Gun Buybacks — The Anti-Gun Answer To Public Safety
How do you know if you live in an anti-gun area? Other than the extremely high and continuing to escalate level of violence and crime, you’ll see a litany of useless “public safety” laws targeting law abiding citizens instead of criminals, “good cause” or no issuance of concealed carry permits and the pinnacle of public relations spectacles, the so-called gun buyback program. Of course, what they don’t tell you is gun buybacks don’t do anything to promote public safety or reduce crime.
In contrast to the mandatory buyback events in Australia and the UK, buybacks in the United States are voluntary. The first such in this country is believed to have been the two-month buyback in Baltimore, Maryland in 1974 where 13,500 firearms were turned in at a cost of over $660,000. And in what should have been a lesson for the anti-gun crowd, the city’s already high gun homicide and assault rates actually increased during the program. Baltimore today continues to have one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation.
There are many things wrong with gun buybacks, but the most obvious is the government is not ‘buying back’ a damn thing. The owner didn’t buy the firearm from the local law enforcement agency running these events in the first place. These firearms were never government property; they were private property from the moment they were conceived. A more appropriate term would be Surrender Your Gun To The Government.
Those promoting these events make the typical statements about them including taking “weapons off the streets” and “making homes safer”. They also claim these events will help “to prevent gun violence and promote gun safety”. The sad reality is this just isn’t the case.
If you take a look at the firearms turned into gun buybacks, you’re going to see a lot of old, rusted and junked rifles, shotguns and handguns. Many are not operational and could at best be used as a club. Occasionally, you’ll see a so-called “assault weapon”; which is nothing more than a regular rifle, shotgun or handgun that has some uber scary and purely cosmetic feature that makes it the first target of the anti-gun elitists. Never mind that the agencies promoting these events tend to use the terms “assault weapon” and “assault rifle” interchangeably in their speeches and printed material. You’d expect them to know the difference.
There are of course the entrepreneurial types who assemble working firearms from $10 of parts at Home Depot and score the going rate for actual firearms at the buyback. As for criminals turning in guns, that doesn’t even make sense. If you’ve got a working tool for your profession (crime), are you really going to turn it in for $50 to $200 of cash or a Target gift card or are you going to keep it and use it to commit crime? You’re a criminal; you’re going to keep it to commit crime!
The bottom line is these are not the firearms used to commit crimes, and they certainly did not come off the streets. Most come from the deepest, darkest depths of closets, basements and garages where they probably have been sitting for years or even decades. Those who claim they are taking “weapons off the streets” need to get back on the street and see what weapons are actually used in crime.
As far as the “promote gun safety” claim, you have to remember to anti-gun elitists, “gun safety” means you don’t have a gun. To date, the anti-gun promoters have yet to come up with a single gun safety program. To them, if you are going to have a firearm as they begrudgingly allow due to Supreme Court rulings, then it has to be registered, licensed, only a certain kind, with limited capacity of specific types of ammunition, unloaded, locked up in an approved manner and never, ever carried in public. Does that sound like a plan to “promote gun safety” to you?
What is real gun safety? It’s education and training in the safe and responsible handling, use and storage of firearms. It’s outreach into the community to provide not only firearm education, but anti-crime and personal safety information. Many communities already have a ready base of trained resources who would jump at the opportunity to help their local law enforcement agency promote firearm and public safety.
Want to know something funny? Nearly every law enforcement agency in this country provides free gun locks to anyone who comes in and requests one. These locks are provided to the departments at no cost by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) Project ChildSafe Program. Agencies also have access to a wide range of safety supplies, videos and educational materials — all at absolutely no cost to them. As the trade association for the firearms industry, the NSSF is the definitive authority on firearm safety.
Then there is the National Rifle Association (NRA), the leading provider of firearms safety and education in the nation. They have programs for youth, women, parents, educators, community groups and law enforcement. Law enforcement agencies have access to all of this at little to no cost. And despite what many think about the NRA, they also provide cutting edge crime prevention and awareness programs that do NOT involve firearms.
While many law enforcement agencies in the nation partner with the NSSF & NRA to have access to these valuable programs for their communities, the anti-gun departments do not. Anything or anyone that endorses firearms use is counter to their civilian disarmament objectives. Why promote actual public safety when public relations events are much more flashy?
So what to expect from your local gun buyback? Some people will line up with their firearms in the trunks to be turned in for cash or gift cards. A few firearm enthusiasts will be on the sidewalks heading towards the buyback area trying to convince the people surrendering their arms to legally sell their firearms to them instead. Following the event, expect to see the obligatory conquest photos of the firearms laid out neatly on tables with the politicians standing behind them for the press to take pictures of.
Don’t get me wrong; if someone wants to turn over their firearm for destruction, for whatever reason at whatever price, it is completely up to them. It’s their private, personal property and they are free to do with it as they will. What I object to is the false anti-gun narrative that is a great step forward in public safety.
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