Seattle Mayor Ed Murray trying to forward inaccurate narrative on gun violence

Jun 26, 2014, 1:34 PM | Updated: 2:52 pm

KIRO Radio’s Jason Rantz says Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is trying to forward an inaccurate narr...

KIRO Radio's Jason Rantz says Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is trying to forward an inaccurate narrative on gun violence in the city. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Taken from Wednesday’s edition of The Jason Rantz Show.

Mayor Ed Murray gave a truly bizarre speech on Wednesday that truly makes me question if either his perception of the city is wrong or my perception of the city is wrong.

In a speech that he gave at a special meeting of the Seattle City Council, the mayor spoke on a variety of topics and all of these topics fed into this one theme. The theme is the “Summer of Safety.”

“After years of fragmentation and disorganization our city today faces a crisis of confidence in public safety,” said Mayor Murray.

I have a question for people who live here and visit here. Who feels that crisis? Do you feel unsafe in Seattle?

He’s presumably implicitly pointing to anomalies that we’ve experienced, like the SPU shooting, which was exceptionally serious, but thank God it was a rare event. It doesn’t happen all that often.

“In Seattle, there are clear concentrations of crime in certain blocks, certain intersections, and public spaces,” said the mayor. “In fact, roughly 5 percent of our city blocks were responsible for roughly half of all crime and no one is more frustrated by this concentration of crime than those who live on these blocks.”

There was a key statistic that he threw out there, 5 percent of city blocks make up for the majority of the city crime. Five percent of city blocks, that doesn’t show a crisis of anything beyond a few city blocks that you need to address. When I heard that statistic, I felt relieved. That seems easier to tackle than if we had rampant crime all across the city of Seattle.

The mayor threw out the word crisis six times in his speech. But he’s not showing us any statistics that we are any more unsafe or safe than we were last year or the year before or the year before that.

“Death by guns are not inevitable,” the mayor said.

With respect, that is not true. I wish it were. But guns sometimes kill people. Sometimes bad guys with guns kill good guys. Sometimes good guys with guns kill bad guys. People unfortunately die from guns.

“Gun deaths are preventable and we must combine the best and sensible laws, smart law enforcement and public health to end this epidemic of violence,” said Murray. “We are not looking to take guns away from responsible citizens, but we are looking for a way to prevent guns from becoming so easily available to criminals. We must change that.”

He’s pushing this canard again that we somehow have an epidemic of gun violence in this city, in this state and in this country. We don’t. Thank God we don’t. But he’s clearly going to start talking about policy prescriptions for some of the perceived problems. And when we’re talking about policy prescriptions, i.e. laws, we should be working from the same context which is based on facts, not on emotions.

Luckily, people are not just killing our children. Our kids are not walking the streets every single day in the city of Seattle and getting mowed down by some guy with a gun. But he goes on to say that gun deaths have gotten to the point that this is a public health issue.

“We can prevent gun deaths by recognizing this is an epidemic and treating it like we treat other epidemics,” said the mayor. “Motor vehicle accidents have long been the leading cause of injury death in this country, but research led to 20 years of declining rates of automobile deaths. Gun deaths however have remained steady. Today, in Washington state, total gun deaths exceed automobile deaths. So we will continue to partner with the country in taking every public health measure necessary to decrease gun deaths.”

It’s weird because I’ve got statistics that suggest gun deaths are going down, not just in this state but across the country, and the reason I have those statistics is because I’m being honest about how these guns are being used and the mayor is not.

The mayor, when he cites all of these numbers, he’s pointing to a number that includes not just people who are murdered with guns, he’s citing statistics of not even people who are accidentally shot with a gun. He’s talking about suicide. He’s not pointing that out is he? He doesn’t say, oh by the way, this is also due to people killing themselves with guns. Now that’s a number that is staggering, and that is going up, but he’s not trying to present an actual real picture of what is happening.

Instead, he is giving you the impression that people are being shot in our streets by bad guys with guns and that that number is going up. That is not true. This is an incorrect narrative, a phony narrative that is being fueled by an ideological viewpoint with an end goal that he wants to get that is based on his ideology.

This whole speech was about forwarding an inaccurate narrative about the city to scare you into thinking you need his policies, to fix a problem that isn’t there to the extent he’s telling you it is.

You are being unfair about how you are presenting this city and you are doing it because you ulterior motives. Now the ulterior motives may come from a good place. Your end goal may be because you really want to end all these deaths. Fine, then present the facts honestly.

Taken from Wednesday’s edition of The Jason Rantz Show.


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Seattle Mayor Ed Murray trying to forward inaccurate narrative on gun violence