Seattle’s KIRO news is advertising a report to air Thursday during the 5 p.m. broadcast that seems to suggest the recent gun buyback may have been all flash and no substance; in the vernacular it was “all Hollywood.”
The promotional for this report features Alex Tabbarok, identified as a “gun buyback expert,” observing that “People who want guns for crime, they’re not going to give up their tools.” It is essentially the same argument posed by this column during the recent Seattle channel broadcast of Jan. 25 with former Seattle Mayor Wes Uhlman.
The report, by veteran KIRO reporter Amy Clancy, looks promising on a number of fronts, not the least of which is the most obvious: A major Northwest broadcast news outlet presenting a factual assessment of the promise versus the reality of these buyback enterprises.
Says the promo: “When KIRO starts digging, it sure looks like it was all for show.”
Thursday’s report certainly capitalizes on the current hot topic of gun rights versus gun prohibition, but it’s not KIRO’s first foray into the subject. Last October, the CBS affiliate also did an exhaustive investigation of where the state’s most and least concealed pistol license holders may be found. It’s certainly not in Seattle.
While that October report perhaps helped explain why Seattleites elect people who push gun control measures – they don’t own them, probably don’t like them, and don’t think others should own them, either – Thursday’s investigation may reveal why anti-gunners like Mayor Mike McGinn think it is important to present the impression that “something” is being done about violent crime.
The cultural chasm between gun rights advocates and gun control proponents certainly was underscored by Tuesday evening’s Oak Harbor City Council session, discussed by this column earlier. Scores of gun owners showed up from as far away as Tacoma and Bellingham, most of them armed, and yet nobody was hurt.
In the aftermath of Seattle’s buyback, some city officials are dismayed that private citizens offering hard cash instead of gift cards were able to purchase several firearms on the street from waiting participants. It was all legally done, and some rather interesting firearms were acquired, including at least one vintage Model 1903 Springfield – the “assault rifle” of its day – along with some handguns, shotguns and what might be considered an heirloom or two.
One might ask McGinn and his colleagues, "What else did you expect?"Conducting a gun buyback in a parking lot under a freeway is an open temptation for enterprising gun collectors to simply out-buy you.
But did the buyback really accomplish anything other than a feel-good moment for the mayor and other gun prohibitionists? The KIRO investigation appears likely to say “no.” Tune in Thursday during the 5 o'clock broadcast and find out.
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