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Monday, December 31, 2012

If Bridgeport, CT Can Raise $130,000 for a Gun Buyback Program, Why Can't Seattle?

Posted by on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 12:14 PM

In the aftermath of the tragic shootings at the nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School, private donors raised $130,000 to fund a gun buyback program in Bridgeport, Connecticut:

"We've seen an outpouring from the community since Sandy Hook in all manners, from teddy bears to cash," said police Chief Joseph Gaudett Jr.

Officials say they have since paid out more than $22,000 in the exchanges, snagging powerful weapons such as the AR-15, the same kind of gun used to kill 26 adults and children on December 14 in the neighboring Newtown school.

My earlier post suggesting a Seattle gun buyback program actually generated a fair bit of buzz, and there may actually be some firm developments on that front to report in the near future. But so far, to my knowledge, no big donors have stepped up to fund an effort. Which is a shame. You'd think we could match Bridgeport, if not Los Angeles.


Comments (39) RSS

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Asparagus! 1
Funny, the SPD doesn't seem to have any trouble affording guns.
Posted by Asparagus! on December 31, 2012 at 12:23 PM · Report this
As long as tax money isn't involved, fine. It'd be a "progressive" feel-good program and would do nothing at all to reduce crime or violence. It would be nothing more than a way to turn malfunctioning and stolen guns into cash. But hey, if "progressives" need to stoke their egos and want to contribute privately, go for it.
Posted by Mister G on December 31, 2012 at 12:25 PM · Report this
Trade in your gun for penny's on the dollar, sounds like a great money making opportunity.
Posted by Spindles on December 31, 2012 at 12:29 PM · Report this
Illegal guns start off as legal guns. Someone who never meant to harm anyone, has their gun stolen. Or a bad relative takes it (eg Adam Lanza). The more guns that are handed in, the less those guns can be used for evil purposes. Even if criminals don't hand theirs in, there being less guns out there is a good thing.
Posted by originalcinner on December 31, 2012 at 12:30 PM · Report this
#4 More guns in the hands of criminals, less in the hands of law abiding citizens is a GOOD thing?

Yup, you people are fucking retarded.
Posted by Gimme a break on December 31, 2012 at 12:35 PM · Report this
Fnarf 6
Guns off the streets is a good idea. It doesn't have to completely solve every problem to be worthwhile.
Posted by Fnarf on December 31, 2012 at 1:01 PM · Report this
@6: Has anyone shown that buyback programs reduce the number of guns on the streets, as opposed to guns rusting in basements?
Posted by yuiop on December 31, 2012 at 1:14 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 8
Well, ok, I guess it's better than doing absolutely nothing at all. Like, investing a penny is better than investing nothing.

Gun buybacks are the least they can do. The very least.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 31, 2012 at 1:35 PM · Report this
@5 and 7 -Gun buybacks do us the great service of getting junk guns cleaned out of basements/garages/drawers. You'd be shocked at how broken/rusty/trashed a gun can be and still fire. They also invariably take in some stolen guns-which I am happy are off the streets.
Private money, being used to buy back unwanted property from private citizens. What exactly is the issue? Isn't this the libertarian dream?

As stated before, if it means one kid doesn't accidentally shoot themselves or someone else with a gun that was forgotten about, or some dumbass doesn't have a rusted piece of junk to threaten a clerk with, I think it was money well spent.
Posted by Chris Jury on December 31, 2012 at 1:37 PM · Report this

Hey Goldensteinemberg, how come no mention of that terrible, terrible shooting in… Bellevue! In a bar! Filled with people! Multiple people hit! One dead! In Bellevue! In one of Kemper Freeman's property! With a gun! An illegal one! In fucking Bellevue!

….oh wait, that was black thugs from the CD settling a drug score. No need to mention it eh, since 50% of all gun killings in the US involve young black males.

Look! Squirrel!
Posted by Mercer Island Goy on December 31, 2012 at 1:41 PM · Report this
Plus there's a lot to be said about proximity to the event. If 20 kids were killed in Issaquah, there'd be MUCH more support for a buy-back program.
Posted by ultrasuedecushion on December 31, 2012 at 1:43 PM · Report this
Foghorn Leghorn 12
I thought Gun-Buyback Programs were called "Pawn Shops"
Posted by Foghorn Leghorn on December 31, 2012 at 2:19 PM · Report this
Gun buy-backs should be funded with special taxes on guns, PG-13 and above movies, and video games rated for mature.
Posted by DisorganizedReligion on December 31, 2012 at 2:48 PM · Report this
@13 Taxes based on easy to manipulate things like ratings don't work very well.

A buyback seems like a fine idea and one that should have a small effect, but if this is the most we wind up doing I am going to be pretty unhappy.
Posted by giffy on December 31, 2012 at 2:56 PM · Report this
kk in seattle 15
Why not just accept guns and ammo at haz mat disposal sites, along with old paint cans and expired prescription medications. No questions asked, just clear out the basement and garage.
Posted by kk in seattle on December 31, 2012 at 2:57 PM · Report this
I would love to be more involved in making this happen. I could donate a little money, and a lot of time. How do we move forward with making this a reality?
Posted by asquaredroot on December 31, 2012 at 2:59 PM · Report this
Yes, let's throw a bake sale! How about at Rainier and Henderson at 3 am so communities of color can join us?
Posted by Earnest Earl on December 31, 2012 at 3:35 PM · Report this
@16 and @17 have given us the germ of a plan. See, we can all come together around important issues.

I too have some cash to throw at this. However, I have very little time to do any organizing. Would The Stranger like to put some its law enforcement and social organizing contacts to work? Could be a pretty big coup for the paper.

First step would be to get buy-in from the SPD, making sure we do everything by the book. Will also require a call to the ATF, just to clarify what the rules are, and what paperwork needs to happen. We would need to organize the transportation of collected guns, and safe storage until they can be destroyed. We will need word on who/how they can best be melted down. Likely also want to can a local museum/historian to keep an eye on the line in case anything of interest shows up. @17 thinks it should be in the CD, in conjunction with a late night bake sale...sounds fun. If we do it there I will buy everyone working a couple pieces of chicken from the little grocery store on MLK and 23rd (? maybe?). The Ethiopian family that owns it makes the best chicken ever- you seriously have to try it.
Posted by Chris Jury on December 31, 2012 at 3:55 PM · Report this
@18 How about a charity run down MLK through the RV at 2am with iPhones strapped to their arms. Anyone who makes it in one piece gets a cookie?
Posted by Earnest Earl on December 31, 2012 at 4:02 PM · Report this
internet_jen 20
I hate the title of this post, who w/ any clout is saying there'd be no support?
Posted by internet_jen on December 31, 2012 at 4:10 PM · Report this
Hang on, Seattle is a safe city by US standards. 23 murders in 2012. Baltimore with same population had 200 murders. Maybe guns aren't the issue? Can't think what is though...someone want to help me?
Posted by Earnest Earl on December 31, 2012 at 4:15 PM · Report this
maybe because people in seattle are kinda educated and realize people kill people, not guns.

not to mention the futility of forcing a market underground, especially one as large as guns. name 1 underground market you don't want to see legalized and regulated. can you?

it's also mildly amusing how people pretend like the 2nd amendment doesn't exist. now you can take this to batshit-insane levels both ways, but if some asshole on the eastside can sue light rail into the ground for decades over environment or land-use bullshit, you can bet your ass the millions of adult americans with money that support guns, some of which are smart lawyers, will stalemate the whole thing in court for all of our lifetimes.

so why bother? people kill people. be nice to each other. maybe fix health care? idk.
Posted by Swearengen on December 31, 2012 at 4:19 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 23

Probably end up being resold...just like the (Cash for) Clunkers that disappeared into the back of the chop shops.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on December 31, 2012 at 4:20 PM · Report this
"broken/rusty/trashed a gun can be"

Don't you think your typical gang member has enough self-esteem to own a gun that will impress his label?
Posted by Earnest Earl on December 31, 2012 at 4:33 PM · Report this
How about a clay pigeon shooting charity contest but instead of clay pigeons, we have Korean shop keepers run across MLK and down through the RV at 2am?
Posted by Earnest Earl on December 31, 2012 at 4:45 PM · Report this
"maybe because people in seattle are kinda educated"

Well that and they're mainly white and Asian. Baltimore has ten times the black population and, go figure, ten times the murder rate.
Posted by But let's blame the guns, it's politically correct on December 31, 2012 at 4:48 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 27
Gun buybacks really, really piss off gun nuts. They won't tell us the real reason, but who cares? The NRA has data that gives them cause to hate gun buybacks, and that's good enough for me.

I would guess it's their strategy of normalizing gun ownership. To make guns ubiquitous, and even wholesome. A gun in every kitchen. A gun for every 5th birthday present.

But get all those guns out of people's daily lives and people to revert to the more natural, more sinister image of guns.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on December 31, 2012 at 5:18 PM · Report this
The other day I sat with a large group of people evenly divided between pro and anti gunowners, as a miricle, we all came to one consensus: Saying " guns don't kill people, people kill people" is inane. Because it's obviously true, like saying "nuclear weapons don't kill people, people kill people" would be equally true but utterly meaningless with regard to the discussion of who should have nuclear weapons. Please give it a rest.
Posted by MikeB on December 31, 2012 at 7:08 PM · Report this
@21 I think the issue is cultural. The idea that guns are the answer to everything. If they are promoted as THE answer to anger, frustration, pain, rejection, whatever, then they become the first thing people turn to. Right now the NRA leadership is promoting the idea that arming ourselves is the answer to every threat. Seattle doesn't on the whole foster that culture, which may be why our homicide rate is low. It would be helpful if the NRA and others who say "guns are not the problem" would promote alternatives to resolving problems in life. Like communication? Compassion?
Posted by thinker on December 31, 2012 at 7:11 PM · Report this
@29 you're right it's cultural in Seattle. Not a lot of blacks and urban black gang culture. Win win in my book.
Posted by Fred Flintstone on December 31, 2012 at 8:37 PM · Report this
If The Stranger (or anyone here) steps up and gets the ball rolling on this I am in for a grand. I'd like to do more, but it is tax time.
Posted by Chris Jury on December 31, 2012 at 8:41 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 32
Oh, shit! Bridgeport, my old hood! Lived there until I was 12.

It literally is a hood. One great, big, giant hood with a massive port. Imagine the following:

You take South Park, Sodo, Georgetown, Rainier Valley, and Harbor Island, and Beacon Hill. Now clone it repeatedly until it takes up as much land as all of Seattle: that's Bridgeport.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on December 31, 2012 at 9:28 PM · Report this
@27 when I was a kid I inherited about 200 firearms from my grandpa. With a buy back program I was able to afford college (along with a few scholarships). Buy backs are awesome.
Posted by CbytheSea on December 31, 2012 at 9:55 PM · Report this
@27, as a gun nut, privately funded buybacks generally don't bother me. It's a shame when you see somebody selling a classic firearm worth thousands to the buyback, but that was just sitting there rusting anyway. One can only hope they'll let an interested collector buy it instead if the collector offers more.

What I dislike is when you get grandstanding by politicians, such as happened in LA recently, where they show things that weren't actually dangerous that they are proud to have "taken off the street", such as an RPG that is clearly marked "trainer"
Posted by Tawnos on January 1, 2013 at 9:46 AM · Report this
Yay, let's do something! Not something that works but something that wastes time and energy and resources! Yay us!
Posted by BLUE on January 1, 2013 at 10:45 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 36

O the humanity! The horror! It's like like a... a HOLOCAUST of grandstanding.

I bet if you had a time machine and you could either go back and prevent the birth of HITLER or prevent the birth of a grandstanding politician who misidentified a dummy grenade launcher as real, you'd have like an IMPOSSIBLE choice. Which to choose? Which is worse? BOTH!

Thanks for telling me about the misidentified grenade launcher. I can no longer sleep at night.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on January 1, 2013 at 2:07 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 37
I will gladly pay double what the buyback is paying, IN CASH.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on January 1, 2013 at 2:35 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 38

Oh, hell I forgot.

Why, oh why, do so many fine old guns get sold for next to nothing at a gun buyback?

Could it be the sudden, unexpected death of the gun owner? Could it be that due to the extraordinary rates of gun owner deaths in robberies and burglaries, and accidental shootings, and suicides, that many many lovely gun collections suddenly change hands to a wife or other relative who has no idea what to do with them? And so they sit around for a few years until an easy way to dispose of the lot comes along in the form of a buyback.

If only gun owners could live to a ripe old age and have their valuable collection dealt with according to their long-planned wishes. If only gun owners didn't continually die unexpectedly.

What a conundrum!

Perhaps the NRA needs to campaign for gun owners to get their affairs in order. But what message would that send...?
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on January 1, 2013 at 2:41 PM · Report this

Butthurt much? The point is that when I see that kind of claim being used to try and push non-privately funded buybacks and/or claims that "wow, look what we took off the streets, aren't we awesome" comments, it detracts from the larger picture. Your unsubstantiated claims that there are "extraordinary rates of gun owner deaths in blah blah blah" have nothing to do with the lost history I'm lamenting.

Consider this woman:… She's lucky the police had the forthrightness and honesty to say "you'd do much better selling this privately than to us." It's cool that people who don't know firearms or inherited them (and I would wager the vast majority of inheritance has nothing to do with the nefarious reasons you suggest) can get rid of them to a trusted third party rather than letting them sit around where they could pose a danger due to the owners' own lack of care about them.

Bringing up insanely stupid hypotheticals about time machines to choose who to prevent the birth of doesn't do you any favors. It makes you look like more of a nutter than I suspect a lot of Slog readers believe me to be. More than one thing can be bad or annoying at a time, there's no mutual exclusivity between disliking grandstanding politicians and disliking genocidal maniacs.
Posted by Tawnos on January 1, 2013 at 10:16 PM · Report this

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