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September 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM

The gun-free zone program is an effort in futility

(Illustration by Paul Tong / Op Art)

(Illustration by Paul Tong / Op Art)

Editor’s note: Osa Hale is an intern in our opinion section. She just graduated from Western Washington University.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and the organization Washington CeaseFire have introduced a “Gun-Free Zone” program, encouraging businesses to exercise their rights to ban guns from their private property. This is a quick and easy attempt to stand up to gun violence.

Starbucks said Tuesday it would join the gun-free program in an open letter from Chief Executive Howard Schultz.

Although it makes sense to try to remove guns from the equation, the gun-free program seems like trying to bail out a sinking ship with a leaky bucket. It’s better than nothing, but not by much.

Gun-rights advocates like Alan Gottlieb, who founded the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation, see the program as all flash and no substance.

“[The mayor] could do lots of other things to prevent crime,” Gottlieb said. “Punish those people who misuse firearms, not those who own and use them properly.”

Gottlieb went on to say the program could actually endanger customers.

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Comments | Topics: gun control, mike mcginn, starbucks