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City of Seattle

December 14, 4:26 PM click here to comment > 7

Statement on school shootings

This is a tragedy beyond words. We know what it feels like in this city to have senseless shootings. I cannot imagine the tragedy and horror the parents in Connecticut are feeling right now.

There are no threats to any of our schools that we are aware of. As a matter of policy Seattle Police Department patrol officers immediately began increasing their visibility around the city, including at Seattle Public Schools.

SPD works closely with all Seattle schools, public and private, regarding security. All SPD officers undergo rapid intervention training for response and rescue in scenarios like this.

The real question in a lot of people’s minds today is: What can we do? How can we stop it?

Easy access to guns and unmet mental health needs are two places to start.

The state legislature has the authority to take much more meaningful action. They should close the gun show loophole. We have asked them to give the City the authority to regulate guns in our public places, including parks and community centers. We have asked them to provide more funding and support for those that are mentally ill or unstable.

I stand ready to work with the legislature on these priorities.

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Posted by: Mayor Mike McGinn

Comments

Comment from Bill Mcdonald
Time December 15, 2012 at 2:23 am

I live in Vancouver Canada and we have some of the strictest gun control legislation in the world. We have gun control so strict that would make gun control advocates in the US drool with envy. You can’t get any gun, even a shotgun without a FAC (Firearms Aquisition Certificate) which you must apply for at your local police. They do a background check on everybody before they can get this document. Getting a handgun or semi automatic gun is totally out of the question for ordinary people. Even with this strict gun control, we have regular shootouts using handguns and semi-automatic weapons in and around Vancouver and across Canada on a regular basis. Last week a member of a well known drug gang and his bodyguard were taken out in the middle of the day at a well known hotel in suburban Burnaby. This happens all the time. You can have all the gun control in the world and it doesn’t stop those who want guns. They will always get them. The only people that strict gun control keeps from getting guns,are the law abiding citizens.

Comment from A Reasonable Individual
Time December 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I am all for finding a solution to this problem, but I honestly don’t understand how a rational person could believe that regulating guns in public places could do anything to help. You do realize that carrying a gun on the school premises where this happened was a felony, right? And, that the weapons used were acquired legally by the gun owner, but stolen by the perpetrator and carried illegally (underage and no CPL). How did any of the multiple laws he broke before he even stepped foot on the school premises prevent this situation? The only thing a ban on guns in public places will ensure is that only criminals will have guns in these places and they will know that law abiding citizens are much easier targets.

Comment from Mark Stroh
Time December 17, 2012 at 10:02 am

We heard the mayor on NPR this morning and a caller asked a question regarding what agencies exist that are trying to help young people with mental health issues get the services they need. There are actually quite a few organizations that do so. Ours is one of those. Disability Rights Washington is bsed in Seattle and is a private, nonprofit entity which back in the 1970′s received the designation by the Governor to provide protection and advocacy services for people with disabilities including but not limited to mental illness. We have been advocating for these individuals ever since. Recently, we have been focused on securing appropriate mental health services for youth with mental health needs. The mayor said he would be making information about organizations such as ours available to the public. We hope you will include our URL, http://www.disabilityrightswa.org in the information you provide the public. Those interested in our work specific to youth with mental health issues can read about it by following this link: http://www.disabilityrightswa.org/node/217

Comment from LydiaMay
Time December 20, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Finally people are speaking out about the violent video games and Hollywood movies! I blame those for desensitizing people, especially ones who are not stable to begin with, not to mention the prescription drugs some of them are on. These are reasons we never had this happening years ago, even with easier accessibility to guns and looser laws. ARM AND TRAIN the staff to protect. Israel did and they no longer have the problem. If the perpetrator knows there are no guns there it will be easy for them. If they know people are trained to take him out and have weapons, he probably would not do it.

Comment from Catherine Berglund
Time December 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm

After shooting dead five innocent people last May, Seattle’s Ian Stawicki was cornered by police on the street where we live, at a cross street my son’s school bus takes, at the very moment my 6-year-old was coming home from school. Why he stopped at five and ended his life before he took more, we will never know. When I see the grieving Newtown parents, I think “There but for the grace of Ian Stawicki go I.” We’ve got to stop thinking that the NRA is more important than our children in this country!

Comment from Betty Bond
Time December 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Although we cannot stop gun violence, we can reduce its occurrence through mandatory registration of all guns and ammunition and make it illegal for anyone, not in law enforcement, to own assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. We can do this! We must do, at least, this much for other innocent victims at a movie theater, temple, shopping center, cafe, or school.

Comment from David McCann
Time December 30, 2012 at 12:34 pm

As the CEO of a Seattle employer, I am concerned our state does MORE. Mayor McGinn, you need to move from ” standing ready ” to work with Olympia, to PUSHING Olympia to doing more. Push for the specific recommendations of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns,, that you have wisely joined. Don’t stand ready.. that is passive . Be a protagonist. Be as passionate about safety as you are about tunnels, and bikes !

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