Jonah Spangenthal-Lee described a sting operation that involved members of a SWAT team, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. The target was a home in the secluded and very white (88%) neighborhood of Magnolia. The armed team surprised the owners of the home which "overlooked Interbay Golf Course." Why? What did the agents want with these fine citizens? Was this just a big mistake, like the one in the movie Brazil? No it wasn't. They got the right house, but the people in it were not the people wanted. The person of interest was their son, who lives in the basement:

On Saturday, Seattle police received a tip that the 26-year-old man, who lives with his parents, and his friend—who also lives at the house—had amassed an arsenal of assault weapons, shotguns, body armor, and homemade silencers in the basement of the home in the 2800 block of 25th Avenue W.

According to the SPD, the parents were not aware that their son and his friend were selling drugs and guns out of the basement. The police claimed that the operation recovered...

... three handguns and nine rifles at the home, along with body armor, ammunition, a small quantity of heroin, Seattle Police Department patches and a Pacific, WA officer’s badge and two suspected homemade explosive devices.

At the time of this post, the suspect had been released by the police, who were still investigating how the weapons were obtained.

Now what I see in this important story is a symptom of our times, or maybe a signal from the near future. The symptom/signal says something like this: The more expensive cities like Seattle become, and the harder it is for young people to afford college tuition or to find work (or at least work that pays well), the more we can expect the basements of homes owned by middle-age and elderly people (those who grabbed a piece of America while it was still affordable to the middle class) to not only be permanently occupied by their sons and daughters but, as is in this situation, be spaces of opportunity.

  • Charles Mudede