Seattle: Keep Your Head Up and Your Guns Down

Duff McKagan is the founding bassist of Guns N' Roses and the leader of Seattle's Loaded. His column runs every Thursday on Reverb.
Editor's Note:In light of the tragedy in Connecticut, readers have returned to McKagan's column on gun violence, written after the Cafe Racer shooting last spring. The post has not been updated, but, sadly, we nonetheless have found the piece pertinent again.

A father was killed -- collateral damage from an errant bullet -- and his children ran into a restaurant for shelter. Mad at the world, a man walked into a coffee shop and opened fire, and later took his own life. And let's not forget Folklife. FOLKLIFE!? For the second year in a row, it was the scene of a shooting. These are dark days in Seattle.

If there is still some sort of argument in favor of gun ownership, I'd like to hear about it now. I don't get it. I just don't get it.

I think the City of Seattle should rethink the concealed-weapon permit process. Penalties for violations of gun laws should be swift and involve maximum jail time. Why? Because too many innocent people are dying in our city.

We don't need to carry guns. There are no invading forces that we have to protect our borders, states, or towns from. We don't need to hunt for food either.

People from Seattle are proud to be from here. We are quirky and have a sense of humor. It rains here, and when it is sunny, we all go outside. We have culture, dress with mad style, and we are book nerds. It is a great place for raising kids because of the safety. Or at least it was.

What do we do now, Seattle?

From all of us in the McKagan family and the Seattle Weekly family: To the families of those who have perished in this past week's tragedies, you have our deepest condolences and sympathy. I can't even imagine.

To Mayor McGinn: Do something.

To the NRA: Really?

To residents of Seattle: Don't lose a step. Go outside with your chest out. Wear your kooky clothes. Laugh, ride your bikes, and root for our terrible baseball team.

Let's not let this darkness misinform us of who we are.

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