mcginnbuyback.jpg
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn refuses to appear on the Ron and Don Show to debate the effectiveness of gun buybacks. (AP file)

Why won't Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn debate gun buyback with KIRO Radio's Ron and Don?

UPDATE: A spokesman for Mayor McGinn has politely declined Don's request to appear on the show again as of Thursday afternoon. Don now vows to stalk him and confront the mayor in public since the mayor won't come to him. Stay tuned!

Seattle mayor Mike McGinn's plans to stage another gun buyback is drawing sharp criticism on KIRO Radio's Ron and Don Show, and the mayor refuses to come on to talk about it.

Don argues the gun buyback and the concurrent open-air gun market that broke out around last Saturday's event in Downtown Seattle was nothing more than a "circus" and PR stunt that did little to solve the ongoing problem of gun violence.

But a spokesman for the mayor repeatedly declined requests for an interview this week.

"He doesn't want to talk about guns and he doesn't want to talk about this farce in my opinion," Don says. "He needs to be stopped and it is my intent if he does this again to stop him."

Don says he simply wants a "vigorous and respectful" debate, but questions whether the mayor really wants the same.

"He wasn't declining Q13 when he went on there and they gave him all these softballs, and he wasn't declining all the television cameras when he could just jump out there and say 'Hey we got three street sweepers and we saved a lot of lives today,'" Don says.

The mayor and other officials called the buyback an overwhelming success, despite the influx of private gun sellers that flocked to the area. Police say people turned in over 700 guns including several high-capacity shotguns.

But Don blasts the mayor for even considering another buyback given what happened Saturday.

"He called it a gun bazaar, he called it insanity, he called it crazy and so he wants to do it again."

Ron and Don both argue the mayor is simply using the buybacks as photo opps for his re-election effort, even though many agree they do little to address the real issues such as mental illness.

"You [Don] want to apparently actually solve a problem of violence against people, he [McGinn] wants to do something that appears like he's doing something," Ron said to Don in response to his complaints about the mayor's approach.

"Buying guns back isn't going to help. Demonizing the AR-15 isn't going to help. Demonizing people that wrap themselves in the Second Amendment and the NRA is not going to help," Ron says.

"This is a complex problem and there's nothing that bothers me more than people trying to give really easy solutions to complex problems. They're just coming at it willy nilly. No strategy. Your strategy is 'Oh my gosh something bad happened, now what do we do.'"

Don vows that if McGinn won't come on the show to discuss the issue, he'll simply provide the opportunity for all the other mayoral candidates to appear and talk about it instead.

Listeners from the Ron and Don Nation have strong feelings about the mayor as well as Ron and Don's argument the gun buyback is a failure and shouldn't be repeated:

Mark: "Mr. Mayor, please have another gun buyback program, the last one was a great advertisement I didn't even know about it. For those of us that want to buy more guns, I'll be there. Just let me know the date and time."

Sharon: "You just don't get it. We in Seattle are in favor of the gun buyback program initiated by our mayor. It really does work. Stop your senseless rambling."

Mark: "It's silly that we're even talking about guns. It's the sick people that use gun, not the law abiding citizens like me."

Claire: "The mayor is a serious coward. Every show that presents to him the slightest bit of challenge, he slinks away from, respectfully though. He's a bit passive aggressive this way and really needs to represent Seattle as a leader in some of these issues and not shy away."

What do you think?


Josh Kerns, MyNorthwest.com
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for MyNorthwest.com.
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