Last night’s dead­ly ram­page in Fed­er­al Way — which result­ed in the deaths of five indi­vid­u­als at the Pinewood Vil­lage apart­ments com­plex just off Pacif­ic High­way South — has focused nation­al and inter­na­tion­al atten­tion on our region.

Although the tragedy occurred in Fed­er­al Way and author­i­ties there are han­dling the inves­ti­ga­tion, sev­er­al nation­al and inter­na­tion­al media out­lets are incor­rect­ly char­ac­ter­iz­ing the event as a “Seat­tle shoot­ing” or a shoot­ing in Seat­tle, imply­ing that it hap­pened in our region’s biggest city. In fact, the Fed­er­al Way city lim­its are some twen­ty miles south of the heart of Seat­tle, and dri­ving from one city hall to anoth­er takes twen­ty-five min­utes… in good traffic.

A quick check of sto­ries per­tain­ing to the tragedy on Bing News revealed some head­lines that are mis­lead­ing and could have been bet­ter written.

Let’s com­pare a few:

Our own local media, of course, don’t need to say “Seat­tle area”. We here in Wash­ing­ton know where Fed­er­al Way is.

There are a lot of details about this tragedy we still don’t know. We do know that the man killed by police last night — who is sus­pect­ed of killing the oth­ers — had a license to car­ry a con­cealed weapon. And he was abu­sive: Law enforce­ment knew this guy, because he’d been vio­lent before. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, he was armed last night, and he did ter­ri­ble dam­age with his weapons.

We at NPI extend our deep­est con­do­lences to the fam­i­lies and friends of those killed in this sense­less act of vio­lence. Anoth­er mass shoot­ing has result­ed in more death and destruc­tion. We’re left to won­der: When is enough enough? When are we going to put human rights ahead of “gun rights”?

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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