Support for gun buybacks

Gun buybacks are an expression of faith, a belief in the unseen. A case of domestic violence avoided, a suicide prevented? To prove a negative is futile.

On Saturday, 716 firearms were turned in at the Seattle gun buyback. Families hoping to dispose of a handgun, a “street sweeper,” even a missile launcher, did so in exchange for donated $100 or $200 gift cards. When the cards ran out, gun owners continued to wait patiently in line.

“I’ve had calls from as far south as Tacoma, and as far north as Bellingham,” said Renee Hopkins, director of the Seattle Police Foundation. Snohomish County residents ventured south to participate. King County Sheriff John Urquhart told the, “I don’t care if a gun is old or new: It is deadly.”

Buybacks demand enormous effort, including a sponsoring organization and generous local contributors. In King County, the Seattle Police Foundation provided seed funding and led the charge, corralling support from Amazon, the UW Medical Center, Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll’s nonprofit, venture capitalist Nick Hanauer and others.

“I would support any efforts to get unwanted guns off our streets and out of our communities,” Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick said. “I’d like to see a gun buyback program in Snohomish County, but unlike King County, we haven’t had anyone step up to the plate to fund a buyback effort. Without public or private funding, I don’t know how such a program would be possible.”

Sheriff Lovick crosses sensibility with hope, underscoring that a buyback provides public value, however much it requires leadership and financing. Working in common cause towards a common end — to get unwanted guns off the streets — is impetus for someone to seize the reins. For a short-term effort, organizers could work in concert with the Greater Everett Community Foundation, ensuring that donations are tax deductible. The foundation has set parameters, and does not have the resources to assist with fundraising. Begin by asking the county’s largest employer, Boeing, if it would contribute $25,000. Ask Naval Station Everett if off-duty personnel might be willing to volunteer on the day of the buyback.

Healthcare providers have a vested interest. Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and the Everett Clinic might be persuaded to pitch in. Will someone, anyone, answer the call?

Buyback or no, locals can shed unneeded weapons that might otherwise fall into the hands of a young child or a crook. Unloaded and secure firearms can be handed over to the Sheriff’s Evidence Control facility at 1000 California St. in downtown Everett, or citizens can contact their local police department for information.

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Thursday, March 22

A sketchy look at the day in politics.… Continue reading

Editorial: Delta’s struggle with dentists calls for extraction

Dentists for the state’s largest dental insurer are pushing for changes that could benefit patients.

Dionne: The anti-social behavior of social networks

We are right to worry about data ‘scraped’ from 50 million Facebook users to aid political campaigns.

Parker: If 2018 is the Year of the Woman, credit Trump

Anger over Trump’s presidency is driving many of the 481 — and counting — women running for Congress.

More funding needed to fight TB throughout the world

March 24 is World TB Day, but maybe we think tuberculosis is… Continue reading

Support Sno-Isle Libraries levy and vote by April 24

As a lifelong library user and concerned citizen of Snohomish County, I… Continue reading

NatGeo not the only one that should consider its prejudices

Reading the article of how “National Geographic” is doing its mea culpas… Continue reading

What are Snohomish school levies funding?

With the passage of the Snohomish school levies, the school district was… Continue reading

Editorial cartoons for Wednesday, March 21

A sketchy look at the day in politics.… Continue reading

Most Read