LA Times Op Ed: Gun Buybacks Suck

“Imagine you’re a carpenter who has fallen on hard times,” Dan Turner’s Op Ed at latimes.com suggests. “The city announces that it’s giving away $100 gift certificates good for buying groceries to anybody who turns in a full set of construction tools. Are you going to hand in your hammers and saws and assure that you’ll never work again? Only if you’re exceptionally desperate or exceptionally stupid. This is the principle at play with the city of L.A.’s gun buyback program, which Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief Charlie Beck announced Friday.” True, only more so . . .

One can easily imagine the Southwest Regional Carpenter’s Union spending a portion of its $28m per year training budget to create a program that buys tools from non-union carpenters.

Of course, the exceptionally desperate or exceptionally stupid people involved with the LA gun buyback program aren’t carpenters or criminals . . .

Well, not criminals per se. I mean, we are talking about California politicians: self-righteous slime who understand that their power depends on a credible combination of obfuscation and emotional manipulation. To wit: Hizzoner’s Facebook page’s pronouncement on the buyback’s timing:

“Tomorrow is the day before Mother’s Day, and we chose this day for the Gun Buyback Program because too many mothers lose their children due to gun violence. This is our opportunity to make a real difference for our children, our families and our future.”

Or not, as LAT scribe Dan Turner points out in no uncertain terms.

As we laid out in a 2009 editorial, there’s no evidence that they do. In fact, a 2004 National Research Council report concluded that they’re ineffective. In part, that’s because only a comparatively tiny number of guns are handed in — perhaps a couple of thousand in a city that harbors millions of firearms . . .

Typically, the participants in gun buyback programs show up with old, unused and possibly broken firearms that they’d like to be rid of but that have little resale value. Some of them are collectors who will take the city’s grocery money and use the savings to buy a newer, better weapon. These aren’t the kinds of guns that were going to be used in a drive-by shooting.

As TTAG’s pointed out on many occasions, gun buybacks actually create a market for stolen guns (the size of which depends on the price offered. The “no questions asked” trade-in policy also eliminates the chances of clearing-up serious firearms-involved crimes.

Did I mention the fact that Los Angeles County uses tax money to subsidize this anti-ballistic boondoggle? In 2010, LA forked out $197,400 to residents turning in 1,216 handguns, 747 rifles, 463 shotguns and 85 assault weapons ($100 “bonus”). PLUS the administrative costs (same again?).

Bottom line: taxpayers are getting hammered by hypocrisy. Again. Still.

avatar

About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

24 Responses to LA Times Op Ed: Gun Buybacks Suck

  1. avatarMark says:

    I’m still against municipalities buying civilian firearms and particularly against creating a public market for stolen goods, but have come to suspect surrendering unwanted firearms is actually a good idea if the owners really don’t want them and are not committed to safe, responsible storage and operation. I liked one video I saw where some folks were at such a “buyback” offering a bit more than the police (in full view of them) to purchase firearms they intended to clean, repair and give away to economically challenged locals who could not afford to purchase a defensive firearm for themselves, who wanted one. If “gun buyback” arms were delivered to local shooting groups for re-conditioning and re-distribution I would be a supporter.

    • avatarTotenglocke says:

      I’d love to see FFL’s to take unwanted / broken guns to either resell or dispose of, just like how many electronics stores will take your old gadgets so that they can be properly disposed of / recycled / refurbed.

  2. avatarAharon says:

    That picture of all those guns just laying there as if they are dead and unloved is just so morbid.

  3. avatarRalph says:

    Los Angeles should consider a Politician Buyback Program. Citizens could turn in their old, busted-ass, nonworking politicians — no questions asked — and get something they need in return, such as a lobotomy.

    • avatarSanchanim says:

      Now that is a program I would pay for!

    • avatarIdahoPete says:

      The Politician Buyback Program should also include a guarantee that the politicians will not be sold or returned to the public domain, but must be melted down for scrap. Or used to generate energy in one of those garbage-to-energy “cogeneration” plants that poloticians love so much.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      I’m not in favor of having to buy a new politician every few years. The real problem is that so many criminals are walking around with a politician in their pocket. This proves the saying, “If buying politicians is criminalized only criminals will have politicians.”

  4. avatarSanchanim says:

    To the untrained person and typical hopolophobia this is like heaven. All those evil guns off the street. Oh we must vote for our politicians that did this! Our streets are safer safer now! NOT SO!!!
    The rest of us know this is just smoke and mirrors, and won’t change a thing.

  5. avatarNick says:

    Looking at the pic above, I’m sure LA will be much safer now that a multitude of bolt action rifles, including a few Mosin Nagants, and six-shooter revolvers are off their streets. Residends of LA just became less likely to experience WWI-style trench warfare.

    • avatarDrewN says:

      You see that all the time in cop press photos. “Arsenal Discovered at Pot Farm!” and it will be a Red Ryder BB gun, a 30/30 lever gun, a .22 single shot and a long barreled 12 gauge with maybe a Ruger Mk III pistol thrown in.

  6. avatarDerry M says:

    Just another example of politicians and their minions making a false claim that they are “doing something” that amounts to nothing and deceiving the fools who elected them into thinking it will make them safer. In Los Angeles you can multiply the deceitfulness of politicians and the idiocy of voters by ten-factor and count yourself as being kind to them all.

  7. avatarSean says:

    Do what I did many years ago. A local city was having a gun buyback. They were offering $100 per working handgun. Limit 10. I went and bought 10 used .25 Ravens. For about $20-40 a piece. Made a nice profit, and went and bought myself a Kimber…

  8. avatarPascal says:

    I look at it in another way…what is the street price of an illegal gun? I will bet more than $100 in groceries. So, why would crooks take the deal when there is a better deal out there….purely from an economics POV.

  9. avatarCGinChicago says:

    Did anyone else notice the picture on the link at the bottom of what looks like some kind of mortar round slapped on an HK 93?

  10. avatarAnon in CT says:

    The no questions asked part makes it a great way to dispose of a hot murder gun. Why throw it off a bridge when the cops will melt it down for you, and give you a C note to boot?

  11. avatarJohnK87 says:

    I’d stand outside the area with a backpack and a stack of $100 bills for anything worthwhile.

    • avatarTodd94590 says:

      I like your idea. Maybe the two of us could work the crowd together?

      • avatarGS650G says:

        Happened at a local gun buy, someone saw a nicer rifle and made a deal right there. Some idiot in line said something and they told him off.

  12. avatarTom says:

    Looking at the photos, this is a gun buy back program to end all WWI technology wars. Probably the owners are just upgrading their useless, stolen, murder, obsolete weapons for the new stuff.

  13. avatarBpjester says:

    The Tacoma, WA police department used to have these same style buyback programs in the mid 1990′s. My buddy and I would work the lines and buy the decent guns from folks. We would keep the good stuff and sell the rest at area gun shows. One time, the local TV news interviewed some of the people waiting in line. This one fellow, who was my hero, proclaimed that he bought broken, incomplete, junk guns at yard sales just for this program. His goal was to receive enough money to buy his dream gun. As he was explaining his plan to the news- chick interviewing him, the change in expression on her face from glib to shock was priceless.

    The Tucson, AZ police tried to do a buy-back, but they were only giving people $50 gift cards for grocery stores.

  14. avatarJWhite says:

    Looks like a bunch of Mosins.

    Not a bad deal if you think about it.
    Get your C&R license, buy a couple of crates @ $65-70 each, sit on them for a while, wait for the $100 buy backs, bring in 20 mosins for a $400-600 profit.

    Or hell.. bring in your grandfathers pistol you thought was worth thousands, only to find out was worth jack shit at the gun show/store. Bam… Your up $100.

    Or.. What if you found deactivated replicas for cheap and turned those in? Just saying.

    • avatarJWhite says:

      Or if ScumBag McScummy knows hes got a pistol with a body on it, or the serial numbers scrapped off… he can turn it in no questions asked! *golf clap*

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name instead of you company name or keyword spam.