Do we Care that the Police Closed The Knitting Factory?
I will never be a person to come to the defense of the Knitting Factory. In fact, going to concerts there kind of blows. But after yesterday’s violent incident ended in two people getting shot outside of the music venue Spokane Police Department Chief, Frank Straub shut that mutha down. This is the fourth time police have been dispatched because of shootings at this venue. I really don’t know exactly how to feel about the temporary closure of Spokane’s most wanted music venue, but I’ll happily share my thought process with everyone:
1. YOU’RE RUINING IT FOR EVERYONE, G! The Spokane Police Department has some evidence that the perps that shut this party down were in rival gangs. I’m first going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that all of the violence and was squarely rooted in life’s true love because Spokane is actually a Shakespearian play (T-Bone + Juliet) . Second, for all of the gang-related readers of the Spovangelist, just quit it. You’re ruining it for all of us. Excessive violence can ruin cities and Spokane shouldn’t be one of them
2. What does shutting down the Knitting Factory actually achieve? In an interview earlier today at the site of the shooting (The parking lot across the street from The Knitting Factory at 1st Ave. and Monroe) Chief Straub stated, “Our goal here is to bring [The Knitting Factory] to the table.” I understand how shutting a venue down would be the the fire under the ass of the management of the venue, but the issue of violence outside of the venue really couldn’t be mediated by the management; especially when it comes to gun violence. It seems to be a community issue, not just a venue issue. If somebody got angry inside of The Knitting Factory and goes outside to get their weapon, regardless of the braun of the bouncer, there’s not a lot to be done other than systemic change. So the brunt of the issue really revolves around the idea of quelling violence and not The Knitting Factory.
3. YOU’RE NOT MY REAL DAD, OK?! This is Frank Straub’s fourth month as Police Chief of the Spokane Police Department. Before he was hired, he was being super nice to us: Talking about buying us things, making us feel comfortable about big changes but now that he married our city, he’s laying down the law hardcore. Just like a step-dad enforcing a curfew, you hate it when it happens, but the results of the new rules might be more than you expected.
4. BUT WHAT ABOUT OWL CITY? Don’t worry, just kidding.
5. THERE’S GOTTA BE A BETTER WAY, SPD! Same story, different decade. In the mid-70′s to the 80′s, Spokane’s punk scene had a big problem with police shutting down their venues down, but that didn’t stop violent crime, that stopped live music (Check out the documentary Spokanarchy for more on that) . Spokane has always been down on it’s luck when it comes to music venues (With or without police intervention), especially long-term venues that host all-ages shows reliably. To see The Knitting Factory be closed temporarily is a big blow to the music scene in Spokane.
Even after thinking this all through, I am still conflicted about where I stand on the issue. On one hand, it’s important to combat gun and gang violence in Spokane; on the other, I am not sure that closing a The Knitting Factory, a major attraction, employer and downtown business, is the best way to solve the problem.
When will the madness end? I don’t know. I don’t shoot people.