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Seattle Public Library (courtesy

1 email led Seattle library to drop its gun ban‘s headline proclaims. And it’s true! A single email – just one! – turned an illegal “gun free” zone into a place where concealed carry permit holders can exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Tracing the story back to the source ( we learn that the Seattle Public Library was telling porky pies about the impetus behind obeying Washington law . . .

When Seattle Public Library lifted its ban on guns in early November, officials there said they had done so because patrons had complained.

Internal library emails reveal that there was just one patron complaint in several years – a man with a Yahoo email account who didn’t identify himself as either a patron or Seattle resident.

That man, Dave Bowman, lives in Seattle and has a library card (which he uses, he noted in an email to KUOW), and said that he demanded the policy change on behalf of all gun owners. He described himself as “neither a conservative, nor liberal, but a libertarian.”

Not a libertarian librarian, then. And a good thing we live in a constitutional republic rather than a democracy, where mob rule rules. Back to, where anti-ballistic bias is bursting out all over.

Officials consulted with city attorney after Bowman’s email and decided to drop the gun ban in November without a fight.

City Attorney Pete Holmes says he hates that it had to be done, but he saw significant legal risk in keeping the gun ban going.

Librarians were clearly upset by the decision, saying libraries are prime targets for random violence and that guns may escalate confrontations.

Ralph Fascitelli is president of the gun control group Washington CeaseFire. He says the bigger issue is that Washington state has what he describes as weak gun laws.

If it’s random violence then doesn’t everybody have an equal chance of being a victim? Except armed Americans, of course. [h/t SJ]

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  1. Second Amendment Foundation in that area had just won a case stopping the city from prohibiting carry in city parks, and they had the scent on this issue. They may have only gotten one email, but if they hadn’t changed their policy in a hurry, they’d have been subject to a lawsuit, for sure. People were itching to go.

  2. I’ve carried in Seattle libraries before this rules changed, based simply on the state law the and the lawsuit that the city lost about attempting to ban concealed carry in parks.

  3. Librarians were clearly upset by the decision, saying libraries are prime targets for random violence and that guns may escalate confrontations. Talk about not being able to see the forest for the trees. Jus dayyum.

    • Ed Zachary.

      Psychotic mass shooters would not be deterred by a “gun free zone” sign. Law-abiding concealed carriers are no thread to the librarians or anyone else. If a nutjob did go on a shooting spree, the librarians will be happy to have someone who might defend them.

      • “SHHhhhhhhhhh! If you are going to shoot back, use a suppressor, this is a library for god’s sake!”

  4. When was the last time that there was a random act of GUN violence in a public library in Seattle? Or any other public library? (I do remember this episode of Criminal Minds with a psychotic library assistant….but I don’t think that counts.) Why do these librarians think that libraries are hotbeds of imminent violent behavior?

    • Better question – why do Librarians (or anybody for that matter) think that a “policy” forbidding violence, is actually going to stop somebody determined to commit violence?

      • Dunno … I really can’t understand how people seem to think that a small, square piece of metal with some paint on it, attached to a piece of wood and stuck in a ground, is going to magically stop a lunatic from going into a building with a weapon and doing harm to people. That ain’t right.

    • I am a heavy reader, and have been visiting various public libraries here in St. Louis on a weekly basis for more than fifty years. The idea that ANY library would be a target for ANY sort of violence whatsoever is absolute idiocy. Now, I will concede that librarians, as a class, may be among the most fearful and least intrepid people you are ever likely to meet.

      • At least in Seattle they might. I know a librarian who’s a firm supporter of keeping a handgun heated to 98.6 at all times.

        I think it comes down more to urban areas, or especially Seattle in this case, more than it reflects on “librarians.”

        • “I know a librarian who’s a firm supporter of keeping a handgun heated to 98.6 at all times.”

          I like that !

      • Any place that advertises its self as being full of un armed defenseless citizens is as likely a target as you will see. Of course its the full part that makes a library a less desirable target, no self respecting lunatic would be satisfied with two stuffy librarians and some guy who dosent have an internet connection. Not when there are schools malls campuses churches/temples etc that promise to be both predictably full and almost certainly defenseless.

    • I was kinda shocked when that pretty girl got thrown over the balcony. I wanted her to live. However, Criminal Minds does seem to revel in killing off the pretty ones.

    • Actually, there is some sort of warped logic to their irrational fears. The main city library (the one in the picture) is notorious for homeless individuals (many mentally ill) hanging out and sometimes behaving badly.

  5. To some folks, guns are loud and librarians as a whole do want a lot of noise in their nest. I suppose suppressors should be required?

    • my 8 yr old has taken to laughing out loud when she sees “no gun” signs as Daddy has explained they have no force of law and Daddy will be armed for her protection. She knows not to discuss my sidearm unless we are in the car or at home, and of course, even an 8 yr old wonders why people think a sign will protect them when it didn’t protect those kids in CT?

      • Spot on man. My 6 & 9 yo are the same. Papa always carries- library, YMCA swimming pool, grocery store, etc. Better yet, Mama’s starting to carry too.We’re more into the sneaky, suspicious grins though. Hey, it’s a past time the whole family can participate in…

  6. If you spend time in the central library downtown you realize you might need a Glock but you DO need a flaregun to signal rescuers when you get lost in the stacks. Stunningly un- intuitive layout.

    For library carry, choose well broken in leather holsters – less squeaking. Kydex? Too loud and clicky.

  7. “….libraries are prime targets for random violence and that guns may escalate confrontations.” !!!!, I’m stunned by this sentence. The absence of law abiding gun-toters certainly won’t DE-escalate any random violence, now will it?

  8. Just remember that these are libraries that you have a legal right to look at p0rn on the taxpayer computers and in the children’s section because of 1st Amendment issues. Yes, they have had people who have done that as well and even had people who have “enjoyed” themselves, clothed mind you, to such displays as well.
    So to see the knickers get into a twist over CCW abiding by the law means, but not about people looking at p0rn because of the bill of rights; well that leads me to some word which begins with an H and ends in -crites.

      • The 1st Amendment is a good reason to defund libraries? You and I do not think alike about the constitution.

        • I think he meant that the hypocritical stance on the
          Constitution is grounds for defunding; not the stance
          on the 1st Amendment alone.

    • you have a legal right to look at p0rn on the taxpayer computers

      Back in the day, it was National Geographic.

      • Yes Sir

        I remember Grandpa Carl’s N.G.’s when the vacation slide show from the late 60’s was ah extended duplicated. Those ladies had extended tans.

  9. “Librarians were clearly upset by the decision, saying libraries are prime targets for random violence and that guns may escalate confrontations.”

    Yes book nerds are just RAMPANTLY violent these days. And you know they be robbing them ly-baries up err day in the hood. Oh wait.

    • Yeah, this is a prime example of the same argument that can be made about campus carry, to wit: Do you regularly have violent arguments and/or fights breaking out in your philosophy or calculus class? If not, why do you think the presence of a concealed firearm (that you are unaware of, because it’s concealed) is going to change that in any way? Guns don’t control peoples’ minds. If they’re not violent before, they’re not going to be violent after.

      • Don’t, even, get, me started on the campus carry illogic. I’m in my late 20’s finishing my degree, post military and the fact that being at school is the only place that I am disarmed out of the thinking that guns don’t belong in schools is because I will shoot a prof over a grade is asinine. The “blood in the streets” scenario has been debunked more than we can keep up with, and the only times bad people shoot other people is that because they were law breaking anyway! The campus carry issue alone has put a bad taste in my mouth concerning all levels of government.

        It’s ridiculous in the thought that CCW’ers are trusted to carry everywhere else BUT SCHOOL? All of a sudden, we step into hallowed, studious ground and it becomes a liability?

        • Twelve years ago an older student shot and killed three Nursing School professors, as well himself, at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He had a concealed carry permit, and the University was and remains – thanks to the 2011 gubernatorial veto – a gun-free zone. Like any of the two facts would have made a difference once he made the decision to “express” himself in this fashion.

          People just don’t seem to get it that once someone decides to fly off the handle to the degree that his own life no longer matters to him, a carry permit and no-guns signs are no longer among that person’s concerns.

        • True that Dave357.All it does is disarm the prepared who wish to protect themselves and potentially others. Crims and Crazies don’t give a F#$K what the laws are or what the signs say, but by God it makes the pacifists feel good.

        • Im not sure what Dave is getting at, Arizona is constitutional carry as of mid-2010, correct? No need to even get a CCW to carry concealed. The fact that he got one means nothing one way or the other.

  10. “Librarians were clearly upset by the decision, saying libraries are prime targets for random violence”
    Prime targets? Not any more.

    • Exactly. How do some people not make the leap from “we’re a prime target” to “it would be nice to have some decent folks in here with guns in case shit happens.” They’re so close to taking that crucial intellectual step.

    • Some libraries do have issues with potentially violent characters. Homeless people often patronize urban libraries – not to say all are violent, but there are some who aren’t wrapped too tight mentally. Still, if they’re far enough gone to shoot someone at the library, they’re far enough gone to not give a damn about a “no guns” sign.

      As for libraries being prime targets… that’s only because so few librarians could put up a presentable fight. I’m a firm supporter of as many “good guys” being armed as possible, whether in a library or anywhere else.

  11. Every time a gun rights group takes on one of these cases and wins, the government has to write a nice check payable to the SAF etc.

    I guess that our rulers are getting tired of funding the opposition.

  12. My local library has a “No guns allowed” sign that does not comply with the state laws, and they know it. They are located right next to the courthouse (which in Texas, you cannot carry in) and they try to get away with that. (In Texas, libraries are not on the automatic exclusion list.)

    I choose not to tell them because most CCW’ers know that it does not carry the weight of the law and it makes anti-gunners feel good. Why tell them and force them into putting up the proper signs?

    • You do have to be careful, though. In Missouri some libraries are considered government buildings, and have signage declaring their status. Generally this is not true for small town or suburban libraries, which are usually operated by a stand-alone non-profit

      • Texas is a bit different, and it’s a completely separate building, not premise. Because in the wordage of the law, premise does not include the shared parking lot. Trust me, I’m all about CYA.

      • it is not a crime in missouri to carry a weapon into a gov’t bldg. read the statute again. it just subjects you to being asked to leave. bottom line: no metal detector, no problem.

  13. Laws that mandate or prohibit action on the part of government should carry civil and criminal penalties for the entities and individuals, including fines and incarceration, for failure to comply.

    Violate a lawfully armed individual’s civil rights by posting an illegal sign denying him entry? No problem. Write a personal check for $1K and bring your toothbrush, because you’re in the clink for a week.

    Overboard? Absurd? Unheard of? Perhaps. Then again, try posting a sign on a government building denying entry on the basis of any other civil rights status. Pick one: age, gender, race, religion, physical ability, marital status, illness, impregnation, or even one of the new ones they make up from time. See what happens.

    • It would be… Although in this case the liability came about less because of civil liability than because WA has strong state preemption and the library’s policy was demonstrably illegal.

  14. I’m no librarian but even I know that the “than” should be changed to “then” in the next to last sentence…

  15. “Libraries are prime targets for random violence”. Umm, like peeing in the corner? I live in Puget Sound and I cannot remember the last time there was violence involving a firearm in a local library. The wife of a good friend of mine is in King County Library senior management, so I think I’ll probably as him about these “prime targets”.

  16. Got in late on this one. It’s not specifically about the library pre se, but if you are lawfully CCW’ing, strollin’ uptown to the public library, what are you supposed to do? Stash your carry gun in a bush while you peruse your books?

    The Seattle PUBLIC Library is only blocks away from the (documented) highest crime area in the city.

    I wouldn’t be without my 98.6 degree security blanket ANYWHERE downtown.

    On Campus carry, if anybody from Students For Concealed Carry is out there, please contact me. My emails haven’t been returned and I need some help. I’m in the process (fight) to get my schools carry policy changed. In WA, it’s up to the school to set the policy. I have a meeting next week with the Pres. and VP of my school. I’ll go it alone if I have to, but I’m tired of sitting in a “Gun Free Zone” (Target of Opportunity) everyday.

    Y’all wish me luck. I’ll need it.

  17. “Librarians were clearly upset by the decision, saying libraries are prime targets for random violence and that guns may escalate confrontations.”

    I’d like to know what kind of mentality it is that thinks that thugs are MORE likely to start violence when surrounded by armed people.

    • Rich, please read my post above. Sometimes it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.

      It’s the same thing when I go to school. Because it’s a “gun free zone” I can’t carry there. I can’t even have my gun in my vehicle. I have to disarm myself at home, and travel disarmed through public, where I am legally allowed to CC.

      My logic follows that this in effect infringes on my Second Amendment rights. I’ve read your posts, and believe that you have similar logic.


      • I was targeting this quote from the article: “Librarians were clearly upset by the decision, saying libraries are prime targets for random violence and that guns may escalate confrontations.”

        Sorry for the confusion.

    • “Who goes to the library anymore?”

      Homeless guys who want to read the daily paper or need a nap, responsible moms who don’t like Big Brother’s propaganda mills, some schoolkids – take a look inside one sometime, you might be pleasantly surprised.

  18. I recall seeing some remarkably stupid positions taken by librarians in the last couple of years that have nothing to do with the generally quiet and well behaved crowd I’m familiar with…including the old downtown library where the bums just want a safe place to doze and wash up in the sink…sad but not likely to ruin their chance to get warm by starting a fight…

    suspect the librarians “upset” has more to do with their politics:


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