Home Cartoonist The Gun Violence Epidemic in Seattle | Seattle weather

The Gun Violence Epidemic in Seattle | Seattle weather


A few years ago I stayed at a friend’s apartment in a very old building in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Besides the spectacular location, the most distinctive thing about the place was a bare wall in the living room on which nicks made by fencing swords were visible.

These notches were proof that at the beginning of the 19th century, the building housed a fencing school. The school existed, not for sport, but for young men who needed to train to survive. Apparently, two centuries ago, sword fights were commonplace on the streets of the city. The men were quick to take offense and draw arms to settle even frivolous disputes.

It looks a bit like Seattle today.

In 2021, gun deaths, gun injuries and shootings in Seattle all reached the highest levels in a decade. And it didn’t stop in 2022. Every weekend seems to bring a new shoot in town or in the inner suburbs. Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz doesn’t see a single cause for the recent surge, but one thing is consistent: the shootings and deaths are mostly of young, non-white men.

If black lives really matter – as well as the lives of young Latinos and Asians – we must address all contributing factors to this violence with at least as much fervor as we do wrongful killings at the hands of the police ( which are few compared to the number of murders committed by angry young men shooting at each other).

As the markings on this wall in New Orleans indicate, young men of various social groups have always been inclined to be cool-headed and quick to resort to a weapon. Today, however, the weapons aren’t rapiers or even the switchblades of 1950s gang fights. Now it’s pistols with 50-round magazines that are far more deadly.

And no one needs to go to a special school to understand how to shoot a gun. You just pull the trigger and someone dies.

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