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City leaders call for gun law changes in wake of recent shootings (VIDEO)

SEATTLE — A cross-section of the community stood behind Mayor Ed Murray Friday afternoon as he and other city leaders admonished gun violence in the wake of recent shootings that killed three and injured more, all uniting to call for change.

Murray joined SPD Chief Harry Bailey, two SPD captains, councilmember Tim Burgess and other members of the community at a press conference to update the public on the Sunday shootings in the Leschi neighborhood and a shooting on the Seattle Pacific University campus Thursday.

But along with the brief updates, the mayor and others took the time to call for a change in gun laws.

“Gun violence happens everywhere and impacts everyone,” Murray said. “We have to find a way to move forward.”

Murray said he would call a special meeting of the city council next week to address how the city could move forward on public safety measures and better curb gun violence. He also said Washington needed to take action to toughen gun laws, especially as mayors all across the state and the nation called for change.

“Gun violence is a senseless epidemic,” Murray said.

Little new updates were offered on the Sunday’s Leschi shooting that killed 23-year-old Dwone Anderson-Young and 27-year-old Ahmed Said. Little new was also offered in the Seattle University shootings where 26-year-old Aaron Ybarra allegedly walked into a campus hall and shot three, killing one.

However, SPD Capt. Chris Fowler did say Ybarra’s shotgun was purchased legally years ago.

Councilmember Tim Burgess echoed Murray’s calls for change, saying never before has he had to pick and choose between two memorial services for gun violence victims, with both the Leschi shooting memorial and an impromptu SPU memorial being held last night. He said the knowledge that there were too many memorials to attend weighed heavily on him.

“I pledge to you that the city council will work closely with (Murray) to make our city safer,” Burgess said.

SPD Chief Harry Bailey said police are working to establish motive in both cases, and will update the public as more information becomes available.

Part two of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s news conference is below

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7 comments

  • laura

    Get real…guns don't kill, people do and not law abiding citizens but criminals who will find away to get them anyways.

  • The World is Ending

    Ed Murry believes in one simple gun law no civilian (with the exception of his rich friends) can have one.

  • Richard Cosner

    How many Drunk Drivers kill people? How many people kill people with knives, baseball bats, tire irons, and cars, I don’t see anyone making laws to ban those lethal weapons when they are used to commit murder or a crime in which a life is destroyed by an individual. A man convicted more than 4 times kills several family members while DUI and cripples a child but we keep giving him the keys to his weapon of choice. The crime is people are pointing the finger at the object- not the person who did the crime!

    Stop tying the hands of our officers by making it more difficult for them to do their jobs! You restrict law enforcement to the point that they can only respond after the fact and can never stop anything before it happens. This is what our society has come to, but yet people complain (just very recently in CA) why didn’t officers stop it- hmmm sorry ma’am I could have saved your son/daughter but I had to wait until a crime was committed and then I could not take any physical action because I might get sued by the criminals family after I put him jail. Shows us where our priorities really are.

    The weapon is not what does the targeting, nor is it the object that makes the choice, it is the person, who is free thinking whether they are mentally stable or not, they have the choice. Once that choice is made there is no undoing it, no making it better, and no fixing what has already happened, it is done! If you ban guns, then ban knives, bats, and every other object that a person has ever chosen as a weapon because that is what we are saying, take away the weapon you won’t have murder, WRONG! Because criminals will always find their guns, their knives, their weapons to commit their crimes- the only people being punished are law abiding citizens when you take away their right just to punish the few who make headlines.

    Headlines change perspectives- heck Washington got volcano evacuation routes and lahar sirens because of movies how much money did we expend on those things instead of adding to mental health facilities?

    Provide some real legislation that will truly affect criminal behavior, and make criminals hate prison so much they won’t go back, that is legislation I will support! Not taking away the rights of every day citizens who do the right thing every day! I vote for decreasing the prison budgets (make prisoners earn their bed and breakfast too, and take away the library, cable TV, computers, internet, college, clothing, snacks, all the nice things poor people don’t get but NOT guard payroll) and giving those funds to mental health facilities, anyone want to make those changes?

  • Matt

    Just another useless speech to pander to the voters in Seattle. >If it looks like I am doing something regardless of the outcome, I can at least say I tried>. People still drive drunk in spite of that pesky DUI law and kill more people than the lone crazy gunman, unforunately it isn't sensationalized by the media or maybe there would be vigils for those deaths as well. The real issue is mental health and medicating then releasing instead of properly evaluating people and monitoring them to force them to take their medication or be locked up for the good of the community. Western State is underfunded and undermanned thanks to politicians, they release patients on a daily basis and refuse to take new ones. Doctors know this and want the kickbacks from the drug companies which has brought us to our current situation. People are mandated to 24 hour evaluations by community health professionals and are released regardless of their mental history. Its sad and irresponsible all at the same time.

  • allhaileris

    Drunk driving murders are just as senseless and a much larger epidemic. How many folks were murdered by drunk drivers in and around Seattle in the last week? How many funerals is that? Washington is among the worst states for drunk driving murders. No press conference for that. No new laws for that. No talk about banning alcohol to save lives. Nationally 15% more people are murdered by drunk drivers than are murdered with ALL TYPES of firearms combined. No mention of that. You're more likely to be struck by lightning than to be murdered with ANY TYPE of rifle. No mention of that. Just more public security theater, and more moves toward taking away our constitutional right to keep and BEAR arms.