'Gun Free Zone' campaign launched in Seattle

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by AMY MORENO / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on August 19, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 19 at 5:20 PM

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is putting his support behind a "Gun Free Zone" campaign, encouraging businesses to post a decal in their windows, stating that guns are not allowed.

For Kurt Geisel, the owner of Cafe Racer, it's so much more than just a sticker in his window, more than just his stance on a political issue. It's one way to let those lost in the shooting at his business last year know they're not forgotten.

“I think about them every day, there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about what I could have done to prevent what happened from happening,” he said.

“Most of the people at Cafe Racer, want it to go away.  Just want to put it in our past but then how are you going to honor the victims like that.”

Geissel joined Mayor Mike McGinn and business owners to support the gun ban

“It’s just a greater statement on what we're trying to establish as a neighborhood and a community,” said business owner Mike Meckling.

But the idea and the mayor's involvement drew sharp criticism from second amendment advocates.

The Second Amdendment Foundation says it's not going to work.

“To me it's social bigotry, it's picking on people who legitimately own firearms and use them for legitimate purposes,” said Alan Gottlieb. “The average citizen knows the sticker isn't going to stop a bullet, a bullet's going to go right through the sticker if you have a bad guy on the street.”

Criminologist Jackie Helfgott agrees that it won’t stop those determined to cause harm, but believes it could have an impact in a different way

“It’s  going to change the cultural validation of whether or not it's okay for citizens to be carrying guns in these establishments,” said Jackie Helfgott.

Geisel hopes this small sticker will have that bigger impact

“This a little way we can give back to make sure nobody has to deal with this anymore.”

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