(Nod to Acidman for the pointer)
Gun turn-ins may be turned offThat's been my complaint as well, but that's not the quote - wait for it!
Ceasefire Oregon's successful annual gun turn-in program may be coming to an end after taking in about 6,000 unwanted guns in the last 10 years -- including more than 350 at six sites in the Portland area last weekend.
Julie Wheeler, the nonprofit organization's volunteer organizer, said this year's event was postponed for five months because skyrocketing costs and the lousy economy made it hard to raise the $10,000 necessary to pay for it.
"The first nine turn-ins were held in May, the Saturday before Mother's Day," she said. "But because the economy is so bad this year, we had to wait until October."
Wheeler and other Ceasefire Oregon volunteers hope to replace the annual turn-ins with a year-round program that would encourage people to contact local law enforcement agencies directly. The final touches are being put on the program, which will be promoted through the group's Web site, www.ceasefireoregon.org.
She said there's no doubt that some form of gun collection program is worthwhile.
Many of the people who turned in guns Saturday for gift certificates would agree, including Judi Ellison, who handed over a 9 mm pistol she took away from several children in her neighborhood.
"I saw them playing with it, and I couldn't believe it. I took it away and hid it when they weren't looking," said Ellison, who brought the black semiautomatic to a collection point on Southeast 82nd Avenue.
But such events do have their share of critics, including Kevin Starrett, director of the Oregon Firearms Federation, which lobbies against new firearm regulations proposed in the Oregon Legislature.
Starrett said he has no problem with people getting rid of unwanted guns, but he believes that Ceasefire Oregon has a larger agenda -- taking guns away from law-abiding citizens. As Starrett sees it, the group uses the event to push antigun propaganda.
"All the publicity they generate demonizes guns, as if you can just do away with them and live happily ever after," he said.
Starrett said Ceasefire Oregon has a political action committee that lobbies on hot-button gun control issues, such as extending the federal ban on assault rifles that is scheduled to expire next year. The group's September newsletter included an article in favor of extending the ban titled "Assault weapons threaten our safety."And Michael Moore says we own guns out of fear? But that's not it either - wait!
Wheeler said Ceasefire Oregon does not advocate that all guns should be confiscated. "We are for responsible gun ownership," she said.Good, right. But then she says THIS:
She is, however, quick to make it clear what she thinks about guns:Sweet freakin' Jebus. They're not just evil talismans, they're SELF-ANIMATED! "We're for responsible ownership of dangerous rattlesnakes."
"A gun is like a rattlesnake. You can try to keep it in a cage, but sooner or later it's going to get out and hurt someone."
There's more to the article, but that's the part that illustrates the mindset.
If she really believes that "a gun is like a rattlesnake" and will "get out and hurt someone," perhaps she would be mollified by checking out the Smith and Wesson Cam, where a Smith and Wesson Model 19 .357 Magnum revolver is under constant surveillance via webcam to see if it really will "get out and hurt someone!"
To the best of my knowledge, it's been sitting there for a couple of years!
(Yes, I know it's a joke.)