Last week of course the Seattle-area suffered through the senseless Seattle Pacific University campus shooting, yet another in a string of national school-related, gun connected tragedies. Given my past-professional background, I was keenly interested when I heard that the shooter, when attempting to commit himself, was deemed sane by yet another group of inept local mental health professionals. You may not know or understand that many recent involuntary,----or as in this case, voluntary,--- commitment denials are part of a new fiscal restraint dictating who is or isn't committed for psychiatric observation. The incident I described a few weeks back was exactly that, the MHP counting pennies regardless of the obvious, deciding to send someone home when clearly professional intervention was warranted and necessary.
A photograph published in the Seattle Times this weekend displayed the Seattle Pacific President and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray engaged in serious reflection. While clearly someone firing a shotgun at defenseless students is beyond acceptability, I couldn't help thinking about the economic violence perpetuated against the taxi industry. When, if ever will the kind of concern shown by the mayor be transferred to us, the long-suffering taxi business owners? What he and the city council don't recognize is that their three-plus year tolerance of renegade taxi-like services has created a new municipal attitude condoning lawless behavior: it is perfectly okay to do anything you want, to victimize the general citizenry.
I can hear the protests now but I for one will not take them seriously. Selective enforcement, the cherry-picking of what is acceptable or not, is both insincere and disingenuous. Gunning folks down in the street cannot be tolerated but the dismembering of a regulated and legally compliant industry appears to be completely okay. The question will always be why, why is the destruction and demonetization of an entire industry reasonable? Some will comment that what I am saying is both far-fetched and outrageous but my response will always be, you are not the ones being victimized. How can you know, especially if you are the aggressor or the one setting the rules?
What I am requesting is that those in charge, the mayor, the council members, the City Attorney's office, recognize that a multiple-tiered version of justice isn't equitable. Fairness must be part of all dialogue. What has occurred, and is ongoing, cannot be described as fair. A new approach is required, one that includes a real and comprehensive understanding of my oft-maligned industry. If the patient is ill, let us instead find a cure. The remedies now being discussed are fatal.
Again, how is that justifiable? I just don't see why we must be interred in an unmarked grave. Whatever our alleged crimes might be, none of them warrant a death sentence. Instead it is time for understanding and comprehensive reexamination. Time to let the patient live and strive. There is no other answer.