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Rantz: Concerns mount as the homeless bring weapons into courthouse

King County Courthouse. (penjelly, Flickr)

It’s already dangerous outside of the King County Courthouse. Now it’s potentially dangerous inside.

Courthouse officials are sounding the alarms that their x-ray machines are so old, they believe it’s getting easier for people to sneak weapons into the building, putting staffers and visitor’s safety at risk. And the issue is especially pronounced with homeless people entering, because they don’t have a place to store their weapons prior to coming inside.

The concern is most pronounced at the 3rd Avenue entrance.

“…Propensity for weapons come through from that side because we have a large homeless population circulating in the neighborhood and they have no place to store their stuff,” Lead Marshal David Scrontino explained at a recent King County Council hearing. “So when they come into the courthouse, they bring everything with them, including any weapons they may be holding.”

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Homeless people bringing weapons into the courthouse caught my eye. Not because I’m against them having access to legal means for self defense; because it highlights a shameful bit of hypocrisy coming from Seattle activists who fight to let the homeless sleep outside.

Why do the homeless have weapons? Unless they’re criminals, some use these weapons (like knives) as a means to set up tents, cut food, etc. I would not confiscate these weapons (unless you know they’re illegally obtained and perhaps the courthouse can work on a locker room plan for these instances).

But not all the weapons homeless people have are knives, of course. And they have them to protect themselves while they live out on the streets. And if it’s so dangerous to sleep outside, why are Progressives gleeful with a 9th Circuit Court decision (that they didn’t read or understand) allowing for consequence-free camping?

We have shelter beds available. Are they ideal for everyone? No. But if we’re waiting for the perfect digs to meet the demands of a homeless person, currently in desperate need of help, then we’ll never even make a dent in the problem. Yet, activists fight for the homeless to sleep under bridges, overpasses, in parks and in alleyways. You would rather have people living on the streets — in need of weapons to protect them — instead of in a dramatically safer and supervised shelter?

Sometimes activists will claim that these shelters can be dangerous, but these same people tend to mock homeowners who have guns for self-defense, claiming it’s needless, so let’s have some basic consistency. And if shelters are truly that dangerous, perhaps they can focus some of their righteous indignation on addressing that problem instead of passing on that discussion, promoting people sleep outside.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday mornings from 6-9am on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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