Isn’t it time we “do something” about shootings in America? Well, last week there was a shooting at one of downtown Seattle’s busiest street corners, yet it was barely covered by the media. There were about 75 opportunities to “do something” to prevent the murder, as is the case with almost every major city shooting you don’t hear about in the media. This is yet another example of the need for criminal control as a more effective public safety tool than gun control.
Last Wednesday night, right around rush hour, gunfire erupted on a busy Seattle street near a bus stop with numerous commuters and pedestrians nearby. One person was killed and seven were wounded, including a 9-year-old boy. This wasn’t the typical gang fight that erupted deep in a bad neighborhood; it placed numerous commuters in the crossfire. Two Amazon workers were shot.
The suspects are Marquise Latrelle Tolbert, 24, William Ray Tolliver, 24, and Jamel Linonell Jackson, 21. Tolbert and Tolliver are on the run, while Jackson is in custody of local police.
William Ray Tolliver has at least 44 prior arrests and 20 convictions, for offenses including unlawful possession of a firearm, theft, malicious mischief, and assault.
Marquise Latrelle Tolbert has over 20 arrests, with 15 convictions, including for robbery, possession of a stolen vehicle, discharging a firearm in a public place, theft, and harassment.
Both men were arrested in 2018 for drive-by shooting and weapons violations but appear not to have served time in prison. Police believe they are both members of a local gang.
What about Jamel Jackson? According to KIRO, he had a prior robbery conviction and two prior convictions for unlawful handgun possession. Yes, it was 100 percent illegal for him to have a gun, but he was caught on camera with a gun at the scene of this crime. He has barely served time in prison, according to court records – just four months of “work release” in 2017 – and even after this incident he is only being held on $50,000 bond. In a 2017 case, police charged that he was a gang member and “likely to commit a violent offense.”
Here we have three suspects with a total of nearly 70 prior arrests, including for violent crimes and gun offenses. But Washington state is a notorious criminal justice “reform” state with an egregious record of releasing both violent domestic criminals and violent illegal aliens.
Washington is also one of the states that is weakening its “three strikes” law. Under the law, those convicted of three violent crimes are supposed to serve time for life, but Gov. Jay Inslee has been consistently granting clemency to the most violent criminals. As KIRO radio host Dori Monson reported last week, Inslee released one three-strike offender who was convicted of stealing 27 guns as his last offense. He violated the terms of his clemency twice and then disappeared. He is now a fugitive criminal in California and is wanted by police for several crimes.
This is the story of almost every shooting and violent crime in America. There have been 943,591 homicides in America from 1966 through 2018. Almost all of them are committed by known criminals who are let back out on the streets, and very few of them are committed with AR rifles. If we only locked up the violent gun felons, most murders would be prevented. Instead, the very people who want gun control are the ones who think that a system that already fails to confine violent gun felons and gangsters is too punitive.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.