“In a state where there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of firearms in the hands of private citizens, is it reasonable to expect that taking several thousand off the streets will have an impact on gun crime?” It’s an excellent question, asked by Chris Mondics of philly.com. To which the correct answer is no. In fact, the more you think about “gun buybacks” the more emphatic the answer becomes. And if you weren’t convinced that these feel-good programs are a complete waste of time and taxes before reading this article, and you are capable of performing something roughly akin to rational thought, you’ll see the idea’s monumental stupidity afterwards. If you’re pushed for time, here’s the money shot . . .
Micah Khan, a Camden community activist, helped with the Camden [NJ] gun buyback in December. Khan said most of the 1,037 guns dropped off at two community churches that hosted the event came from outside the city and likely were not crime weapons to begin with.
“I am a believer in the idea that every gun you get off the streets is a good thing,” Khan said. “But if you talk about effectiveness, there is no data to show that.”
Hardened street criminals say they need their weapons for protection, Khan said. “When I talk to guys on the corner, they tell me I would rather be caught with it than without it,” he said.
And there you have it: no data to support any link between the government buying broken ass guns and a reduction in “gun violence.” And every reason to think that anyone who believes that there is a connection between gun buybacks and crime reduction is willfully ignorant.
Nah, let’s be charitable and use the word “delusional.” The only alternative would be “lying through their teeth” or “exploiting taxpayer’s good will for their own political ends.” For example . . .
State Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa, who has overseen New Jersey’s recent round of gun buybacks, said reducing the number of weapons in circulation, illegal or not, enhanced public safety.
“We are always focused on getting illegal weapons out of circulation, and the buyback program has been incredibly successful in doing so – removing over 1,000 illegal guns from New Jersey’s streets,” he said. “However, that is not the only goal. We are also interested in taking unwanted guns out of circulation because any gun, whether legal or illegal, can be stolen and used to commit a crime or be accidentally and tragically discharged.”
Added Chiesa: “The efficacy of our program is proven by our results. How many criminal investigations would it take to net 1,000 illegal weapons?”
Question: if all these gun buybacks are “no questions asked,” how does the NJ AG know any particular gun is illegal? Because it’s New Jersey! Where all guns (and thus gun owners) are guilty until proven innocent. D’uh!
But seriously folks, gun buybacks blow. Always have. Always will. And yes, they are worse than doing nothing, in terms of manpower, money and diverted attention. Oh, the last one? That’s the real point.