I get the feeling that the general public is beginning to see that government-sponsored “gun buybacks” are a sham. For one thing, there is no demonstrable, appreciable link between paying taxpayer (or donated) money for crappy-ass guns and a reduction in “gun violence.” No wonder New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino is feeling the heat.

Enough, anyway, that Mr. Porrino felt obliged to justify this weekend’s Garden State “gun buyback.” He penned an editorial for nj.com entitled Why I want to buy your guns.

Given the headline, you’d [almost] be forgiven for thinking Mr. Porrino wants to buy residents’ gats because he likes guns. No. No he doesn’t. He reckons they’re instruments of evil. But the AG’s reasoning for the “gun buyback” is decidedly lacklustre.

Like this . . .

Gun violence is a complex issue, and buybacks certainly are not a complete solution. But all anyone needs to do is read news stories from across the nation – including New Jersey – to know that guns left lying around the home are a common source of tragedy.

Some doubters question the overall efficacy of buybacks, while others suggest that buybacks tend to bring in mostly old “attic” guns.

But once a gun has been turned in and melted down – as every firearm obtained through these buybacks will be — it can never be stashed in a vacant building or used as a community gun to commit crime after crime. It can never be stolen in a burglary and used later in a violent crime. And it can never fall into the hands of a curious child.

Stashed in a vacant building? Who does that? Certainly not the kind of citizens who’ll be trading their firearms for cash.

Mr. Porrino’s op-ed soon abandons his weak sauce “buyback” justification to tout his plan to get tough on people caught with illegally held firearms. By way of a conclusion, the AG returns to the issue at hand — and stumbles straight into something not unlike the truth.

Through these buybacks, incidentally, another, perhaps less obvious benefit has been accruing.  From what we’ve seen, and from what our local partners tell us, these buybacks have a galvanizing effect in our communities and they help create public awareness.

Many people in the community are energized by their participation. They feel that, by turning in a gun, serving as an on-site volunteer at one of the churches, simply spreading the word, or supporting the effort in some other way, they are making a contribution.

This empowering of communities is welcome.  It is real, and it matters.

In other words, I know these “gun buybacks” are ineffective, but they make uninformed, gang-beleaguered New Jersey citizens feel better. And there you have it.

20 Responses to NJ Attorney General Christopher Porrino: Gun Buybacks Are Feelgood Security Theater

    • That’s an interesting point that I had not considered. I hope someone smarter and more knowledgeable than me can break this down further.

    • In my sometimes-fertile imagination, I see an “on site volunteer” as someone who will help with the turning in of guns.
      Someone needs to direct traffic, take down serial numbers, box up guns, hand out debit cards; these jobs don’t require LEOs.

      • Of course the police and laimstream media call these events “gun buybacks” or “gun turn-ins”. From a legal sense, it is quite simply firearm owners selling their firearms to the local police department. The really pertinent questions are:
        (1) Does the ATF require the police to have a federal firearms license to purchase so many firearms?
        (2) If yes, which/how many people at the “buyback” must have a federal firearms license?

        If the answer to (1) is “yes”, then at least one person is breaking federal law at every one of these events … and the answer to (2) tells us how many people are breaking federal law at each of these events.

  1. you guys have to realize what the battlefield is now: the minds of stupid people. thats what everything is geared towards changing, the minds of the idiots/uneducated people of society. As we all should have realized by now, there are FAAAAAR more stupid people in the world than smart. and i dont mean genius smart just don’t look down the barrel of a gun to see if its loaded smart. just like diamonds and true no-carbon-footprint fossil fuel cars, the resources are not plentiful enough to make a entire world of smart people ( intelligent people breeding/solid education systems ) or make car emissions totally safe for the environment ( palladium is VERY rare/manufacturer incentive )
    thats why shit like this is so profoundly stupid to us and why we cant understand why people think its helping.

  2. Listen, the types of people who voluntarily give their guns to the police would all have used those guns to murder babies if they hadn’t been given the chance to turn them in. Can’t you monsters see what you’re doing to those poor babies by mocking turn ins?!?!

  3. GUN BUY BACKS = sell junk, get government ie tax payers money to go out and buy a better gun on the street.
    WTF!!!
    This waste of money is worse than feel good theater.

    • Seriously, what sort of moron would trade in a gun worth $400 in cash or drugs for a $20 gift certificate? I suspect most of the ‘working guns’ displayed after these “buy backs” have been confiscated from crime scenes and taken out of the evidence room and piled up just for a photo-op. The rest are rusty non-functional junk.

  4. I like the buy-backs for one reason: I typically go and sit or stand where I can see what is being brought in. If I see a nice piece I ask the carrier if I can examine it. If interested, I call a friend with the state police and have the serial number checked to see if it’s “hot”. If it’s clear I simply make a better offer than what the authorities are paying. I’ve actually picked up some nice pieces, including a near mint M1 Carbine for $75 and an old S&W 44 Special for $60. I’m doing nothing illegal and I have only been asked to leave a couple of times.

    I was living in a Central American country when the communist regime in Nicaragua was ousted. The new government wanted to get some genuine “weapons of war” and offered a bounty of $50 ( about a month’s pay) for turn-ins. Mercy… AK47’s, G3’s, FAL’s, M16’s, and – – heart be still – – M2 BMG’s! Veni, vidi, vici!

    Anyway, that’s my take on these scams. Use ’em to your advantage…

    • I held a sign outside a “buyback” outside Boston MA. I was threatened and harassed by the gestapo. The female detective from Belmont said she was going to have the local PD send 3 of their largest cops down and stand around me the entire time until I left.

      I felt the love. And they wonder why people don’t like cops.

  5. The buyback in MPLS (which was written about here) was great for me. I sold enough old junk to pick up a new laser range finder. And the MPD working it laughed and made fun of the whole thing because they knew how stupid the feel good stunt was. I had a great time with one of the officers making fun of the deal, and chatting about guns.

  6. It’s always the “good intentions” never the results which are important. The look what I did because “I care”, not look at what I have accomplished.

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