One of the
key events put on each year by the Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation is the
gun turn-in event, held once or twice each year. Anyone can turn in unwanted guns, no
questions asked, and receive a gift card in exchange. Each working gun will be exchanged for a $75
gift certificate to Fred Meyer stores (up to three per person). Non-working guns and BB/Pellet guns receive a
gift certificate to a fast food restaurant.
No questions asked. Portland
Police Department was there to take the weapons, check them for safety, and
check their serial numbers. The guns are
This turn-in, there was a total
of 235 weapons: 64
rifles, 44 shotguns, 114 handguns, 10 pellet guns, 1 crossbow, 2 non-working
This is an
excellent win-win situation. People who
are unable or unwilling to keep a gun safely will turn them in, making homes
and streets safer in the process, and in return are able to get a gift card for
food or necessary department store items.
And who turns
in the guns? Not criminals, most likely. What criminal would knowingly approach a
police officer with a crime gun? No,
these are widows who don't know how to handle their husband's weapon, or new
parents who understand that guns in the home are a danger to children, or
people who inherited weapons and understand that a gun in the home is 22 times
more likely to harm them than to be used to protect them. Occasionally it is someone with a gun that is
defective to the point of being dangerous.
In all these cases, the gun is clearly more of a liability than a
blessing. Gun owners and non-gun owners
alike should be glad this is happening.
Mrs. Lucy Mashia, who is featured in the news video. Her son, Leonard James Irving, was gunned
down last June, leaving behind three small children (also seen in the
video). She knows more than most the
danger of guns in the wrong hands in our society.
|Lucy Mashia with her three grandchildren at the Portland event|
"My son loved life so much and someone just took his life, a bad decision,
a five-second decision to pull the trigger," she said. "My heart is
going to be heavy for the rest of my life."
Irving was about to turn 35 before he was shot and left for dead in the street.
Instead, his three young children are getting older without him.
"I cannot fill the role," Mashia said. "All I can do is be
grandma, you know?"
But really, Mashia feels there is more to do and more to say and wants the
violence to stop. But being at Saturday's turn-in event is one way she's trying
to make a difference and stop the violence. Also there was Portland Police
Bureau Sgt. Tim Sessions, who has helped with the event for years. He doesn't
know if it will really ever prevent a gang shooting since most of the people at
Saturday's event had inherited guns and were unsure what to do with them.
Sessions, however, said the event will prevent both crime and death.
"These are unwanted guns," he said. "People who have unwanted
guns usually don't store them or secure them in a way that would prevent theft
or even accidents happening within their homes."
Within about 2½ hours, the program bought
back nearly 100 guns using roughly $10,000 that had been donated to the effort
to reduce crime and shootings in Lansing, Police Chief Teresa Syzmanski said.
The city-sponsored program offered a $100 Meijer gift card for every weapon
that was turned in Saturday to police on a “no questions asked” basis.
Syzmanski said all the weapons will be
“We’ve been burying too many young people in
this community. It’s one more tool,” said Mayor Virg Bernero, who visited the
event. “Any guns taken off the streets is helpful.”
While Bernero said he doesn’t expect
criminals to turn in their guns, he hopes the program will reduce weapon thefts
and help keep guns out of the reach of young people. Bernero, who says he is
not anti-Second Amendment, said it is the first gun buyback program in the city
in many years.
gives an example of a man who turned in his long-unused shotgun, out of fear
that his 6-year old daughter might find it.
“I’m quite certain that if you look at some
of these heavy weapons we certainly are making a difference here, just by
getting these guns off the street,” McCarthy said at a Saturday evening news
conference to show off some of the weapons.
The firearms ranged from an M-60 machine gun
and sawed-off shotguns to to pen-like “zip” guns that can fire a lethal round.
Of the 5,500-plus weapons, about 700 turned out to be BB-guns or replicas,
During the gun turn-in Saturday, dubbed
“Don’t Kill a Dream, Save a Life,” Chicagoans could turn in firearms, no
questions asked, at churches to get $100 gift cards for each firearm. BB-guns
and replicas were worth $10 cards. Some locations ran out of gift cards and had
to give people IOUs.
the pro-gun extremists come out in force to oppose turn-ins. Some stand outside the event, heckling those who attend and who volunteers for the event, and trying to buy guns off of anyone trying to turn guns in.
If you read the comments from
the Portland turn-in, you'll see the usual statements from them. One suggested the guns should have been given
to children's charities. Another stated
"first the cops turn there guns in then maybe I will think about it
myself," as if he needs his guns to fight police. Another suggested that only criminals would
turn in the guns.
Another couple commenters suggested that
turning over guns in events like this would allow our tyrannical government to
take over. One wrote:
Of corse they want our guns, they are
the only things standing in the way of the total fascism our government seeks.
THIS IS THE BIGGEST COMMIE PLOT EVER
DEVISED TO TURN "CITIZENS" INTO "SUBJECTS!!!!!!!!" These
morons are not real Americans!!! They have an obligation to own and carry
firearms to keep the peace AND GOVERNMENT from taking over!!! THEY ALL
NEED TO MOVE TO SOME EUROPEAN COMMUNIST COUNTRY!!! This country was not founded
on surrendering your firearms. It just demonstrates how brain dean and lacking
critical thinking these excuses for human beings really are.
Lovely. As if their pea-shooters would pose any
resistance to a highly-trained army armed with modern military weapons. These commenters seem to forget that many
countries, such as Canada, England, Australia, and most of Europe, which have
far stricter gun regulations (and less than 200 shootings a year, I might add)
have somehow nonetheless remained a democracy.
They also seem to forget all those countries which overthrow dictators
by peaceful means, without the need for widespread civilian gun ownership (such
as India, Egypt, Tunisia, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Poland....). But I digress.
Oregon Education Foundation and other organizations will continue to sponsor
gun turn-ins. They make sense. Logical people understand that not everyone
should have guns, even if it is their right to do so. Getting guns out of the wrong hands is the
responsible thing to do.
Mashia had a valuable statement in that first video as she stood there holding
her dead son's three children:
has a bad day, but if you have a gun, that bad day may turn into your last
ADDENDUM (8/19/12): A related news article
on the Portland turn-in, illustrating the pro-gun hawkers who offer to buy guns from those turning them in, or profit or "on a principle."
Another gun turn-in today, this one in Queens, New York, brought in 509 guns. From the article
A total of 509 guns were surrendered at a Queens church on Saturday as
part of an effort to clean up street violence in the borough, the NYPD
Among the firearms collected in the six-hour buyback event at the New
Jerusalem Baptist Church in Jamaica was an AK 47, a TEC-9; and a Calico
9mm with a 50 round magazin, cops said.
Amid a wave of gun violence that plagued the city streets this summer,
the NYPD, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and State Sen. Malcolm
Smith hosted a gun buyback initiative. People turning in working
handguns, rifles or shotguns received $200 bank cards.
Queens resident Catherine Cruz found the initiative a perfect
opportunity to give up her .25-caliber automatic handgun she once
considered her “security blanket.”
“I have a 5-year-old granddaughter and I don’t want her to find it,”
said Cruz, 53, who added that she used to carry the firearm in her purse
every day on her bus commute to work for “protection.” But she stopped
carrying it when she got a car.
Yet another gun turn-in, in Ocala, Florida, brought in 50 weapons. From the article
In four hours Saturday, residents turned in 41 functional
handguns, one non-working handgun, two pellet rifles, one pellet gun,
two shotguns and two rifles at the Ocala Police Department during the
Gun Buy Back program, held at OPD headquarters.
Each functional handgun turned in was exchanged for a $50 Walmart gift card, with a limit of two cards per person.
Non-working handguns and long guns were accepted for disposal.