Run From My Bullets

Over the past week, six people have been shot at gun shows, the most recent victim being a gun dealer in Iowa who thought the gun he was showing was unloaded. Cops found another loaded gun at his table after he put a bullet in his palm.

In a different kind of gun show, Seattle just had a successful gun buyback. The planned six-hour event spent $118,000 in private donations in three hours:

Among the hundreds of handguns, shotguns, rifles, and assault weapons collected today was a shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missile launcher and three “Street Sweepers”: 12-gauge 12-round semiautomatic shotguns specifically designed for combat and riot control. “‘Street Sweeper’ says it all,” an uncharacteristically tongue-tied Mayor Mike McGinn said about the weapons.

The buyback rules were simple: $100 gift cards for a functioning handgun, shotgun or rifle, $200 for a functioning assault weapon, and $25 for each high-capacity magazine. This seems like a no-brainer for civic-minded charities.






64 replies
  1. 1
    Shalimar says:

    And then the weapons are transported to the South and sold for a profit in an area where they are most likely to be used against fellow gun nuts. It’s a win-win-win, everyone is happy.

  2. 2
    Punchy says:

    A buyback takes in SAMs? And no one questions Bazooka Joe when he lugs that in and plops it on the table? Im guessing he wasnt dark skinned….

  3. 3
    red dog says:

    Here in CA we have a lot of these buybacks and most of the weapons are “grampa’s old shotgun” or “my first .22” type weapons. The teevee news shows a couple of nasty weapons but they tend to be a small percentage so I wonder how much good it does or do most people see a chance to get $100 for a $10 rusty relic.

  4. 4
    Derelict says:

    This must be a completely fake propaganda story. ALL of my gun-nut friends know for a fact that gun buy-back operation never work. Therefore, this cannot have happened.

    Personally, I’d like to see a buy-back shop open 24-7 in every city and town. It would help to drain the swamp of weapons while boosting the economy.

  5. 5
    NotMax says:

    Wondering if any of the functional weapons are subsequently test fired to see if their signatures might match one used in a crime.

  6. 6
    Violet says:

    People getting shot at gun shows fits pretty well into the “put all the gun nuts on an island with their guns and let them shoot each other” scenario. So long as those evil soshulist taxpayer-funded first responders don’t get called in to help any of them, of course.

    @Derelict:

    Personally, I’d like to see a buy-back shop open 24-7 in every city and town. It would help to drain the swamp of weapons while boosting the economy.

    I agree. I think it might work well before holidays where people spend money so they’ll really want those gift cards–like Christmas. Maybe maybe it a tradition, like Black Friday has become. Maybe Buyback Sunday or something.

  7. 7
    Raven says:

    @Shalimar: It’s the other way around the heat goes FROM the south.

  8. 8
    dr. bloor says:

    @NotMax: This is what would ordinarily be referred to as a “disincentive.”

    Guns off the streets. Small victories. Enjoy and appreciate.

  9. 9
    cathyx says:

    I’m a bit surprised that so many people will do this. If you are the type to buy a gun in the first place, it’s odd to me that you would then turn it in. And are you even getting close to the amount of money it cost to buy the gun initially?

  10. 10
    Amir Khalid says:

    Okay, in America Mr. Private Citizen can get hold of a shoulder-mounted SAM launcher. (Maybe not legally, but still…) That’s good to know.

    More seriously, did Seattle PD say what they planned to do with the weapons they got in the buyback? The story doesn’t say. As Shalimar notes, selling the weapons on elsewhere would just export the problem instead of solving it — which the Seattle cops surely would not want.

  11. 11
    c u n d gulag says:

    And I’m sure, if this were cash being handed out, there would be some gun nuts out there, handing in their old guns, and using the money to buy newer, more lethal guns, and laughing the entire time.

    Hopefully, those “gift cards” can’t be used for guns or ammo.

  12. 12

    Meanwhile, the gun manufacturers are, ahem, aiming for our kids:

    Threatened by long-term declining participation in shooting sports, the firearms industry has poured millions of dollars into a broad campaign to ensure its future by getting guns into the hands of more, and younger, children.

    The industry’s strategies include giving firearms, ammunition and cash to youth groups; weakening state restrictions on hunting by young children; marketing an affordable military-style rifle for “junior shooters” and sponsoring semiautomatic-handgun competitions for youths; and developing a target-shooting video game that promotes brand-name weapons, with links to the Web sites of their makers.

    The pages of Junior Shooters, an industry-supported magazine that seeks to get children involved in the recreational use of firearms, once featured a smiling 15-year-old girl clutching a semiautomatic rifle. At the end of an accompanying article that extolled target shooting with a Bushmaster AR-15 — an advertisement elsewhere in the magazine directed readers to a coupon for buying one — the author encouraged youngsters to share the article with a parent.

    “Who knows?” it said. “Maybe you’ll find a Bushmaster AR-15 under your tree some frosty Christmas morning!”

    Sick.

    On the other hand, I’m encouraged the New York Times is even writing this story. A year ago this would have passed without comment.

  13. 13
    Schlemizel says:

    My kid told me that at Titusville High he could buy any type of handgun I wanted for $25. Many, if not all, were stolen. I would think a lot of kids would like to make $75 for trading one in. Heck, if it were a regular market in buy back smart kids could make a pretty good living at it until thee street prices rose.

  14. 14
    MattF says:

    @cathyx: It’s a hoarding scenario. You just spent the monthly rent money for a three-person household on your seventeenth assault rifle, and the XX component of the household is extremely pissed off.

  15. 15
    NotMax says:

    @dr. bloor

    This is what would ordinarily be referred to as a “disincentive.”

    The other side of that coin being, obviously, a remunerative venue at which to dump a ‘hot’ weapon.

    Also too, did not in any way state that I don’t appreciate it.

  16. 16

    By the way, someone has started an accidental shootings Tumblr.

    A yearbook of responsible gun ownership … not.

  17. 17
    mistermix says:

    @MattF: Some of it is also people who used to live in the house who moved on and have left their guns behind (kids, boy/girl friends, ex-spouses, etc.) If there was a gun buyback in my home town, I’m sure my parents would get rid of the guns we had in the house we had as kids that haven’t been touched in years.

  18. 18
    NotMax says:

    @c u n d gulag

    Per the comments at the linked piece, there was cash being handed out by people working the line of cars backed up to the event, offering more in cash than than the face amount of the cards.

  19. 19
    c u n d gulag says:

    @NotMax: OY!

  20. 20
    Aimai says:

    Didn’t our resident gun shill specifically tell us that he had sold a non functioning handgun and suckered the buy backers ( or mooched as the case may be?) his point was, as someone pointed out upthread, to diminish public confidence in buy back programs.

    Additiinaly the argument is made that buy back programs create a thriving market in burglaries. I think anyone who buys and owns a gun legally who lets it get stolen should be considered complicit in any crimes committed by its new possessor and if it shows up at a buy back the original owner should lose their liscence.

  21. 21
    Xenos says:

    @MattF: Good point about hoarding – we have our latest version of a public hysteria, and at some point the fever will break, one can reasonably predict. Probably about the same time the gold bubble breaks (gold and the means to protect a stash of it seem to go together).

    And I thought we hit the bottom with the housing bubble.

  22. 22
    red dog says:

    These guns are all crushed then incinerated with the resulting lumps of metal sold as scrap. Most the next day.

  23. 23
    IowaOldLady says:

    @cathyx:

    I heard Goldie Taylor say that as a single mother, she’d kept a gun in the house for safety, but the Newtown shootings and subsequent flow of information made her decide she’d be safer if she got rid of it.

    It would be nice to know how many gun owners would do the same if we had wider education about the dangers of a gun in the house. But of course, the gun lobby successfully made it illegal for government agencies to do that research.

  24. 24
    Xenos says:

    @mistermix: Or inheritances. My dad has about ten rifles and shotguns in a safe. None of his kids want them. The executor will have to dispose of them – I suspect a call to the local police department will be made and they will take care of it.

  25. 25
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Derelict: I’ve suggested in many venues (and in a WH Petition and in letters to my congressmen and senators) that there be an expansion of voluntary programs like this. Have federal funding for nation-wide buy-back programs. (Have it run by charities or state/local government if there are concerns about Obummer Takin’ My GUNZZZ!). And have a national program of free trigger locks. Give them out like candy. Reduce the reasons for people not to lock them up or get rid of them on their own.

    We don’t have to wait for national legislation that restricts purchases or bans various types to make things substantially safer in our communities. Do sensible voluntary things now – make it easier for people who have residual guns from grandpa in their homes to get rid of them (or lock them up) and reward them for doing so.

    I wish things like this would get more traction. But it doesn’t make good TV so it’s going to take a long time… :-(

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  26. 26
    quannlace says:

    Just read a story about a guy with a concealed gun permit accidentally shot his wife in a restaurant. Now what if that’d been another customer. Major lawsuit against the man and the restaurant. Wingnuts sneer at the term/idea of a ‘gun-free zone.’ But if this keeps happening, how long before people demand the right to enjoy a dish of pasta without the threat of bullets whizzing by.

  27. 27
    Robin G. says:

    What happens to the guns after they’re bought back? No snark, genuinely curious.

  28. 28
    NotMax says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYetThere is already federal requirement (dating from 2006, IIRC) for firearms dealers to “provide a secure gun storage or safety device” with the sale or transfer of every handgun.

    However, there are no specifications or standards as to what does or does not qualify as meeting the requirement. Some states do have more stringent delineations as to what must be provided as a part of the sale.

  29. 29
    Enhanced Voting techniques says:

    @cathyx:

    I’m a bit surprised that so many people will do this. If you are the type to buy a gun in the first place, it’s odd to me that you would then turn it in. And are you even getting close to the amount of money it cost to buy the gun initially?

    buy gun, then grow up, or and find out it’s not as sexy as Hollywood makes it out to be or have kids.

  30. 30
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Robin G.: I assume they’re generally destroyed. E.g. a Compton buy-back

    The Sheriff’s Department will destroy the guns in July at its annual weapons meltdown. The steel will be used for rebar, road construction and art installations called “peace angels.”

    Dunno if they test them first to see if they’ve been used in crimes (there are good [possible prosecution] and bad reasons [less likely to get them turned in] for doing so).

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  31. 31
    Schlemizel says:

    @Robin G.:

    Here they got melted down & turned into art work that sits at the County Government Center I believe.

  32. 32
    NotMax says:

    @Robin G.

    My admittedly limited understanding is that they are stored and then eventually destroyed.

    (engage snark)

    Or shipped to Joe Arpaio.

    /snark

  33. 33
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @NotMax: Understood. A friend in Ohio said there’s a state law that trigger locks have to go with new gun purchases, IIRC.

    But that doesn’t help the millions of unlocked guns that were purchased before those rules went into effect. That’s what I’m hoping to address.

    Over time, make an unlocked gun as unacceptable as an unseatbelted passenger in a car. We’ve got to change the culture and that take[s] time.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  34. 34
    redshirt says:

    @Robin G.: They’re all combined, Voltron style, into a GIANT GUN.

  35. 35
    Enhanced Voting techniques says:

    @Robin G.: typically melted down

  36. 36
    Nylund says:

    @NotMax:

    Wondering if any of the functional weapons are subsequently test fired to see if their signatures might match one used in a crime.

    And no one questions Bazooka Joe when he lugs that in and plops it on the table?

    People are less likely to turn in weapons if they think they’ll end up the target of an investigation. Since the goal is to get the guns off the street, I think the sponsors likely follow a “no questions asked,” policy.

  37. 37
    gvg says:

    Handguns, probably all guns are routinely stolen in burglaries. My grandfathers pistol from his service in WW2 was stolen in the 70’s, the first time our house was robbed. Dad still regrets the loss of that gun for sentimental reasons. I don’t see how the buybacks could increase the street price until we get much closer to drying up the street supply. I think there is also rather a glut in stolen guns right now. We have far more than are needed by criminals.
    I think the gun nuts will make the arguments that it will “just drive up prices and cause more crime” but I don’t agree overall. I think it’s possible there will be a spike later on if we ever get things under control. A problem for later on though. Can’t let perfect be enemy of doing anything.

  38. 38
    NotMax says:

    @Nylund

    The blockquote about the bazooka was not anything I said.

  39. 39
    kay says:

    @Southern Beale:

    I think we’re lucky that lobbyists haven’t managed to overturn the rule that says emergency rooms have to report people admitted with gun shot wounds to police.

    Sure, we’re reduced to collecting stats on a tumbler account, which is pathetic, but at least they haven’t shut down reporting completely.

  40. 40
    p.a. says:

    I had to shoot myself to defend against tyranny. Or a tranny, I’m not sure which…

  41. 41
    Tokyokie says:

    @p.a.: Depending on your aim, tranny may become a necessary lifestyle choice.

    And I’m still wondering whether Bazooka Joe was wearing an eyepatch and had a big chaw of bubble gum in his cheek.

  42. 42
    pheobe jean says:

    Why doesn’t Jeff Bezos “donate” a billion dollars of amazon.com gift certificates?

    And why doesn’t Bill Gates give more money to Seattle?!

  43. 43
    Mike in NC says:

    After buy-backs, I’ve read that the guns/magazines are either melted down or otherwise rendered inoperable and dumped out at sea.

  44. 44
    El Cid says:

    If only more guns had guns to defend against misfiring guns.

  45. 45
    redshirt says:

    @Mike in NC: I love the idea of getting rid of guns, but we’ve got to stop dumping shit into the sea.

  46. 46
    Maude says:

    They had a gun buy back in Trenton NJ and they ran out of money. They gave receipts for people to get their money. The money comes from the forfeiture funds.

  47. 47
    PurpleGirl says:

    When I wasn’t sure about keeping my rifle, I put in the NYC PD’s safe keeping program. I later decided not to take it back and they were supposed to destroy it. There is a 2-year waiting period for people to take back guns they’ve put in safe keeping. This is not a buy-back program.

  48. 48
    jon says:

    We had a similar event in Tucson. Guess which group threatened to sue if the gun weren’t sold to licensed dealers?

    They’ve been so successful with their threats that they’ve turned our one Republican city councilman into a Democrat. And their lawsuit still hasn’t emerged from the Law Firm of Make Believe into the real world.

  49. 49
    trex says:

    100 gift cards for a functioning handgun, shotgun or rifle, $200 for a functioning assault weapon, and $25 for each high-capacity magazine. This seems like a no-brainer for civic-minded charities.

    Tyranny!!!

  50. 50
    JCT says:

    @Southern Beale: I saw that this morning- letting kids shoot AR-15’s is insane and of course has nothing to do with teaching them about “respect and safety around firearms”. Maybe these creeps need to watch that delightful video from a few years ago when a kid’s dad let him shoot un UZI at some sort of gun show and got to watch when the boy lost control of the weapon and killed himself with it.

    That whole article reminded me of the tobacco companies luring young smokers into the habit.

  51. 51
    nwerner says:

    I think you need to include the other part of the story about the impromptu gun show that sprouted up around the buy back and because of the long wait and the exhausted supply of gift cards, many of the guns were sold to dealers on street corners. the seattle times story suggests that there were quite a few more sales than Goldstein cites. hopefully next time the event can be a little more organized or they could just set up a website for people to make an appointment to sell the old weapons on pre-arranged terms.

  52. 52
    Ruckus says:

    I have called the local sheriff about turning in my guns. Every weekday after 2 you can bring them in. Once a year they melt them down. They have been doing this for quite a number of years.

    A story from the military about weapons. To qualify to carry whatever weapon you had to. We would, when about 20 miles out to sea, fire the weapons off the flat end of the ship. Hit the water and keep control of the weapon and you are good to go. When I was done with the 45 pistol the gunners mate asked me if I was from NY and I told him no, LA. He said same thing but I had obviously learned how to handle a weapon. On the other hand the gunners mates had to fire all the weapons. One fired a whole clip in a BAR, full auto, from the shoulder no problem. The next dude up tried the same trick and lost control. That’s not totally true, he never had control. The force turned him around 90 deg before he could get his finger off the trigger. When he looked around every other person on the fantail was on the deck. That was 40-50 people with good instincts and one with none. I noticed his smart ass swagger was gone from then on. Never saw him again with another weapon in his hands.

  53. 53

    […] The sad tales of geniuses in Gun-land Worship continue, Run From My Bullets […]

  54. 54
    BAtFFP says:

    @nwerner:

    The Stranger (Seattle alt newspaper, frankly doing much better journalism nowadays than the ST) suggests otherwise, that very little selling took place between people in line and dealers offering cash:

    http://slog.thestranger.com/sl.....hree-hours

  55. 55
    Jay S says:

    More about the missile launch tube from the buy back. It wasn’t just taken in casually. http://spdblotter.seattle.gov/.....ack-event/
    The police went looking for it after people in the crowd reported it.

  56. 56
    ET says:

    The sad thing is that these “guys” are the ones who want people to think they know how to handle guns. Clearly they ain’t as capable as they like people think they are.

  57. 57
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Aimai:

    Additiinaly the argument is made that buy back programs create a thriving market in burglaries. I think anyone who buys and owns a gun legally who lets it get stolen should be considered complicit in any crimes committed by its new possessor and if it shows up at a buy back the original owner should lose their liscence

    This is another example of how shit-filled your ideas are on this subject. “Senior citizens should have extra hurdles to jump….” or words to that effect..

  58. 58
    Ruckus says:

    @Ben Franklin:
    What the hell are you on about?

  59. 59
    nwerner says:

    @BAtFFP

    If you want to believe that the Stranger consistently provides the same level of general information to the public as the ST, then nothing could be said to disabuse you of the notion. It’s a generalization attempting to compare two disparate things, IMO. To be more concise, many years of experience with David Goldstein has shown that he is a mendacious political operative whose “journalism” isn’t much more than opinion editorial given a thin sheen of credibility by his association with The Stranger. YMMV.

  60. 60
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Ruckus:

    ongoing conflict.

  61. 61
    Jay S says:

    @Ruckus:

    What the hell are you on about?

    Troll kibble.

  62. 62
    cwolf says:

    Over the past week, six people have been shot at gun shows, the most recent victim being a gun dealer in Iowa who thought the gun he was showing was unloaded. Cops found another loaded gun at his table after he put a bullet in his palm.

    …And the downside is…???

    Maybe we’re looking at this all wrong?
    What if Gun shows forced dealers to keep all display weapons locked & loaded?
    Let Murphy take over.

  63. 63
    Comrade Luke says:

    First, they came for our shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missile launchers…

  64. 64

    @redshirt:

    @Robin G.: They’re all combined, Voltron style, into a GIANT GUN.

    That team has a hell of a problem with attrition

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