There were, if one reads accounts in the Portland Oregonian and Portland Tribune, some surprising turns at the weekend gun turn-in that may raise some eyebrows.
For example, there were these remarks in the Oregonian piece that may elicit some groans from Pacific Northwest gun rights activists:
For reasons both political and practical, Steve Forness handed over a pistol Saturday to the Ceasefire Oregon Educational Foundation at one of the group’s periodic gun turn-in events.
Forness is a hunter and no anti-gun zealot. But he’s less a fan of handguns, such as the .22-caliber pistol that he got from his father.
“I don’t really believe in handguns,” he said. “You don’t kill a deer with a .22 pistol….”
…Like Forness, Ken Pyburn’s stance on guns is more nuanced than you might expect at a gun turn-in. The Portland resident also is not opposed to guns. Rather, as far as he’s concerned, the .22-caliber handgun and a .22 rifle he donated are too small to be of much use.
“I’m an old Army guy, a military policeman,” he said. “Believe me, I know what it takes in a self-defense situation.”
But Pyburn has no use for the powerful National Rifle Association and its anti-gun control agenda. “I’m not anti-gun, but I am anti-NRA,” he said. “There’s no practical way to keep guns off the street without a national registration system.”
As a personal observation, I have a .22-caliber Harrington & Richardson nine-shot revolver that my dad gave me many years ago. It hasn’t been fired in a very long time. I would no sooner turn that gun over to Washington Ceasefire than I would spit on his grave. But that’s just me talking; others may have a different perspective and they are certainly entitled to it.
As for national registration keeping guns off the street, ask our neighbors in Canada how well that worked out for them. Better yet, read the opinions expressed in the Calgary Sun and Sudbury Star.
Then there was this in the Tribune coverage that simply makes sense:
Jim Clark, also a Eugene collector, said he had another reason for hoping to persuade people to sell their turn-in guns to him. “They’re potentially destroying guns that may have been used in crimes,“ Clark said. “A criminal could bring a gun here that was used in a crime and it would be destroyed.”
At the parking lot’s other entrance, Southeast Portland resident Dave Nelson displayed the rifle and a shotgun he had bought during the day’s events. The rifle, he said, was worth about $150, and he bought it for $100.
Contrast that with the “living in a delusional state of self-denial” mentality of the gun prohibitionists who sponsored this operation, with the assistance and support of the Portland Police Bureau (what business do police, who are public employees, presumably on the taxpayers’ dime, have lending their support to a program that sneers at the Second Amendment?). These remarks also appear in the Tribune:
Mary Tompkins, Ceasefire Oregon executive director, said the novelty of the gun turn-in may have worn off after five years but that better publicity might help bring more reluctant gun owners to future events.
Liz Julee, a Ceasefire Oregon Educational Foundation board member, looked at the men and women at the parking lot entrances and refused to accept that they were there only to add to their gun collections.
“I think it’s political,” Julee said. “I think it’s unfortunate that they feel they need to have an oppositional presence.”
Well, gosh, Liz, one supposes you would be equally chagrined if people from your outfit showed up to picket an NRA convention, if it ever comes back to Portland or Seattle. Perhaps none of your people has ever picketed outside of a Portland gun show.
But finally, there was this in the Tribune that suggests there is still some civic intelligence in the City of Roses (and this guy ought to get a medal):
Portland police Officer Rob Blanck, who was among those assigned to the event, said the day produced a few interesting items, including one man who turned in a semi-automatic pistol that had been modified into an illegal fully automatic weapon. Another man turned in a new Glock pistol, just like those used by police, in its original box. Blanck estimated the gun must have cost its owner $500.
“He told me he just had a change of heart regarding guns,” Blanck said.
That item didn’t quite match the World War I Springfield rifle that had been turned in at a previous Ceasefire Oregon event.
Blanck said he convinced the owner to take that rifle to a military museum in Fort Lewis, Wash., rather than have it destroyed.
“It was in absolute stunning shape,” Blanck said, of the antique.
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