Gun buybacks are a particularly stupid idea. They have no appreciable (i.e., quantifiable) impact on crime. They waste tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money. The “no questions asked” aspect eliminates the possibility of justice for victims of serious crimes, They create a market for stolen firearms. Nuff’ said? No matter what you say about gun buybacks logically, gun control advocates love them! See? We’re doing something about gun violence. And accidents! Aside from internet kvetchers, the media’s right there with them, unselfconsciously selling the idea that gun buybacks are the best thing since sliced bread. Here’s an example of some pro-buyback propaganda from eagletribune.com‘s Mike LaBella, reporting from deep in the heart of high cap mag ban land (Haverhill, Massachusetts) . . .
Imagine a situation where parents inherited a handgun from a family member then stored it in a box in a closet, thinking it was safe for the time being.
Then the unthinkable happens . . .
Their inquisitive child finds the gun, and maybe it’s loaded or it was stored along with some bullets, and a tragedy ensues. Imagine that same gun was stolen during a break-in, and somehow it ended up on the street, and in the hands of a criminal who uses it in a robbery, or maybe a home invasion, such as the kind that happened in Haverhill this summer when two men were shot to death.
Police say these are the kinds of situations they hope can be avoided by giving residents a chance to turn in their unwanted guns with no questions asked.
Police hope? Now there’s a sound basis for public policy.
Common sense suggests that the responsibility for an unsecured firearm rests with its owner/keeper. There’s nothing to stop a gun owner from turning-in an unloved firearm at the police station or, I dunno, selling it. Oh, and as for ye olde stored-gun-in-a-shoebox problem . . .
“All guns, when not in use, with the exception of primitive firearms, must be stored or kept ‘secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device’ to prevent unauthorized use,” the Bay State’s GOAL gun rights org reveals. “Penalties are assessed even if no underage person obtains access.
As for removing [illegally unsecured] guns from the home to prevent them from being stolen, O.K., sure. But I don’t think that collecting 24 handguns, 15 rifles and shotguns and 15 “non-working guns” is going to do much in terms of reducing the population of black market firearms.
Nor is Haverhill appreciably safer because citizens turned-in 200 rounds of ammunition “including some armor-piercing bullets, as well as a Vietnam War-era hand grenade.” You wanna bet that hand grenade was inert? And just for fun, let’s zoom in a bit on those armor-piercing rounds, shall we? We’re talking about . . .
50 rounds of armor piercing bullets that police believe were from the 1960s and were made for a Russian pistol. Police said these kinds of bullets can pierce certain protective vests, resulting in injury or death to a police officer.
“Having the armor piercing rounds turned in was worth it alone as these could be used to kill police officers,” training officer Scott Ziminski said.
As opposed to non-armor piercing rounds to which the police are impervious. Anyway, in case you didn’t catch it, Haverhill’s finest are happy campers.
“There are now 39 less guns in the city that our citizens did not want,” Police spokesman Lt. Robert Pistone [above] said. “That’s 39 less guns that could have been stolen and introduced to the criminal market, or 39 less guns that some child could have found and tragically hurt or killed themselves.”
Not convinced that it was worth $3250 (only $750 over budget) in gift cards and an undisclosed amount of police pay? You obviously haven’t used the gun control advocates’ public policy financial efficiency formula. Lt. Pistone provides the calculation.
“We will never know the good that came of the program, but I do know that it did no harm and the chance that we may have saved one tragedy is well worth the effort.”