In direct response to the misinformed opinion titled “Festival To Fund Gun Buyback Event” published in the November 17, Irmo News. It was hinted that the town was laundering hospitality tax money through the festival for the gun buyback program.
This can’t be any further from the facts. The festival did not fund a gun buyback event from money received from hospitality or accommodation funds. The money that the Okra Strut raised from festival sponsors was used to run the festival. The revenue generated from the festival goes into Okra Strut reserves. It is not the same money thus not “Money Laundering.”
The money from the Okra Strut reserves are used for scholarships and to buy town equipment. This year the Okra Strut has graciously allocated to Irmo Police Department (IPD) $25,000 to do a gun buy back program. I feel this is in the purview of the Okra Strut commission to do so.
The gun buy back program is designed to get unwanted guns off the streets of Irmo and surrounding areas. I feel that if at least one gun can be gotten off the streets then that’s one less gun that a student will put in their backpack, one less gun that shoots a police officer, one less gun that a criminal can use for violence. Even though Irmo is not a high crime area guns do exist. Look at your local nightly news. I do agree with the statements: “the program would allow at best for people who have no attachment to an unwanted weapon to be able to get them into the hands of law enforcement. The weapon could possibly be lost, stolen or neglected to a point where it becomes more dangerous than it is. The program will allow them to remove that weapon from their responsibility.” I think that is a good thing.
Thank you Irmo Town Council for approving the funds for the gun buy back program. I know some of you are thinking forward and keeping Irmo safe.