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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

January 28, 2013 at 4:00 PM

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Seattle police run out of gift cards at gun buyback

Diaz is incapable of organizing effective gun buyback

Fire Chief of Police John Diaz. So on top of everything else, our police chief cannot even effectively organize a gun buyback [“Gift cards run out at city gun buyback,” page one, Jan. 27]?

The two-hour wait times for responsible citizens to turn in guns is ridiculous. I have been to sales for vegetable plant starts that are more organized and better planned to deal with crowds.

And the tales of opportunist (at best) gun buyers wheeling and dealing with the folks in line? You did not see that coming, chief? No backup plan for running out of gift cards? The missed opportunity to take more weapons safely off the street is completely unacceptable. Fire Diaz. Enough.

--Natalie Tarantino, Seattle

Buyback was a feel-good exercise

Criminals must love Seattle’s gun-buyback program.

Look at the people in line to turn in their guns. They look like upstanding, law-abiding citizens. Oh, and check out the guns they were getting rid of. Old World War II rifles, old revolvers, old shotguns, guns that don’t work. Guns I’m sure criminals would want to get their hands on.

Let’s face it, the gun buyback was nothing more than a feel-good exercise that will do absolutely nothing to get illegal guns off the street or out of the hands of criminals. What a joke.

--Greg Burnside, Edmonds

Buyback demonstrated private sale issues

If anything pointed to a loophole in state laws regarding gun sales, it was The Times’ coverage of Seattle’s gun-buyback program. While the buyback program may have removed weapons that avert a future tragedy, the fact that random strangers can stand on a street corner in downtown Seattle in broad daylight and offer cash to willing sellers for a wide variety of guns, without any background checks or other oversight, is disturbing in the least.

How do we know whether any of these individuals have a felony in their past that disqualifies them from owning firearms or have mental-health issues that should also preclude such a sale?

These so-called private sales are a loophole that the state Legislature should close immediately, in addition to the gun-show loophole that also evades background checks. There is no reason that it should be OK to have an instantaneous and unregulated impromptu gun show anywhere, much less in the heart of the city.

--Kristin Anderson, Seattle


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