Guns More than Gangs Are Fueling Violence in Seattle, Police Say

Lynn Thompson and Sara Jean Green, Seattle Times, May 29, 2012

Seattle police officials Tuesday said the outbreak of violence through Memorial Day weekend and since the beginning of the year has more to do with guns than with gangs.

Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz and Assistant Chief for Operations Paul McDonagh said that, while gang activity has played a role in the jump in homicides this year—15 to date compared with 21 in all of 2011—the common denominator is the use of firearms.

“A person who has a gun is more likely to use a gun,” Metz said after the weekly council briefing.

The pair addressed the City Council on Tuesday to talk about the recent spate of shootings and the Police Department’s stepped-up response.


“We don’t know” what has prompted the violence, said Jim Pugel, assistant police chief of investigations. “If we knew, we’d be able to put a stop to it, and that’s the frustrating part.”


An alleged Seattle gang member, meanwhile, was arrested on suspicion of the Saturday-night shooting near the Space Needle that left one bystander wounded. And one of four drive-by shootings that night was at the former home of a gang member, Metz told City Council members.


A few years ago, the city experienced a rash of shootings involving children younger than 18, and the gang violence centered on rivals battling it out in the Central Area and Rainier Valley, Pugel said. Now though, he said, “most of these aren’t school-aged kids” involved in the violence, but adults in the 19-to-30 age range.

He said there seems to be “no inhibition by people to resolve whatever dispute they have by resorting to firearms.”


Councilmember Nick Licata said that though Seattle has one of the lowest homicide rates among the nation’s big cities, the increase this year is “not good.” {snip}

He told those at the meeting that the lack of community trust and unwillingness to assist police is “one of the biggest barriers to effective policing.”


After the council briefing, James Bible, local leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said reducing violence would have to come from the community. He said police react to immediate incidents, but that offering alternative choices to youth needs to come from churches, community centers and respected elders.

He called on the city to not reduce funding for youth-violence-prevention initiatives including after-school programs and parks and recreation activities.

“Are we funding the things that give kids opportunity and hope?” he asked.


Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Screamin_Ruffed_Grouse

    -“A person who has a gun is more likely to use a gun,” Metz said after the weekly council briefing.-

    Than what? A person without a gun? How insightful. The real question is who’s more likely to commit acts of violence against others, guns or none. The answer, with monotonous regularity, is black people. Double that for gangbangers.

  • For comparison, here’s a ranking of states by gun-ownership per 100,000 population: 

    (Note Washington, DC has the fewest guns but the highest violent crime rate.)

    For example, compare to Pennsylvania:

    In Pennsylvania there were 645,475 applications for firearms in 2010. Most were approved. Factor the state’s population (12,742,8860) and that’s about one new gun for every 20 citizens in one year! 

    The crime rate in Pennsylvania dropped to its lowest level since 1973, almost 40 years! 

    The Pennsylvania violent crime rate is below the national average. 

    That state’s violent crime rate reflects it’s demographics, not the quantity of guns owned.

    • APaige

      Thank you for the time and effort.

    • Another interesting stat- the incarceration rate of black males of a certain age is directly tied to the decrease in crime. Longer sentences for that target population has removed a great deal of those that commit crimes. If one was to carry it to a logical conclusion, if all blacks were removed from white society, crime rates would return to the lowest levels of this country’s history.

      • Rocky Bass

         Well, logic and Utopian, egalitarian dreams seldom share any similarities.

  • sgmpalm

    I watched the video of the 21 year old young lady gunned down and killed in Seattle in April of this year. She was shot in the neck by Blacks in a White sedan shooting at Blacks walking on the sidewalk.
    Never any mention of race in the media, and typical Black behavior. I try to avoid Blacks at all cost, especially in the cities.

  • sgmpalm

    I’d love to see the Seattle crime statistics broken down by race. It’s a sure bet that most are Black. And yes I know of the White male that shot and killed 5 recently in Seattle, but the facts speak for themselves and Blacks are to blame for most gun violence throughout the US.

  • What is it about cities that make guns behave so badly?

    • Screamin_Ruffed_Grouse

      True. Where I live, guns are about as exotic as rocks. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who has “used” one anywhere other than a target range though (that includes the cops, btw).

      For my part, I have my sidearms, my CCL. I carry where I am legally able, and have carried quite a few places where I was not. The latter have invariably been more dangerous & crime ridden than the former. Also invariably more black.

      • Rocky Bass

         Do remember CCL’s are on the roundup list. We are one international “treaty” away from losing our 2nd! Or maybe one false flag bio-terror attack more likely. Ban all travel to contain the “virus”, hit the internet kill switch and jam a couple ham bands, we would not know what was going on 5 miles up the road! With this one deed they would have police all ready to shoot to kill anyone “trying to spread the contagion”!
        We appear so “connected” and on top of things, I assure you, this is but an illusion. We could all be, area by area, rounded up, and classified into the proper, already functioning FEMA camps. Are you a RED, BLUE or YELLOW? Reds are to be executed right off. Blues are to receive “re-education” whereas Yellows will just be turned straight to forced labor. All the legislation to do this is ALREADY IN PLACE!
        We live in INTERESTING TIMES.

  • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

    I’ve attended legal seminars put on by the King County Bar Association regarding legal guardianship.  I met most of the movers and shakers in the Seattle region.  They are overwhelmingly female.  They are very nice in person, kind, helpful, etc.  They are completely blind to the notion of anything but coddling minorities and making excuses like these, that even the feminized men mouth.   The easy way out is to opt for more gun control measures.  The level of cowardice and deflection of responsibility is incredible. 

  • Johnny Reb

    QUOTE:  “A person who has a gun is more likely to use a gun,” Metz said”

    Yes, Deputy Chief Metz.  And a gang banger is more likely to own a gun.

    So by all means, let’s embroil ourselves in an idiotic “chicken or the egg discussion” . . . whatever we do . . . let’s NOT pay attention to bestial non-whites running uncontrolled in the streets of the city you’re paid to protect . . .

  •  Carrying a gun around teaches a person with a developed frontal lobe how to be a good coward.  These “gangs,” “youths” and “adults” in Seattle are not men and women of frontal lobe.

  • Seattle, FULL of effete, white dilettante liberals
    DESERVES to be destroyed by its pet monkeys.

    Seattle is the hearbeat of N.Left Coast liberal FASCISM

  • ncpride

    This must be the stupidest headline I’ve ever read. It reads as if those guns up and grew legs and are walking around independently of the thuggish gangs, shooting people of their own accord… Sheesh.

  • Guns don’t kill people.  Dangerous minorities do.

    • And even they slipped and started to allow trouble into their paradise.  The people have revolted, politely, and they are now reversing that mistake. And yes it was Africans and muslims that were allowed permanent status.

  • alastairabbacle

    “He told those at the meeting that the lack of community trust and unwillingness to assist police is “one of the biggest barriers to effective policing.””

    “After the council briefing, James Bible, local leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said reducing violence would have to come from the community.”

    Community is the polite term for Black.   I have always thoughts that to be strange.

    ““We don’t know” what has prompted the violence, said Jim Pugel, assistant police chief of investigations. “If we knew, we’d be able to put a stop to it, and that’s the frustrating part.””

    Kick out “the Community.”  That is the solution.  Banish them, this is the new dark ages.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Blaming intimate objects relieves blacks and other non-Whites of responsibility.

    An alleged Seattle gang member, meanwhile, was arrested on suspicion of the Saturday-night shooting near the Space Needle that left one bystander wounded. 

    How about they tear down the Space Needle.  It would be just as effective. 

    the outbreak of violence… has more to do with guns than with gangs.

    Great.  Put the guns  in jail and free the gang members.

    Yeah, that’ll work


  • ageofknowledge

    Baloney. Guns are neutral. It’s the people behind them. If everyone had a gun, you’d see gun violence fall.

  • “It Happened at the World’s Fair”, movie starring Elvis and filmed in Seattle in 1962 and released in 1963.  This film contains some archival footage of Seattle and the World’s Fair of 1962.

    Is this all that will be left of our civilization?  It will be on a DVD.  I still don’t see how we win it back without terrific battle. And then it will take many decades just to wash out the filth that has become America. No more of our treasure needs to be spent on midnight basketball, these are animals that need hard controling at the least. And if that doesn’t work, our founding fathers had the right answer for it.

  • Fredrik_H

    Sounds like those guns need a stern talking to so they can become responsible young firearms and don’t drag hapless minorities who don’t know any better down.

  • John Maddox

    In light of the Seattle and Chicago shootings  I was wondering how long it was going to be  before the ‘ Its the guns’ fault crowd’ started whining. During a recent interview on CNN, Bobby Rush, the Black Congressman from the Chicago district that saw the other wave of gun violence, tried to throw in the quip: ‘ Them guns gotta come from some place. Its tha manufacturers…’. The CNN commentator cut him off though before he could redirect the argument to gun control. An odd thing for CNN.

    The Gun control  crowd tries to represent guns as disposable commodities with a constant supply entering the system every day. If you don’t believe me read some of Dennis Henigans’ editorials at Huffington Post. This is simply not the case. FBI stats on guns shows that the average age of a firearm confiscated by Law Enforcement or that is used in a crime is somewhere between ten and twenty years.
    Many of these were stolen or untraceable as to the original owner.

    Since whites make up the majority of  consumers of legal firearms are the least likely group to use a firearm  in the commission of a crime and the most likely group to obey the law these arguments are nothing more than  ‘ blame it on whitey’. Someone needs to explain where a teenage gangsta in a recent Nat Geo documentary on inner city youth and crime got a Tech 9. Those haven’t been readily available since Clinton’s Ban.

    Anyone interested in the stats on Guns and Crime should read ‘Armed’ by Gary Kleck and Don Kates both authors are liberal anti gunners, but their conclusions on guns and crime debunk the ‘ guns as the culprit ‘ myth. For the politics of gun control read Neal Knox’ s collection of essays ‘ The Gun Rights War’.

    After a while it becomes clear that the lefties want to disarm us. The next question to ask is why? I think we all know the answer to that.

    • “The next question to ask is why? I think we all know the answer to that.”

      That was the fear of the Founding Fathers and should be our mantra, always questioning the moves of this crowd, never trusting anything or any assurances.

      • Up to my neck in CA

        Good Advice!

        •  There’s a typo in that first one.

  • archer

    Back circa late 80’s early 90’s there was a flap about the homicide rates in Seattle versus Vancouver, B.C. The lefty’s were trying to make the same point about gun ownership.
    At the time my father was a NRA member and they eventually came out with an retort to the propaganda. As I remember the article listed about 10 points why the argument was biased against Seattle. I remember the last point the NRA made, and that was if you discounted the murders committed by hispanics in Seattle, the murder rate was actually lower than in Vancouver.
    I have been a NRA member ever since.

  • Rocky Bass

     A person that breaths is of course more likely to die.

  • Rocky Bass

     Any PD that moves pro-disarmament needs to order their “Bobbie” suits and billy clubs. You know they should be totally “pro-active” in the “de-escalation” of gun violence, but instead are turning into mini militaries in their own right. “We the people”, NEED heavy weaponry more now than EVER!

    • Joshua50

      Even the British Bobbies are packing heat today because of the UK’s liberal immigration policies concerning Muslims that refuse to respect the laws or the people of their host country.

  • Joshua50

    Don’t forget those machete and baseball bat attacks either! Something is definitely amiss amongst our younger generation of weapons..

  • mikejones91

    From what I have heard, Pittsburgh is very safe. Its like 70% white. York though? I know its only like 50% white but I think Montgomery County has more gun crime than York. Simply because  of Pottstown/Norristown.

  • Up to my neck in CA

    Relax everyone, I found the suspect for all these shootings.

    • Up to my neck in CA

      Sorry I forgot the pic of the suspect.

  • I remember Seattle… I was there several times back in the late 80’s.

    Saw The Who at the Kingdome (before they blew it up and built something else).  Drank beers in Pioneer Square and heard some good bands.  Crowds of whites, and the occasional lone black panhandler, doing the Pub Crawl.  Truckloads of beautiful girls.  Bought fresh swordfish steaks at Farmer’s Market.

    Sometimes, there would be a drunken fistfight between whites, but it was usually over quickly and everyone went back to their lives.

    That was before some a$$jacket wrote in some magazine “BEST PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK IN THE US IS SEATTLE.”

    Almost overnight, millions of hippys, libtards, unemployed, trolls, orcs and Uruk Hai moved there.

    Now, Seattle is a lost cause.  Hell, anything inside of King County is lost to us.  The demographics have radically changed…. for the worse.

  • Screamin_Ruffed_Grouse

     Pittsburgh really isn’t too bad, at least not for its size. Certainly a far lower crime rate than most major cities. York doesn’t seem too bad, but that might just be that having Harrisburg right up the street makes it seem better than it really is.

    But it’s definitely not on par with Allentown. Or Wilkes-Barre. Norristown. Folcroft. Upper Darby. Come to think of it, just lop off everything east of the Susquehanna.

  • joewest666

    so a person with a fire extinguisher is more likely to use a fire extinguisher?

    a person with a hammer is more likely to use a hammer?

    a person with a stapler is more likely to use a stapler?

    Where the hell does Seattle find these goobers.

  • Up to my neck in CA

    Meanwhile in Oakland CA.

    “Police say 15-year-old Shonte Daniels Jr. was shot around 2 a.m……Officer Steven Bang says the 14-year-old shot his friend of four years because he felt disrespected by something he said.”

    Who lets’ their 14 YO out at 2 am? Obviously more mid-night basketball is needed.

    • Up to my neck in CA

      I believe the argument stated with a “Do you bite your thumb at me sir?”

    • A “diss” is a ghetto criminal offense punishable by death via lead poisoning.

      There are no gradations of diss, i.e. no “1st Degree Diss” or “2nd Degree Diss.”  There are also no inchoate offenses, as in “conspiracy to diss” or “attempted dissing.”

      And your death penalty gets no appeal heard at the Supreme Court.

      With friends like that, who needs bitter gang enemies?

  •  To me, the answer is neither guns nor gangs.  The answer is blacks.

    As far as Sarah Brady, the worst thing we ever did was giving the screwball who shot her husband and Reagan the eternal notoriety he wanted by plastering his name all over the place.  The screwball only did it because he was trying to make some girl.  The media, being the media, ought to recognize publicity seeking behavior when they see it and refuse to identify those who engage in violent crimes or other silly behavior in order to garner publicity.  This will deter future publicity-seeking screwballs.

    This is why I will never in a public medium state the names of the nutbar of Tucson, the nutbar of Norway, goofballs who streak across stadiums, and so on.  This is also why I regret ever having stated the names of various school shooters — I think many of those were publicity seekers as well.  And as JewAmongYou said recently, we shouldn’t read the manifestos or screeds of these nutbars, because next to nobody would be reading them but for their crimes, terrorism or misbehavior, and to read them would be tantamount to rewarding violence or silliness. 

  • dougjnn J

    Blacks being given media cover rather than shame are what is fueling the black mob violence in Seattle and elsewhere around the country.

  • “After the council briefing, James Bible, local leader of the National
    Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said reducing
    violence would have to come from the community.”

    By quoting a leader of an association for “colored people”, the author admits that the problem stems from “colored people”.

    As for seeking help from the “community”, once people subscribe to the idea of “diversity” being a value, then they have given up on community. A community is a group of kin. Mix them up and you have no community. Once there is no community, then obviously no help can come from it.