Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Seattle gun buyback turns into impromptu gun show
Guns may hold historical value
I wonder where Danny Westneat was last weekend when a few people who like firearms bought some valuable and collectible pieces before they could be exchanged for gift cards worth, in many cases, a fraction of actual market value of the guns [“Impromptu gun show tarnishes buyback,” NWWednesday, Jan. 30]. Most of the people who were offering cash for the firearms were also offering potential sellers the opportunity to inspect their identification and concealed-carry permits, not engaging in some shady, back-alley transaction as Westneat would have you believe.
Westneat is worried that felons and the mentally ill could buy these guns. If you were a felon you’d have to be mentally ill to stand 10 feet from a dozen police officers while trying to buy a gun. If a World War I-era Springfield 03A3, British SMLE, or Model 98 Mauser gets saved by someone who appreciates it, so what? Melting down some of those guns would be like burning rare manuscripts and books. Madness.
And please, don’t use private vehicle sales in this state as a “model” of government regulations promoting socially responsible behavior. If we had a state that issued plates to drivers and not to vehicles; and if those drivers had to show they had a valid license and insurance, then, maybe, it would be the case. But in this state there is a sizable subculture of drivers who buy cheap cars with a lot of time left on the tabs and never register the car to themselves. They give phony names to sellers, pay cash, and just drive until the tabs expire, or they get pulled over for a traffic violation or have an accident. Zero accountability for a ton or two of steel whizzing past you as you drive, walk or bicycle. That’s a lot more frightening than an impromptu marketplace for guns.
--Bruce A. Haigh