LA buy-up guns courtesy scpr.orgSaturday is gun buy-up day in Los Angeles, so go buy a gun! Even if you don’t live in LA! I suppose that’s not the message that they’re trying to get out, but it’s the one I choose to take from it. Guns can be turned in at several locations around LA for a $100 or $200 gift card “to buy groceries.” The organizer of the event dismisses the claim that the buy-ups are ineffective, even though many of the guns are broken or otherwise inoperable. Anne Tremblay, who runs the program, points out that it’s “just one piece of a violence reduction program.” The program, which has been running for five years now, picks up between 1,500 and 2,000 guns each year. The guns will be melted down by LAPD. Read on for more . . .

Your Lockdown of the Day™ comes from Tampa, Florida. Wharton High School was locked down for… wait. This is a joke, right? Seven… Sigh. Wharton High School was locked down for seven hours on Thursday, starting just after 9 a.m., after a student said he heard talk of a gun. Students were served lunch in their classrooms and bathroom breaks were sparse (one student said he finally gave up and peed in a bottle in class) while authorities patted down students and searched lockers and bookbags. Room by room, inch by inch. School dismissal was delayed while parents waited outside. Finally, at 4:15 p.m., the lockdown was lifted and students were dismissed. No gun was found. Despite the huge disruption, school officials say the student did the right thing. “We need any kinds of tips,” said school district spokesman Tanya Arja. “If you hear something, if you see something, we need students to come forward, we need teachers and staff to come forward, nothing is so small that they should keep it to themselves.”

The Theatrical Security Agency proved its name once again last Sunday after failing to spot a pair of empty AK-47 magazines in the luggage of a Yemeni national who was catching a flight back home out of JFK. (Whether or not empty magazines should even constitute an offense is a conversation for another time.) The man and his traveling companion were stopped by TSA because they were flying to Yemen on one-way tickets, which is apparently a red flag in counterterrorism circles. It turns out they had more cash on them than is legally allowed, but they explained that away and were going to be released back to their flight when the magazines were discovered in one man’s luggage by Customs. The man was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on a charge of criminal possession of a weapon (for having a steel box). The prosecutor asked for bail to be set at $50,000 for Bassam Alkhanshli, no doubt due to the man’s name, but after his attorney pointed out that another person had been released on his own recognizance for a similar charge over the weekend, the judge set bond at $5,000, or $2,500 cash. Bassam Alkhanshli is a resident of Tennessee, holds a pistol permit there, and has been a naturalized U.S. citizen since 2009.

Samson Manufacturing asks “What is a Smart Gun?”

 
Richard Ryan asks, How much C4 will a Mac Pro hold?

Can’t think of a better use for that trash can.

45 Responses to Weekend Digest: I’m A PC Edition

  1. Not a fan of TSA but the mags were in checked bags where they’re allowed according to the website. Plenty of other stuff to call them out on.

    • But don’t forget that Customs (CBP) operates a “Constitution Free Zone” for 100 miles inland from each coast and at every international airport in the US. You are allowed in or out of the US on the whim of the Customs Inspector. They may seize anything they desire for any reason, or no reason at all. Have a nice day.

      • All true. News bulletin: the United States government uses the Constitution as toilet paper. Every damn day.

    • You didn’t even hover your mouse over the linked article, let alone open and read it, did you.

  2. Yeah actually a one way ticket to Yemen does send up red flags, regardless of nationality due to it being a haven for not only Al Qaeda but other nefarious actors as well.

    • So wouldn’t that make a one-way ticket a good thing? Its one-way…. meaning if they are terrorists they aren’t planning on coming back.

      • Might be good to know who they are.

        And make sure they’re not just trying to get a jet with lots of fuel.

      • Maybe the idea is that they may plan on crashing the plane and collecting their 72 virgins, so they don’t need to worry about a return flight. Something like that.

  3. If you have an inoperable gun that you tried to sell to other street thugs and could not because it was crap, and your “old lady” keeps saying she needs money for the new baby, then you can take one of those useless guns and trade it in for a card or two.

    • I’ve got a lorcin .25 and a Jennings .25 that are absolute junk. They were given to me in case I needed parts or something.
      I’m waiting for a buy up around here. Especially since Fred Meyers sells guns and ammo now. They have supplied the gift cards in the past.

      • You’re planning ahead! Great thinking. I had some old ones that somehow my brother or his friends left with me and they’re junk. We have no buy backs in our state, just a SCOLA that nullifies a vote of the people, like they do in CA, but no buy backs. May have to wait on my next trip out west for a grocery card.

        • Yup.
          My local one is even expanding. Really good handgun selection. Lots of ammo. Even scary black guns in all calibers.

        • Some do, yep. It was a pleasant surprise when I discovered the gun counter at the Freddie’s in Bend, that town needs more ammo sources

        • I live in Arizona now, but in February the Cornelius Pass Fred Meyers off of Hwy 26 in Hillsboro sold guns. You should know what you want before shopping there, though. although they do not have signs, I was told by a manager at that store that guns are prohibited on premise. I didn’t ask how a person can take his recent purchase from the gun counter to a car without violating their policy.

  4. Richard Ryan’s videos are awesome.
    I have got to get a license to play with stuff like that.

  5. Every time the LAPD cruelly melts a Ruger single action revolver, an angel tortures a puppy to death.

  6. Quote taken from the article about the gun scare at school:
    ” ‘I’m just glad because our school kept us safe,’ said student Layali Soufan.”

    Yes, Layali, the school kept you safe from the non-existent gun. Very good.

    It just shows you that there are no stupid questions…… but there sure are a lot of stupid people.

    I don’t have anything against them searching the school if there was talk of a threat or gun on campus, but what does “heard talk about a gun” mean? Maybe some kid had a gun magazine and was raving about a new model, or talking about his hunting rifle? Maybe someone was reciting rap lyrics? The article is either not very clear, or the teachers are not very bright. You know, I don’t want to scare those teachers any more than they are, but I think they should know: I also heard talk about an Ar-15 – Joe Biden who was talking about it. You should probably go check him out…. it’s for the safety of the kids.

  7. Seven hours of sitting in class, peeing in bottles and getting groped by cops. Yep, that’s the edumacational system today. Just conditioning the kids for things to come, I suppose.

  8. “just one piece of a violence reduction program.”

    I’m still trying to figure out how inanimate objects cause there to be violence. Maybe people would stop becoming obese if we had a spoon buy-back program?

    • Exactly what I was thinking. Got a gun that won’t be accepted at your gun dealer, or is worth less than $200? Just hold onto it until the next annual Gun Buy-back Day. The program also states that you can turn those guns in “no questions asked, so for additional gift cards, just steal your neighbor’s guns and turn those in. 🙂

    • Yeah, sorry about that. I actually wrote that up a day or two ago, but I didn’t get a Digest out that day because reasons. Have no fear, I’m sure they’ll do it again eventually.

    • I’ve got a toy musket that we bought our son at a Civil War re-enactment a couple of decades ago. Wonder if they would take that? not that I would sell it–got memories attached…

  9. I think there ought to be a law requiring cops to run a check on all “buy up” guns, and if any come back from a NCIC serial number check as stolen, they should be required by law to return them to the owner (or any heirs). Who could object? Otherwise the cops are just acting as a consequences-free fencing operation, giving something of value for a potentially stolen item.

    Once we get that one passed, we should work on requiring ballistic testing on all buy-up guns. Even if they don’t have a perp at the turn-in point, they shouldn’t pass up a chance to connect two or more otherwise unconnected crimes to the same gun, right? Might solve a few cases where a person with a specific gun was convicted of one crime, if they can connect that gun to other crime(s).

    Maybe if we make it enough of a pain for the police, they’ll stop hosting (or cooperating with) these useless feel-good-a-thons, and gun owners won’t have to watch the continued demonization of inert objects and their legal owners by emotionally-based anti-gunners.
    (not that we would have that as our goal, of course…)

    • “Maybe if we make it enough of a pain for the police, they’ll stop hosting (or cooperating with) these useless feel-good-a-thons” – DJ9

      Well, I say that if someone wants to participate and turn in their gun, let them. No one is forcing them to get rid of their guns, and they are getting paid – more power to them.

      This program may not reduce violence, but it does make things safer. It reduces the amount of defective and broken guns available for sale to people who buy guns for self-defense.

      • I agree, people should be free to give away their guns any way they want to. If a private organization wants to raise money and run one of these on their own, go for it. What I object to is the use of tax money to pay cops overtime to run the things. You want to make your city safer? How about sending those cops out to actually deter and solve crimes, instead of sitting on their ass all day on Saturday, zip-tying broken guns and handing out gift cards? Heck, if a couple officers want to volunteer their time, let ’em. But don’t spend my money on something that is, at best, a useless exercise in feel-good security theater, and at worst, destruction of criminal evidence and a potential cause of more firearms thefts.

      • No. For more reasons than I can list here. Some of them are:

        -It’s pure anti-gun propaganda that gets loads of free media coverage, also with an anti-gun spin.
        -Money and public (i.e. police) resources are being used to run a program that it at best useless. That’s never OK.
        -Almost anything else the police could be doing would be more useful than this.
        -Some of the guns may be garbage, others are classics, collectibles or need a good home.
        -The money could well be going to some criminal who stole that gun or used it in a crime.

        ***Most Importantly***:
        No one thinks they work. NO ONE.
        Just google “gun buybacks don’t work” and look at the results.

        So at the very least, the insistence on doing something that’s 100% ineffectual just for appearance, makes our society just that much dumber. And we don’t anymore of that.

  10. Straight up Pavlovian conditioning. “Someone said ‘gun,’ break out the rect-o-probe 9000!”

    Teach kids to associate any mention of firearms with fear of some nebulous danger that only men with badges can ward off.

    When is the last time a lockdown was preceded by any attempt to ascertain the credibility of a threat first? Or better yet, averted by doing so?

  11. Lockdown for HEARING the word “gun?!”

    I got out of high school just three or four years ago, and my friend and I would spend all of our time in Calculus class talking about skipping our last class of the day to go to the range instead. I had done my research paper for my English class on Colt Manufacturing (“what is an American Icon?” by the way, Colt was one impressive man) and spoke in great length about firearms while preparing the presentation.

    I couldn’t imagine what would have happened if they caught wind of any of that, how long the lockdown would have been. Or the fact that I always had either loaded shells, or brass in my pants pocket that I would forget to empty.

  12. I miss gun buybacks. We used to make a lot of fast cash turning in broken BB guns, soft air pistols and broken or cheap worthless junk guns bought for the expressed purpose of turning them in at gun buy backs. Fast, easy cash. I wonder if there is a website listing all the known upcoming gun buybacks. I have a new rifle I want to buy and could use some easy cash.

  13. “The prosecutor asked for bail to be set at $50,000 for Bassam Alkhanshli, no doubt due to the man’s name[…]”

    There’s plenty of doubt about that and no need to insinuate racism on the part of the TSA. Bail is intended to provide incentive, sufficient incentive, to persuade the defendant to appear for court. Well.

    The man’s last major activity was an attempt to leave the country, with a large stash of cash, on a one way ticket to a known terrorist-ridden nation. All while transporting illegal (albeit ridiculously illegal) firearm accessories. Considering that actual bail fees typycally run about 10% of the nominal bail amount, slashing the bail down to five thousand dollars effectively lets this guy out on the streets for five hundred bucks, not much to lose for an international traveller strutting around with thousands in cash on his person, no matter his name.

    • The insinuation was against the prosecutor, not the TSA, but your point was well taken otherwise. He did have means and ability to leave the country. Balancing that was his long-term residency and naturalized status. On the whole, I still think $50k was excessive.

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