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Controlling the uncontrollable

Like the volatile nature of gun powder, gun control debates can explode at any second if struck with the right amount of fire power. Following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, the nation has been buzzing about what we should do with guns: More guns, fewer guns, and mental health care have all been argued over and over in the foul and fervent fashion that only online discussions could offer.

Over the holidays, gun violence in Spokane has increased. In an article dated Jan. 9 the Spokesman-Review reported that the number of applications for concealed weapon permits in Spokane has increased by three times the normal. Per capita, Spokane county has the most concealed pistol permits in the entire state. So many people argue that gun control laws are strict enough as-is, but all I can think of is the increased risk of having more dangerous weapons around. More weapons means a higher chance for accidents, and a larger chance for a gun to land in the hands of someone truly malicious.

To help limit the number of guns in the Seattle area, Mayor Mike McGinn, is implementing a gun buy back program beginning later in January. The Seattle gun buyback program set a goal of getting $100,000 to be exchange for guns, offered vouchers for people who turned them in, and promised police wouldn’t ask questions. “This gun buyback program can help us protect public health and safety and reduce gun violence in our communities,” McGinn said. [Originally reported by the Seattle PI]

In Spokane, things are much more, ‘Don’t tread on me”, steps toward gun control are of larger concern to many residents. When asked if City Council President, Ben Stuckart would be supportive of a similar gun buy back program in Spokane, he stated, “I like the idea. I don’t have the bandwidth to lead an effort such as this. It looks like two former Seattle Mayor’s have taken the lead and gotten private companies to sponsor the effort. It would take significant resources and as you saw in the budget passed in December we cut over 100 city employees including police and fire. We don’t have the resources internally to pay people for their guns.”

Seattle attempted the same gun buyback plan in 1992, but saw no reduction in the number of homicides with use of a firearm in King County.

No one has a solid answer yet of what to do about gun violence yet, but Spokane is working on some new strategies. Stuckart concluded his thoughts suggesting ” In the next month you will see some proposal’s coming out of council to address the gun issue locally.”

In the immortal words of “The Girl that Doesn’t Even Go Here” from the film Mean Girls, “I wish we could all get along like we used to in middle school… I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy…”

This article was written by Alayna Becker, The Spovangelist editor-in-chief.

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