From the Seattle Times:
“My generation has been defined by gun violence. We have been defined by continued and repeated inaction by our elected officials,” Stephen Paolini, 22-year-old campaign manager for Initiative 1639, said at a gathering at Seattle’s Edgewater Hotel where Tuesday’s results drew cheers. “I hope tonight this victory is a message to our elected officials: Enough is enough.”
That “victory” about which Paolini was so euphoric was the passage of I-1639, the billionaire-financed ballot initiative that will:
- Raise the age to buy semi-automatic rifles to 21 years old
- Require those buying semi-autos to pass an “enhanced background check” and undergo a training course
- Establish a 10-day waiting period for semi-auto firearm purchases
- Allow dealers to charge a $25 surcharge for semi-autos to comply with the law
- Require all firearms to be stored with a trigger lock or in a safe
“A handful of billionaires put in millions of dollars to buy votes and we were outspent,” Gottlieb said. “But while they were able to buy votes, our hope is they won’t be able to buy judges.”
And yet 1639 passed by 20 points in the wake of news that residents of Seattle are waiting hours at times for a police officer when they dial 911.
“There are cases where someone waits an extraordinary amount of time for police service,” (Seattle police Sgt. Sean) Whitcomb said. “Everyone would agree we would be able to do more, and perhaps do a better job, if we had more resources.”
Population growth has skyrocketed in King County, adding 36,000 people between July 2015 and 2016. But growth inside the Seattle Police Department hasn’t been so quick. The department said they have added 111 new officers since 2014 – but this year alone more than 30 have left.
Do you have a potential burglar in your house? Settle in and be prepared to deal with it yourself.
Jennifer Brosius said she waited 10 hours for Seattle police to respond to her 911 call back in June.
“It was infuriating. It was scary and terribly frustrating,” Brosius said.
Brosius and her husband had come home from work to find their house had been burglarized, her bedroom ransacked. They weren’t sure if the thieves were still inside.
“It was ‘are you sure no one is still in the house?’ We weren’t completely sure,” she said.
The 911 dispatcher told her not to touch anything and to wait outside. The daughter of a police officer, Brosius was quick to listen – she plopped down on her porch and waited the full 10 hours.
Fortunately for Brosius, the burglar was gone. And yet the Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue area was the part of the state that gave 1639 its strongest support. Go figure.
So if you live in the Evergreen State, be prepared to be your own first responder, even more so than in other locales. Just be sure you’re complying with 1639’s provisions because once the police finally show up, you could be charged with a gross misdemeanor or felony community endangerment if your guns aren’t properly secured.